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LE SLI E L UDY’ S

MAGAZINE

standing for LIFE

gaining God’s heart for the unborn

p.10

Be NOT Deceived

how to know when a warrior-poet really is one from an anonymous warrior-poet p.42

Dressing with Dignity in Hot Weather.

p.78.

MEET BEX

sister of the common life p. 22

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.

JULY/ A UG US T 20 11


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

Summer is a time when most people relax, unwind, and live to play. Everywhere you go you see people out looking for a good time, beckoning you to join them in their pursuit of “summer magic.”

Magazine covers shout

messages about how to look sultry and Let There Be Light Photography

alluring in a swimsuit, movie theaters beckon you to come see the latest crude-and-hilarious blockbuster, and the beach scene exudes a

“fun and exciting” aura. “Come join us - you deserve some fun,” the world seems to whisper. “You’ve been working so hard!” But for the set-apart girl, “summer fun” looks entirely different than the shallow, sensual pleasures of pop-culture. Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” I’ve found that summer provides a wonderful opportunity to find amazing joy and delight in the presence of my King. Early in the morning, when I wake up to meet with Him in the secret place, the air is warm, crisp and refreshing. In the evening as I walk and listen to worship music, all around me floats the scent of flowers and trees in their full glory.

While the world

pines after short-term pleasure, I am learning to bask in an entirely different kind of pleasure - the eternal delights of my Savior. He is the one who created this beautiful, refreshing season of warmth and beauty. So, may He be the One we turn to for enjoyment this season. Those who look to Him instead of the world for joy and fulfillment are never disappointed! It is my prayer that this new magazine issue will usher You into His presence and paint a picture of His glory in such a powerful way that the empty charms of this world completely fade into oblivion. Why should we be enticed by the beach scene when we have the very presence of the Almighty God awaiting us? Truly, there is no comparison. Here’s to a Christ-centered summer!

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.


letter from annie CREATIVE DIRECTOR

I recently pumped gas at a station that provided me with my very own television as I waited. It took a painfully (and unusually) long time for my tank to fill while advertisers flashed on the screen and sitcoms gave their best 1-minute clip to try and win my interest. It’s now no longer just at the supermarket checkout line that you have to shield your eyes, but the gas station as well.

Let There Be Light Photography

And then

there’s in-flight “entertainment” while you fly, coffee shop music that combats the very reason why you’ve come to a coffee shop (whatever happened to soft jazz or classical music?), and Facebook ads for weight loss, available singles, and Hollywood - all going after the same thing - capturing our minds, hearts, time, and wallets. In the past few weeks I have been reminded even more to be on guard for the world’s sneaky input. It is an undeniable reality that whatever you are getting the most of, is what you will be influenced the most by - so is it the world or the Word? I may not be choosing to pick up People magazine, flip on a TV, or sit in a movie theatre, but I still have tremendous need for a watchful soul and keeping a sharpened radar to the enemy’s “gas station 1-minute sitcom recaps” that are all around.

And when I do saturate myself in more of Jesus - through faithful prayer

appointments with God, listening to an audio Bible as I design, memorizing scripture as I drive, and getting to bed earlier so that I can have time in my day to read from a great historic Christian biography - then these subtle messages of the world are seen more clearly for what they are: repulsive thieves seeking to take what belongs rightfully to my King! Through abiding daily, moment-to-moment with Jesus, we will find that all our true refreshment and deepest joys are found in HIM! The world boasts of the “life” it can give you, but when we are acquainted with the True, Abundant Life, we gain not only the ability to be in this world and not of it, but to be armed and impassioned to take back into this world the Life it so desperately needs. Watchful with you, for the glory of our all-surpassing Joy,

annie

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 femininity Explore God’s Sacred Intent for Your Life Standing for Life Top 10 Time Wasters, Part 4

10

10 32

set apart relationships

Honoring God in Love and Romance Be Not Deceived 10 Things to Do Before You Say “I Do”

42 50

set apart walk

Cultivate Your Daily Romance with Christ A Purposeful Intimacy A Morning Scripted By the Author of Peace

62 72

set apart style

Showcasing the Radiance of Christ Dressing with Dignity in Hot Weather

78

set apart motherhood

Discover God’s Heart for Home and Family Creating a Beautiful Environment The Kiddo Spot

86 108

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.

42


ineveryissue 8

our contributors

20

reaching the orphan

22

sister of the common life

70

q&a with leslie

98

photo spread

112

staff book recommendations

50

78

98 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.


setapartgirl quote

‘‘

"Do you ask, ‘What is faith in Him?’ I answer, the leaving of your own way, your objects, your self, and taking of His and Him; the leaving of your trust in men, in money, in opinion...and doing as He tells you. - George MacDonald

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.


setapartstaffintroductions 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 seventeen 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 eighteen 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.

annie

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Annie Wesche is the Creative Director for both Set Apart Girl and Ellerslie Leadership Training. As editor and designer of setapartgirl 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 for Set Apart Girl as well as part-time nanny to the four Ludy kiddos. She grew up in North 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.

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.


contributors setapartwriters

tessa hershberger

WRITER | OHIO

Tessa Hershberger is 24 years old and from Akron, Ohio. She currently serves in the Editorial Department for setapartgirl, where she keeps busy writing and editing articles, as well as planning for the upcoming print magazine. She is passionate about the return of Biblical masculinity and femininity, as well as a Christianity in which the victory and grandeur of the Gospel is the living reality of the Church. With a desire to be used of God to take that reality to the nations, she is particularly burdened for the people of Thailand, where she previously spent time staffing and teaching in a School of Biblical Studies with Youth With a Mission.

amy meyers

WRITER | ILLINOIS

Amy moved to Colorado in May of 2010 from a small town in Illinois. Since childhood, she has had a tremendous passion for both Jesus Christ and the written word. Now, at age 21, Amy joyfully serves in the Editorial Department of setapartgirl, beautifully combining her two greatest delights into one amazing job. When she is not busy writing, editing, or helping out with various other ministry tasks, Amy enjoys slipping away to snag some much-loved kiddo time.

setapartphotography lauren torres

PHOTOGRAPHER | ILLINOIS

This 22 year-old small-town girl from Illinois moved to Colorado for Ellerslie Leadership Training and quickly won our hearts through her love for beauty, her eye behind her Canon lens, and her passion for young women to encounter Jesus Christ. Now serving in the Creative Department of setapartgirl, Lauren’s elegant style and creative inspiration will cause you to fall in love with her work. Some of her work is on pages 12, 13, and 18, and also for the articles beginning on page 62 and 72. 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.


May 25-27, 2012 ! s u n Joi

setapartgirl

annual conference

Windsor, Colorado OR Host a Live Simulcast in your area!

VIEW the online brochure now!

Lily Among Thorns

womanhood that changes the world 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.


~

STANDING FOR

Life.

gaining God’s heart for the unborn

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.


...it is not the will of your Father who is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:14

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

n the fall of 2006, when Hudson was almost two, I became pregnant with our second child. Excitedly, we told our son he was going to be a big brother. We announced to friends and family that a new little Ludy was on the way. We tossed around ideas for baby names. We calculated the due date. Life rolled along, and we happily anticipated the new addition to our family. And then one morning, our excitement came to a screeching halt. I woke up with several alarming symptoms, and I had the sickening suspicion that I had miscarried my baby. An emergency visit to the doctor confirmed my fear. The life that had been growing inside of me had abruptly ended. For the next twenty-four hours, I was in a daze of shock and disbelief. I wasn’t quite sure how to process such a sudden, unexpected loss. I didn’t want to fall apart emotionally. I had a young son to raise, and a husband and ministry to tend to. I made up my mind to be strong, keep a stiff upper lip, and move on. After all,

as the doctor reminded me, I could always get pregnant again. And the life that had been lost was only six weeks along in development, not even yet resembling a baby. I hadn’t felt the baby kick, heard the heartbeat, or seen the ultrasound. At this early stage in the pregnancy, it wasn’t really a devastating tragedy; it was just more of a disappointment. Or so I told myself. But for some reason, there was a growing despair in my soul over losing the baby. Some nights I laid awake in bed, nearly suffocated from an inexplicable emotional pain. Many weeks went by, and I did my best to ignore the grief in my heart and simply keep moving forward with my life. I thought the best way to honor God through the situation was to accept what had happened with a resilient attitude and not let it slow me down. Yet the grief continued to amplify just under the surface of my emotions. Finally one day, I could not contain my sadness anymore. I laid across my bed and wept uncontrollably, grieving for 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.


It WAS a big deal. A little life - precious to God -had been snuffed out. child I would never meet this side of Heaven. It was the first time since the miscarriage I had even allowed myself to cry. For weeks I’d been telling myself that what happened was “no big deal.” But now, I was coming face to face with the true reality of the situation. It was a big deal. In fact, it was a horrible tragedy. A little life - precious to God, formed in His image, shaped by His hand - had been suddenly snuffed out. I thought about the words of Scripture: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.” (Psalm 139:13) “...from my mother's womb you have been my God.” (Psalm 22:10b) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...” (Jer. 1:5a) To God, the baby that had perished was not just a barely-developed fetus or blob of cells and tissue. It was a priceless human child and a masterpiece of His creation. It had its very own heartbeat, its very own DNA, and its very own destiny - a destiny that had been abruptly cut short before it had a chance to be fulfilled. God was weeping over the untimely death of this precious child. The best way to

honor Him through this loss was not to shrug off the pain and move on, but to allow myself to feel what He felt and care as deeply as He cared. Once I finally allowed myself to grieve for this little life - to see what God was seeing, to feel what He was feeling everything changed. Since then, my life has never been the same. Eric and I had a ceremony for our little lost child. We named the baby. We wrote letters saying goodbye. My heart was still sorrowful over what had happened, but God began to work a deep healing within my soul. He also began to work something else within my soul - the ability to carry His burden for the weak and vulnerable; to weep over children being orphaned and enslaved; and to grieve over the countless unborn lives being snuffed out before having a chance to fulfill their God-given destinies.

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.


For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

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 opened our eyes. Eric and I had been working in fulltime Christian ministry for most of our married life. But in the midst of so much busyness, we’d begun to overlook the orphan, the needy, and the vulnerable. Through our own tragic loss, God awakened us to the cry of the 143 million orphans around the world. (The number has now increased to 163 million.) Our hearts were gripped by the cause of the 27 million human slaves in the world (a large majority being girls and young women imprisoned by the sex-trafficking industry). He burdened our hearts for the abused child soldiers in Uganda, the destitute and starving children in Liberia, and the persecuted street children in Brazil. Furthermore, He opened our eyes to an injustice no less grievous than all of these heart-wrenching dramas; an incomprehensible travesty happening not halfway across the world, but right down the street from us and in nearly every city across this nation - countless women being targeted, manipulated, deceived, and exploited by a cunning, money-hungry machine known as the abortion industry. And millions of innocent, helpless lives being ruthlessly snuffed out at the hands of abortionists, without the ability to defend themselves. As I grieved for the unborn baby I had lost, I began to catch a glimpse of God’s overwhelming, heartbreaking grief for the precious babies being deliberately aborted

right down the street, and all around the world. I had always been “pro-life,” but as God worked in my heart through this experience, the issue of abortion became far more than a box to check on my voting ballot once every few years. Now, I began to carry the very burden of God for the unborn, feeling at the very deepest levels of my soul the inestimable value of each precious life created by His loving hand. From that point forward, it became one of my greatest life missions to stand for life, and to become a vessel in God’s hand to defend those who could not defend themselves. It was a passion that led to the adoption of our next two children and the decision to spend a large percentage of my time, energy and ministry platform working on behalf of vulnerable lives around the world.

If we will not open our mouths for these helpless ones, who will? In Proverbs 31:8 God calls us to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves; and those who are being mercilessly killed without even a voice to cry out in protest: “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed 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.


Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Proverbs 31:8

Who are these speechless ones He is referring to? Who are these helpless victims appointed to die? The answer is more obvious than most of us realize. In addition to the millions of orphans and vulnerable children all around this world, there are millions of threatened unborn babies all over America. And just like the orphaned and abandoned children, they are desperately calling out for advocates to rescue them. In the United States alone, 23,000 babies were killed just this week at the hands of abortionists, and 1.2 million babies are murdered within their mother’s womb each year. One in four babies conceived in

America is surgically aborted. What’s more, abortions outnumber live births in at least 14 U.S. metropolitan areas. And these horrifying numbers are only growing every year. If we will not open our mouths for these helpless ones; if we will not take up the cause and fight for life, who will? Abortion in America is not just a disturbing political issue. It is a silent genocide. It is a crisis of unfathomable, epidemic proportions. Many of us have wished for a worthy cause to give our lives to. We watch inspiring movies about heroes of history past, like William Wilberforce who poured out his life to end the slave trade in his day; and we long to be part of such a noble adventure. But few of us realize the opportunity we have sitting right in front of us. We do not live in a time of peace and harmony. We live in an era where innocent lives are being slaughtered in mass quantities, and an entire generation of young women’s lives are being ruthlessly ripped apart through the deceit of evil men. As Christian young women, we must gain the heart of God for the unborn. Many of us choose to steer clear of the abortion issue because it seems too political, too emotionally charged, and too confusing. We aren’t really sure what to do about it. We don’t feel like we can make much of difference anyway. As a result, we do nothing. We shake our heads at the sadness of it, but we fail to fulfill God’s sacred call to open our mouths

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.


for the speechless and defend those helpless lives who are appointed to die tragic deaths. I would like to challenge you to rise up; to stand for life; and to become God’s hands and feet to the weak and vulnerable lives that have no voice to cry for them and no advocate to fight for them. We were chosen for such a time as this, and no matter how helpless you might feel, remember that the God of the Universe stands for life - He is the Author of it. When we stand for life, we stand with our King. And the strength of Heaven backs us up when we carry God’s burdens and fight God’s battles.

Here are some ways to begin: Choose Life If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, don’t allow panic or confusion to blur the issue of life. No matter how desperate the crisis, God has a solution. He cares about the life growing inside of you, more than you can possibly imagine. And He cares about you, more than you can possibly imagine. The culture we live in is deceptive and cunning. Pro-choice organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, are not the wise, caring counsellors they claim to be. They do not have your best interests at heart - and they certainly do not have God’s interests at heart. They are not there to provide good, solid wisdom and a clear understanding of your options; they exist only to take your money and ruin your life.

If you have any uncertainty about choosing life when faced with a crisis pregnancy, I strongly exhort you to surround yourself with loving, supportive Christians who stand for life. Visit your local crisis pregnancy center, or visit www.optionline.org to speak with an online counsellor via phone or live chat. They will provide you with hope, encouragement, and options that honor the Author of life. And remember, God can take whatever the enemy means for evil in your life and turn it into something beautiful. All you must do is lay your life in His hands. Note: For an inspiring example of how God turned a crisis pregnancy into a testimony of His faithfulness, read Bex’s story in our Sisters of the Common Life section on page 22. If you are close to someone who is considering abortion, get on your knees and fight on behalf of this priceless unborn life. Lovingly exhort your friend to choose life.

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.


Offer to go with her to visit your local crisis pregnancy center. Be her advocate - and be an advocate for the life within her. Your influence and prayers can mean the difference between life and death. For more information about crisis pregnancy centers nationwide, simply visit www.heartbeatinternational.org, www.carenet.org, or www.heartlink.org. If you or someone you love is hurting from a past abortion, these organizations can also provide a Christ-centered path toward emotional and spiritual hope and healing. Their services are free and confidential. NOTE: if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and are struggling with questions about choosing life, please feel free to email our setapartgirl office for additional resources and encouragement.

Open Your Eyes Become aquatinted with the battle for unborn lives. Take some time to listen to E r i c ’s a m a z i n g s e r m o n e n t i t l e d T H E AUSCHWITZ WITHIN. Visit Life Project USA at their website www.lifeprojectusa.com, and watch the powerful trailer for their new film on life. Watch the gripping DVD entitled Blood Money, which exposes the deception behind the abortion industry and the strategic exploitation of young women to fill the greedy pockets of abortionists. Visit their site at www.bloodmoneyfilm.com. These resources are eye-opening without being grotesque, and will fuel your passion to fight on behalf of the defenseless lives being ruined through the business of abortion. I also encourage you to read Frank Peretti’s book, Prophet (see my book recommendation on page 113), and 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.


Francine River’s book, Atonement Child, for Ta k e a s t a n d a g a i n s t P l a n n e d a powerful glimpse of the spiritual battle for Parenthood. Visit the website Expose life. Planned Parenthood for specific ways that you can help expose and de-fund these Pray enemies of life. Also, be aware that Planned Don’t underestimate the power of Parenthood evangelists often walk the prayer. Several of our Ellerslie students have streets of college towns or hang out in public regularly gone to the local Planned Parent- areas such as airports to solicit support and hood (abortion center), not to picket or promote their ideals. They cleverly hide their demonstrate, but to simply stand spiritually abortion agenda behind lofty proclamations against the evil through persistent prayer. I about “protecting women.” Do not be fooled recently heard the incredible testimony of a by their lies. Speak up for what you believe. woman who ran several abortion clinics for And if you see them deceiving a young girl, many years. Through a series of Divinely- look for an opportunity to share Truth with appointed circumstances, she became her. At the very least, pray that she would convicted of her sin, gave her life to Jesus protected from their dangerous manipulation. Christ, and did a complete about-face both spiritually and practically. She now fights on behalf of the unborn and exposes the evil agenda of the abortion industry. Such stories remind us that the faithful prayers of the These ideas are merely a starting saints can lead to mighty victories - one life point. If you make yourself available to at a time. become a voice for the voiceless, God will

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Stand Vo l u n t e e r a t y o u r l o c a l c r i s i s pregnancy center or support them financially. Become involved with a ministry that supports unwed mothers, such as www.birthmothers.org. Reach out to single mothers in your community. Provide practical and spiritual help for families who have chosen to stand for life through adoption or foster care. Become a spiritual mentor for teens and young women in your church or community. Talk to them about issues of life, and ask them pointed questions about how they are handling their sexuality. Point them toward Truth. Be someone they can turn to for answers in a crisis situation. Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

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guide you in what steps to take. He cares more about these precious lives than we ever could. And His eyes are searching to and fro throughout the earth, looking for someone to care as He does. Are you willing to take on His burden? “That innocent blood be not shed in thy land...” (Deut. 19:10 KJV)

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

Life.


Reaching the Orphan. Summary of Resources & Links Mentioned in this Article: AWAKENING TO THE ISSUE OF ABORTION: CLICK HERE FOR ERIC LUDY’S SERMON THE AUSCHWITZ WITHIN www.ellerslie.com/Eric_Ludy_Sermons/Entries/2011/1/16_The_Auschwitz_Within LIFE PROJECT Go to www.lifeprojectusa.com BLOOD MONEY FILM Go to www.bloodmoneyfilm.com

PRO-LIFE HELP & RESOURCES: www.heartbeatinternational.org www.care-net.org www.heartlink.org www.optionline.org www.birthmothers.org

TAKING POLITICAL ACTION: www.exposeplannedparenthood.net

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.


Open your mouth for the speechless. Proverbs 31:8 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.


SISTER OF THE common life “bex”

Rebecca Rohn

a.k.a. “Tummy M ommy” 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.


LESLIE’S NOTE: Bex is one of the most heroic young women I’ve ever encountered. Through she has experienced intense trials in the past several years, she has allowed God to give her great triumph and victory through them all. Her life is an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness - and her amazing sacrificial love for her son is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever witnessed. I know you will be blessed by her testimony here, and to read even more the story of little Kipling Joel Anthony’s (a.k.a. Dubber’s) adoption into the Ludy family, click HERE.

Q: Tell us a little about how you came to know Christ and choose a set-apart life for Him. I was brought up in a Christian home, so I was familiar with the concept of Christ from a very young age. I accepted Christ as my Savior as an early teen but did not really know what it truly meant to follow Him and have Him indwelling my life. In the past several years, since moving to Colorado, the Lord has taken me from a mediocre Christian and is now teaching me what it means to live my life for Him, to be poured out for "the least of these," to not care for my own well-being, but only for the things of His heart and for His glory! Q: After going through a difficult stretch in your life, you found yourself pregnant at eighteen. What were some of your struggles and fears during that time? My first reaction was “AAAHHH!” After calming down a bit my thoughts became slightly more coherent, but no less anxious - How am I supposed to do this? How am I supposed to tell my parents? How do you tell someone this kind of news? My church is going to have a hard time with this; will they still talk to me? What about Tony (the birth father)? How am I going to afford this?”

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.


Though I still saw Tony almost every day (we worked together), we never talked through things. It was hard just to keep myself together to do my job. I couldn’t go home to a quiet, safe place; my parents were in the middle of a messy separation. Q: How did God work in your life and heart during the pregnancy? Growing up I had not seen very many people living a life for Christ out of love; most were driven by fear. I did see a few that were definitely seeking the face of God, but it was not common. After I became pregnant, the Lord led me to Colorado, where I began meeting more people living for Christ out of pure love for Him! This really started my thinking about my personal relationship with Him. A precious Christian family took me under their wing (the McConnaughey’s - now on staff at Ellerslie). I lived with them during my pregnancy, and each week they led a Bible study that I attended. Through that teaching, God opened my eyes to truth in His Word. Talks with women who walked with Christ inspired me to deepen my relationship with Christ. After my move to Colorado something that I really struggled with was the thought, “What guy would ever have interest in me after this?” I remember that one day I was really struggling with this and a friend called me up. “I don’t know if this is even an issue for you, but I just want you to know that this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have a man in your life. You are a great girl.” I began to be reminded of the fact that I was loved by an everlasting, unconditional, unfailing Love. I have become secure in this Love. I am not plagued by the thought of never being in a relationship due to the past. My focus on Jesus Christ should not be distracted by preoccupations with an earthly relationship. I simply entrust this area to Him knowing that He is fully capable of satisfying all my deepest heart desires!

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After Kip’s birth I attended some of Eric’s Discipleship classes. I also attended Leslie's Set Apart Girl weekends and read her books more in depth than before. The Lord began to show Himself to me more and more. In the three years I have been in Colorado, I have come to know my God more than ever before. In me, He has grown this love for the Lord and a desire for Truth. Q: Can you share with us what led you to choose adoption for your baby? It was really the work of God. In the beginning, I had not even considered adoption. After discussing the option of adoption with a few people, I realized it could be the way that I could give my son all that I wanted him to have: the stability of having a mom AND dad, family vacations, and a chance at doing things I knew would not be possible if I chose parenting. I knew I could parent - I had access to a lot of resources in the community for material services. I could work and get child care. However, that was not the lifestyle I wanted for my son. It became very clear that I was to make an adoption plan. Q: The Lord worked supernaturally in connecting you with the Ludy’s and bringing about a beautiful adoption story. Can you share a little about that experience? Early in May of 2008, Ruthie, a friend from North Carolina who had moved to the area, invited me to attend a church service with her. She told me it was the church that Eric and Leslie Ludy attended, and that she had heard all sorts of cool things about it. I had read a couple of the Ludys’ books, so they seemed like almost celebrities to

first meeting Er ic Ludy

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Bex & the Ludy Family

me. We arrived to hear Eric and Ben (a leader there) sharing their vision for the church and community. After the service, one of the girls we had met introduced us to Eric. Yes, Eric Ludy himself was standing in front of me and I was actually shaking his hand! He started asking me about why I had come to Colorado. Over the course of the conversation, I finally told him that I was actually fourteen weeks pregnant. Eric began to encourage me. I don’t even remember much of what we talked about, but I do know that then and there, something within me softened. He asked if I was going to parent or place Baby. I told him that I was leaning more toward parenting. And then he said something that caught me a little off

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guard. “I want you to know that if you decide to place this child, Leslie and I would count it a great privilege to adopt your baby.” Okay…so maybe he is just being nice, I thought. Several weeks later I saw Eric and Leslie again at church. I was showing them the ultrasound pictures and chatting about the fact that I was walking in the direction of an adoption. Eric asked what agency I had decided to work with; when I told him it was Hope’s Promise he got this look on his face. Come to find out, Eric and Leslie had just made an appointment with Hope’s Promise. The rest of the night all I could think was, What if? No, it couldn’t be that they would adopt my baby. This would just be too easy. I really was drawn to them and thought it would be wonderful if they would adopt, but I wanted them to bring it up. The next day they called and we went out to lunch that week. God must have had quite the smile as we sat at that table in Mimi’s talking about what this was going to look like for them to adopt my son! Q: Who were some of the people or organizations that helped you (spiritually and practically) as you were making the decision to choose adoption for your child? How did they walk through the process with you? It was the aunt of a close friend that first brought up the adoption option. After that, I just started talking with my close friends (mostly the McConnaugheys), my counselor (Denise) at Life Choices Pregnancy Center, etc. Denise set up meetings with two adoption agencies. After meeting Beth from Hope’s Promise, I decided I would meet with her more to learn about what the process of adoption looked like. She explained closed, semi-open, and open adoption to me. The McConnaugheys went to these meetings with me, offering support and advice, and praying for me as I walked through looking at all the options. I remember sharing with my older sister Hillarey that I was walking through an adoption plan. She was so encouraging and supportive

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every time we talked! Beth soon became a big part of things. We met often and talked through a lot. We talked about how it would be difficult to place my son, what my reasons were for doing this, and legalities of the process. Beth was always there to remind me that this was my decision, and that I would be supported in whatever I chose to do. Then came time to tell Tony I was pregnant. I think that was one of the harder things to do during the process. I called him, we chitchatted, and then I had to break the news. It was a lot for him to take in. I mentioned adoption; he hit the roof. We decided to talk after a few days. The process of getting Tony involved and talking to him about adoption took several weeks. Beth also played my advocate in calling Tony and issuing parental rights relinquishment papers for him to sign. After Kip was born I eventually heard from Tony and he told me he thought I had made the right decision. Through all of this my “support team” was always there encouraging me to seek the Lord, give me hugs, let me cry, rejoice with me, seek out answers to tough questions, and pray for me. Q: Can you explain to our readers how an “open adoption” works? How often do you see Kip and what kind of relationship do you have with him? Open adoption means the birth family and the adoptive family stay in contact through letters, pictures, visits, etc. Open adoptions can look different depending on the families; for the Ludys and me, it is a very open adoption. I see Kip about every two weeks or so. He knows I am “Tummy Mommy”, but he calls me “Bex”. I take him on dates sometimes; I like to spoil him a little bit! Some people have asked, “Oh, so you can just do whatever with Kip, whenever?” No, I am not his parent. I have relinquished all rights. Open adoption means I simply have the privilege to be a part of his life!

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Q: What are some of your favorite things about being Kip’s “Tummy Mommy”? The honor and privilege of being a part of his life and watching him grow. Our special dates. We have a lot of fun throwing rocks in the lake, sharing lunch, and being adventurers together! Simply being around him is amazing! Q: What would you say to a young woman who is unexpectedly pregnant and unsure what to do? Get plugged in! There are crisis pregnancy centers, birth mother ministries, and other organizations that can help you find doctors and midwives, counseling, housing, WIC (a special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children), and the list goes on. Women in this field of ministry are in it to help you! Don't be afraid to go to someone; let them come alongside and support you during this difficult time. Q: In addition to sharing your testimony at Pregnancy Centers, Adoption Training classes and at Ellerslie, you’ve recently become involved with a ministry for birth mothers. Can you tell us more about this? Just this year I have become involved in the local branch of Birthmother Ministries (www.birthmothers.org). This is a faithbased, nonprofit organization that was

s e l g g u n h c S

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started by an adoptive father that saw a need for birth mothers to have one-on-one support. Birth mothers matches any woman that faces an unplanned pregnancy with a birth mothers "Friend" (a trained, loving volunteer) that provides emotional, practical, and spiritual support. Friends meet these moms where they are, listen to their situation, love on them, and personally connect them to the services needed. Q: What practical things can our readers do to reach out to pregnant teens and single moms in their communities? Get in contact with local crisis pregnancy centers to see if there are volunteer opportunities in reception work, counseling, material services, or fundraising. Also, some high schools have special programs for pregnant/single moms; see if there is a way to throw a shower for these young moms. Loving them and reaching out to them can make such a lifelong impact in their lives. *

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these are a few of my favorite things:

long drives i n the mounta ins, the book of I saiah, adoption, quo tes, music, b ubbles, dates with D ubber, hats, k iddos, George Mac Donald books India, pictap , hone, chai, ad optive familie s, friends

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1 0 TIME TOP

WASTERS Part 5 By Leslie Ludy

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Strength and dignity are her clothing, and

she smiles at the future. - Proverbs 31:25

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w

When I was in second

decision-making. And in some ways, it

grade, our school gave a special teaching series called “Health and Safety for Kids.” Our teacher, the round and jolly Ms.

worked quite well. I became very diligent about wearing my seatbelt and never even sticking my pinky finger out of an open car window. I was convinced that if I didn’t scrub my hands vigorously for at least fifteen

Jamison, passed along many fascinating and valuable skills, like proper teeth-brushing, diligent hand-washing, and, of course, faithful seatbelt wearing. I quickly gained a healthy fear of germs and cavities – in all the visual

seconds, villainous germ-bugs would set-up shop under my fingernails and infect me with all kinds of nasty diseases, and that if I didn’t brush each one of my teeth twice daily in slow soft circles, they were likely to turn

demonstrations these little nasties were portrayed as sly, ugly monsters who were concocting evil plans to destroy my wellbeing and happiness. I was armed and ready to wage war on these vicious villains with my

black and fall out before I was ten. By the end of the “Health and Safety for Kids” study, I had been shaped into a responsible little girl, at least when it came to buckling up and attending to areas of

high-powered weapons of fluoride toothpaste and anti-bacterial soap. Our lesson on car safety was one of the most memorable. We listened with wide, solemn

cleanliness and personal hygiene.

eyes as our teacher told us many terrible tales of careless boys and girls who dared to stick their hands, arms, feet or legs out of the car windows, and ended up losing a limb or becoming maimed for life. We were told that if we failed to wear our seat belts we would end up flying through the windshield and into a galaxy far, far away – never to be seen again. Looking back, it’s obvious that fear tactics were the primary means of indoctrinating us with healthy habits and responsible

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The problem was, I had also been

to play.

If my mom ever left me in our

shaped into a fearful little girl. Before second grade, I’d never really worried about dying from horrible, painful diseases (from failure to wash my hands for at least fifteen seconds), losing all my teeth (from forgetting

station wagon while she ran into an ATM vestibule, I would shut my eyes tightly and pray frantically that the kidnappers wouldn’t smash the car window to grab me in the 60 seconds she was gone. When I ac-

to carefully brush in circles) or flying into oblivion (from not buckling up). Second grade had made me paranoid about many “what ifs” that I’d never thought about before.

companied my parents to the super-market, I clung desperately to their pant-legs, afraid to let go for even one moment, lest the childstalkers chose to seize me and whisk me out of the store.

The safety-teaching that impacted me the most was our study of “Strangers.” In an effort to keep us from being snatched by prowling kidnappers, we were told one

After about two years of debilitating anxiety, nightmares, and self-imposed kidnapping-prevention tactics, I eventually moved beyond my paranoia and started to function a bit more normally

I’m ashamed to admit that I invested countless hours, days, and even years into my own self-protection...

around “Strangers.” But from that point on, I was never truly free from fear. It just took on different forms, depending on what season of life

horror story after the next about little boys

I was in. In middle school, I was terrified of being humiliated in front of my peers, and I was constantly preoccupied with ways to prevent embarrassment – obsessed

and girls who were innocently playing hopscotch on the sidewalk one moment, and tied up in the trunk of a bad guy’s car the next. Such accounts filled me with a deep abiding terror of being kidnapped. I

with dressing in latest trends, being up to speed on the new cool words to use, and avoiding being seen in public with my parents or younger siblings. In high school, I was plagued with fears about my grades, my

was under the impression that childsnatchers were everywhere; constantly roaming the streets, surveying our homes, and calculating ways that they could carry me away to their evil lairs. I started looking

studies, and my popularity status. As I entered my young adult years, I struggled with extreme anxiety over my health, relationships and the future. The “What if” questions that I’d learned to ask in

over my shoulder every time I went outside

second grade seemed to follow me year

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after year, presenting all sorts of new,

we’ll avoid ending up in the homeless

disturbing scenarios to my mind. “What if I fail this class?” “What if all my friends turn against me?” “What if I never get married?” “What if my health falls apart and I die prematurely?”

shelters. If we obsess over finding the right guy, we’ll avoid becoming a sad, lonely spinster. If we are consumed with health, exercise and dieting, we’ll avoid becoming overweight or wasting away from illness.

Even after I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, I struggled greatly with fear and anxiety for many years. Looking back now, I see how much precious time I wasted

At least that’s what our culture wants us believe. But in reality, fear does not bring freedom. It brings only imprisonment. All too many young women are so fearful of being alone that they

Our culture has done a very good job of convincing us that being fearful is equivalent to being wise. worrying about things that never happened. My Lord has always been faithful. He has always kept His promises. But I’m ashamed to admit that I invested countless hours, days, and even years into my own selfprotection; trying to build a fortress around

cannot survive more than an hour without texting or opening their Facebook page. Others are so consumed with finding the right guy that they are continually strategizing

how to dress and act in order to get the opposite sex to notice them. Countless others are so stressed about having a secure financial future that they nearly kill themselves trying to succeed in school, get their degree and climb the corporate ladder. Who has time for real

myself and prevent bad things from happening in my life. I laid awake so many nights, my heart pounding with anxiety, my mind racing with fearful possibilities of all the bad things that might happen to me. What a disgrace to the God of the Universe who has promised never to leave or forsake me. Our culture has done a very good job of convincing us that being fearful is equivalent to being wise. After all, if we simply take a few self-protective precautions, we can avoid being kidnapped at age eight, or dying an early death at age twenty-one. If we fearfully stress over money and career, 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.


intimacy with Jesus Christ when we have so

not be discouraged, for the LORD your God

many urgent, important issues to worry about? I know several moms who are fearfully gripped by all the “latest studies” about what they should eat or not eat in

will be with you wherever you go. Josh. 1:9 NIV

order to avoid disease; what skin-care products might possibly be cancer-causing, what electronics could be giving off harmful radiation, and what kinds of toys may cause their kids to get lead-poisoning. The more

good and are not afraid with any terror.” 1 Peter 3:6

“knowledge” they gain about what might possibly harm themselves or their families, the more paranoid and self-protective they become. While I’m all for following sound “life principles” such as working hard in school, taking care of our health, protecting our children, and avoiding outright stupidity, I have come to realize how easily fear can disguise itself as “wisdom.” We convince ourselves that we are being smart and responsible, when in actuality we are squandering precious hours, energy, and resources on fearful self-protection techniques. Instead of embracing our calling to turn outward and live poured-out selfless lives of sacrifice, fear turns us inward and causes us to become preoccupied with our own happiness, well-being and protection. But most importantly, fear is deliberate disobedience toward our God. He does not merely suggest that we avoid fear. Rather, He commands us to avoid fear: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do

“…as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do

A VISION FOR MORE When Gladys Aylward was on her way to China to fulfill the call of God on her life, the enemy must have known how powerful her ministry would be, because he tried to thwart her with fear before she even arrived. In Russia, she was detained by corrupt government officials. As she sat in a hotel room, thinking about a way to escape, an officer tried to force his way in. Boldly she told him, “You are not coming in here.” “Why not?” he smirked. “Because this is my bedroom.” “I am the master, I can do with you what I wish!” “Oh no, you cannot. You may not believe in God, but He is here. Touch me and see. Between you and me God has put a barrier. Go!” The man stared at Gladys, shivered, and without another word, turned and left. (Story taken from The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward.) Imagine having that much confidence in the protection that God promises His children! Not just hoping God will come through for you, but knowing He will. Not

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cowering in fear when the enemy tries to

word that characterizes the Proverbs 31

attack, but rising up in the strength of God and trampling him under our feet. Heroic Christians throughout the centuries have exuded this very confidence:

woman is strength. And all throughout the New Testament, we are constantly exhorted to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Leonard Ravenhill wrote,

Should all the hosts of death and powers of hell unknown Put their most dreadful forms of rage or malice on I shall be safe, for Christ displays superior power and guardian grace. - Isaac Watts

“Satan fools and feigns, blows and bluffs, and we so often take his threats to heart and forget the ‘exceeding greatness of God’s power to us.’” Take a close, prayerful look at your life.

I fear not the tyranny of man, neither yet what the devil can invent against me. - John Knox

out life? If so, you don’t have to live this way. I encourage to run to your Savior and ask Him

When Satan heard the ninety-first Psalm, did the fourth verse baffle him? “With His feathers He shall create a fence for thee.” So covered, and so fenced, what can Satan’s malice accomplish against us? Nothing, nothing at all. - Amy Carmichael Despite the popular notion today that it is more spiritual to remain weak, struggling and vulnerable, God desires to build us into valiant, valorous, fortified warriors who fear none but Him alone and are vulnerable to none but Him alone. Interestingly, the chief

Are you wasting precious moments or hours each day on fear? Are you allowing the enemy to hound and harass you with “What if” scenarios? Is anxiety turning you inward and destroying your ability to live a poured-

Are you allowing the enemy to hound and harass you with “What if” scenarios? to set you free. He intends you to live a life filled with courage and valiance, not in your own strength, but through the power of His life within you. His prescription for courage is simple and straightforward: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which

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s e l i she sm e h t t a e r u t u f

surpasses all comprehension, will guard your

seriously and letting him have his way in our

hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7) A fortified Christian woman has an impenetrable barrier between her and the enemy. She has put on the full armor of God

lives. But if we stand firmly in the power that Christ has given us, “no weapon formed against us can prosper.” (see Isaiah 54:17) When we come to our Lord with the simple confidence that He is everything He

and is able to resist the devil, no matter what fiery dart he tries to throw at her. Christ has already conquered the enemy of our souls. The only thing Satan can do is put on a magic show; using smoke

claims to be, then freedom from fear is the natural result. Don’t wait another moment. Ask Him to shape you into a courageous, fearless woman of strength! He will be faithful. Our God has promised, and He

and mirrors to trick us into taking him

cannot lie.

Note: We’ll get even more practical with this subject in our September issue. If you would like to take these truths deeper in your life in the meantime, I encourage you to listen to Eric’s powerful sermons entitled Hero Training and Extraordinary Courage.

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Set Apart Devotionals

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@

Available online!

- click here -

want weekly devotionals from leslie sent to your email inbox? Sign up to receive Leslie’s weekly devotional by RSS feed.

(31) Creating Healthy Boundaries About a year after our ministry began, our life became frenzied. So much so that Eric and I realized we were in desperate need of boundaries around our life in order to protect our marriage and our relationship with Jesus Christ. We began to prayerfully and purposefully create muchneeded limits in our daily life in order to guard what was most important. The boundaries were simple, but the results were life-changing. We set definite starting and stopping times for our work schedule so that we would not end up working into the night. We turned off the phones after hours, including our cell phones. We set aside certain times during our week to respond to our email instead of replying every time we received a new message. We put restrictions on how many speaking engagements we would accept each year. We did not hold ministryrelated meetings on weekends or during evenings. We set aside uninterrupted time every morning of the week for prayer, Bible study, and personal spiritual growth. We set aside time during each week for focusing on each other. When Eric and I respect these practical boundaries, they keep our priorities straight and our life in balance in the midst of a chaotic world. Take a good, long look at your daily life—your habits, pastimes, friends, and outside influences. What are the practical boundaries you can create in your life so that you are free to honor God’s priorities in your life... Click here to sign up and read the rest of this devotional. 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.


A Warrior-Poet

SPEAKS UP by an ANONYMOUS warrior-poet-in-the-making

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42


Be Not

Deceived How to know if a Warrior Poet really is one.

I

‘d like to take a moment and, on behalf of warrior-poets everywhere, apologize for the fact that there are impostor warriorpoets. Actually, there’s a whole bunch of them. Far too many, and frankly, we true warrior-poets-inthe-making have a very low regard for them. They might outwardly seem like one of us - but they aren’t the real deal. So, I’d like to unmask this fraudulent operation and provide a little bit of insight into how to recognize a genuine, authentic, bona fide man of God. Now, just to reassure you, there is such a thing out there, but they aren’t always out in the open, easily seen, or frequently noticed. True WarriorPoets are a lot like Aragorn’s Rangers: silently protecting, defending, and advancing the Kingdom, without any acknowledgement, recognition, fame, or prestige. In fact, they are often the despised, hunted, rejected, ridiculed, and outcast. Aragorn’s Rangers had a motto: “All that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost.” True Rangers have the stuff of heroic, Christian manhood, and their majestic mien is cloaked in the humble garments of selflessness. You see, our King has commissioned us SoldierSaints to a very sobering battle.

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Here’s one of His most famous regulatory principles for us: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matt. 6:6 KJV) This principle governs those of us that are true to our King’s code of honor and have a reverential fear to infract upon the code in

the least regard. So, though we like to remain rather anonymous and not draw a lot of attention to ourselves - as per the King’s edict - I’d like to help the women we are called to protect learn to discern between the bluffing swagger of the Impostor, and the confidant gait of a true Soldier-Saint, Warrior-Poet, Ranger of Royalty.

True to ourKing’s code of honor. 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.


Test the fruit...if he’s a man of mettle, he can take it. First of all, the Impostor is good at his game. He’s smooth, and can say all the right little lines to sweep a girl off her feet. He shows up to college groups or youth groups for one reason alone: Christian girls. He’s a lowlife, good-for-nothing, indolent sluggard. Can you see I have a very low regard for him? He says things like, “I love kids - want tons of them when I’m older.” Or “I’m thinking about becoming a youth pastor, maybe even a pastor, ‘cause I love God, and people, and...uh...stuff.” Or “Can I call you tonight so we can pray together?” While all of these may sound fantastic and they are the sort of things you might be longing to hear a guy say: hold your horses! The mark of a true woman of God is that she does not let her emotions and desires betray her into foolishness. Thus, my first tip is this: test the fruit; and don’t go easy on the guy. If he’s a man of mettle, he can take it, probably exceeding your expectations in the process. Also, don’t give him any notion that you are evaluating him, it might make him change his tune. Let the guy in

question be ignorant of your true feelings. Real men of God live with a principled honor that shows up consistently in their life. The Impostors have a fluctuating inconstancy that will eventually reveal itself. Which is why I implore you to be patient, and stealthily observe his life over a longer-than-you-want-to period of time.

One

Therefore, here’s the first question you should ask about a guy: “Is his ‘secret-life’ no secret?” Though a true man of God is much in secret, he is unashamed of his “secret life.” He isn’t busy with deeds of darkness, he is engrossed with deeds of righteousness. When a young man spends

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his knees? Does he have profound insights into the Word of God, rather than just a mimicry of Christian catchphrases? As you watch him over time, does his spiritual vigor wax and wane, or does it grow constantly and effectively stronger? Trust me, if he’s a fluctuating Christian, he isn’t spending time in the “secret place of the Most High,” and is probably an much time in secret prayer and service, Impostor, not a Ranger! Scripture makes it clear that God rewards The second question Him openly (see Mat. 6). What is this open is: Does he notice reward? It is the fact that there is a clearly and care for the demonstrative force of holiness, purity, least? Watch him in and valor in his life. His words have a weighty gravity to them. He has stability, all sorts of environments (but don’t stalk sturdiness, and “stayability.” He is drip- him!) Watch how he interacts with ping with the unction of heaven, and those children. I’m not asking if he can play with around him love Jesus more as a result of them, but evaluate if he is able to be interacting with him. His King rewards him serious with them as well? Is he just a big kid, or is he an adult that is tenderly by using his life to showcase Jesus. A true warrior-poet isn’t swayed by exemplifying Christ to a little one? Just opinions of this world, fashions, or trends; because a guy can play with kids doesn’t he is what C.T. Studd called, “a man of mean he’ll make a good dad. He should One Book.” A few evaluation points: Does be able to have fun playing with them, but he evidence in his life the sort of Christ- he should also be able to recognize the like behavior that can only be gained on folly in the hearts of children and wield his

Is there a consistency in how he relates to the “lovely” & “unlovely”?

Two

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position of influence to encourage the children to godly behavior. Also, stick him in a situation where he has to serve the “unlovely.” Does he do it with all his might? Does he operate with virtuous gentility towards all, or just towards cute girls? Does he notice the outcast and move towards them with intentionality? Watch him in a large group, observing his interactions. Is there a consistency in how he relates to the “lovely” and “unlovely?” The mark of a true man of God is that he has no regard for riches, wealth, prestige, beauty, fame, or influence - He honorably cares for all. He isn’t swayed by what people can offer him; rather, he is concerned with giving of himself, to others, for the glory of God. He’s not in it for a photo-op, he’s in it for the glory of Jesus. There’s no one below his regard or beneath his compassion.

boiling water. But introduce them into a cup of piping hot water, and the ingredients permeate the entire mug. Now, imagine all of the attributes of a young man are the little spices and leaves in a tea bag. He may seem like an ordinary tea bag externally, but stick him in a situation of difficulty, stress, and hardship - what seeps out? If he’s a fake, you’ll probably get the aroma of sagebrush, stinkweed,

~

The mouth is the barometer of the

Three

There is a third test to determine the authenticity of the guy in question - I like to call it the “tea bag/flower petal test.” Have you ever taken a tea bag and just studied its contents? It looks sort of weird to us guys, but we know you ladies like it. Anyway, when you inspect the contents of a tea bag, there are many different spices, roots, leaves, sprigs, and other such oddities. They are rather innocuous by themselves apart from

.

mulch, and fungus, which sounds like a rather unpleasant cup of tea. However, when a man of God, faced with “fiery trials” (see 1 Peter 4:12-13), is forced to steep in the pressure of a difficult situation, the aroma will reflect the purity of all the wholesome ingredients that make for a delicious afternoon tea. So, watch him in those situations of difficulty. In the same way, flower petals emit their fragrance after they are crushed. The true scent of a man’s character comes out when he is faced with difficulty. If he remains humble, patient, virtuous, honorable, and kind while enduring hardship, there is a great deal of certainty that he is the real thing. Further, what he truly cares about is what he’ll talk about the most. Listen to him when he isn’t around other Christians. Is his language still full of reverence and dignity? Does he

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degrade himself to fit in with the level of communication around him? Does he pull people up to a higher level of conversation, or is he easily dragged down into vulgarity? The mouth is the barometer of the heart. If his heart is full of the good treasure of Jesus, he will bring forth lifegiving words to all around him. If his heart is full of wicked intent, he will be able to deceptively wield his beguiling tongue; but in unguarded moments, when the boiling water is poured on, his tongue will betray him (see Luke 6:43-45). If a guy proves that he can faithfully grow in wisdom, maturity, purity, and holiness - even in the most difficult seasons - then he truly has the makings of a mighty man of God. He’s probably one

of the true, elusive Ranger-Warriors. The best advice I can give? Wait and watch. God is able to give you the discernment into a young man’s character, if you remain guarded. If you begin allowing him to make advances, without him proving the caliber of his character, then pretty soon you’ll be a pool of emotions and it’s incredibly difficult to discern the truth through the fog of our deceptive hearts. Warrior-Poet Rangers are out there, but they show up in the most unexpected places, and live contrary to the world’s system. The Impostor crumbles when the pressure comes, but Rangers of King Jesus elusively carry out their commission of humbly glorifying Him in every adventure and battle. *

God is able.

Watch & Wait

ANONYMOUS & on purpose. Girls, we’ve had some attempts to inquire about the identity of our male contributors to these anonymous "warrior-poet" articles. We keep the identity of our guy authors under-wraps and for a very good reason: a glimpse of a single warrior-poet is enough to send a single set-apart young lady into distraction. So, rather than reveal our ‘sources’ for guy thoughts, we encourage you to keep Copyright your2011 gaze The set Church upon at Ellerslie. the Author  All rightsof reserved. romance   and not on the authors of these articles! No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


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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 relevant for college age and older.

Answering the Guy Questions 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.


By Tessa Hershberger & Amy Meyers With Leslie Ludy

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N E T DO Things to

before you say

“I DO.”

Leslie’s Thoughts: These days, marriages that crash and burn are far more common that real-life happily ever after love stories. Recent studies have shown that one in three Americans will divorce at least once in their lifetime - and the problem isn’t merely outside the church walls. Many recent studies also show that the divorce rate among Christians is actually higher than that of agnostics and atheists. The battle over Christian marriage is fierce. Even before we are married, the enemy of our soul attempts to weaken our relationship with our future spouse by tempting us to live selfishly in our single years. But we are not helpless victims to his schemes. There are so many things we can do, even before meeting our spouse, to lay the foundation for happily ever after. God has given us the great privilege of investing into our future marriages right now. Loving your future husband begins long before you say “I do.” I asked Amy and Tessa, two of our Set Apart Girl writers, to share ten practical ideas for putting this principle into action. Here are some of their great insights… 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.


one

On the Spiritual Side: However beautiful and captivating your earthly love story may be, it should pale in comparison to your intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Most of us have heard many times before that we ought to be head over heels for Jesus before marriage, but more than knowing how to make Jesus our first love, it’s important to understand why. If you are not satisfied in Christ prior to walking down the aisle, you will be tempted to expect your husband to meet all your needs - even those that Jesus alone can fulfill. We cannot wait around for our “other half” before we are content, because once we find him, we are not promised that we’ll have him forever. When Jesus fills every place in your heart, when you are complete in Him, you are able to love, serve, and give to your husband liberally and selflessly because your every need has been met by your First Love.

two Become a

burden-

bearer.

Make

Jesus your

First Love.

Praying together is a huge part of a Godly marriage, but having a partner with whom you can share God’s burdens is not what will shape you into a mighty woman of prayer. When two people come together who have already allowed God to train them in the prayer closet and know what it means to gain God’s heart for others, the result is gate-shaking, hell-raising, fire-from-heaven power. But if you shun these formative years of singleness and simply wait around for the fervor of a spiritually mature man to carry God’s burdens for you, even the slightest weight will cause you to crumble whether married or single. We don’t pray alone now so we can only pray together then, but individual prayer is where we are born, formed, framed, and built both now and for the rest of our lives.

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three

Practice laying

down your

preferences.

After the honeymoon, you may come home one day to find that - gasp! - your husband put your natural peanut butter in the cupboard instead of the refrigerator. Welcome to marriage - the relationship in which laying down your preferences and household normality is crucial to preventing a myriad of unnecessary arguments. You may have always eaten dinner at 5 p.m. or kept your thermostat set at a balmy 72 degrees, but instead of going into marriage with the “my way or the highway” attitude, try a different approach. Rather than thinking that your husband needs to get on board with your way of doing things, enjoy discovering a new “way” that is a beautiful blend of yours and his.

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four

Develop a

servant’s heart.

As women, we have a romanticized idea of how cute it will be to take care of our husbands when they’re sick in bed with the flu, but how quickly we run out of the room when our little brothers feel the slightest bit queasy! If you are not willing to serve others in any way needed now, what makes you think the desire to do so will just appear on your wedding day? Marriage is an opportunity to take the lowest place and wash the other person’s feet, but if you plan on doing that ‘til death do you part, your service must flow out of true Biblical charity and not the world’s mushy love. Believe it or not, there will come a day when you don’t feel like serving your husband (especially when it’s less than pleasant), but if Christ-like selflessness has already been developed, you will be able to serve with joy despite your feelings, the situation, or the effect it may have on your day.

Your service must flow out of true Biblical charity and not the world’s mushy love. 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.


five Laying down

your right to a white picket fence. It may not be every girl’s dream to have a white picket fence line her perfectly manicured lawn, but most of us tend to approach marriage with certain ideals of what “wedded bliss” ought to look like. There’s nothing wrong with a bi-weekly paycheck, children of your own, or a permanent (and adorable) home, but if we hold these things as personal “rights,” instead of God-given gifts, we cannot be fully surrendered to His plan for our lives. If three years into marriage, God calls you and your husband to move to the other side of the world or take in a family who lost their house in a fire, you’ll be ready and willing to say, “Yes, Lord” if you’ve already pre-decided that your married life is not your own. 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.


six

Keep your accounts

short.

“Don’t go to bed angry” is a familiar phrase, but do we truly know the importance of following this sage advice and the consequences of ignoring it? One of the easiest ways to open the door to the enemy in a relationship is to neglect dealing with conflict and to begin holding grudges against each other. When this becomes the case with a husband and wife living under the same roof, it will quickly cause a load of petty arguments. But by the same token, those little spats can be swiftly prevented if you stop and correct a problem the moment it arises. Practice now on your family and friends by pausing (even mid-sentence if necessary) to say you are sorry the second you realize you have offended someone, or by completely forgiving anyone who has offended you and fully releasing that person from any debt. If you make a habit of being “quick to apologize, quick to forgive” in the relationships you have now, it will naturally flow into your marriage later.

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seven

On the Practical Side:

Learn the

basics

of sewing.

You don’t have to be a seasoned seamstress to effectively care for your husband’s clothes. Taking the time to learn even simple skills such as sewing on a button or mending a seam will prove a valuable asset to your budget and schedule time and time again. Not only will your husband greatly appreciate the fact that he doesn’t have to call a tailor (or his mom) whenever he loses a button or needs his pants hemmed, but it will also be helpful for the care of your own clothes even before you get married. If you don’t have a Laura Ingalls Wilder in your life who is willing to teach you the basics, you can easily find tutorials and step-by-step instructions on the internet.

Leslie’s Interjection: Girls, I think this is a great tip and I must confess that I never learned this skill – both my mom and grandma tried to teach me to be a seamstress but I was a remedial student when it came to sewing (and math). So many times in my married life I have wished that I at least knew how to sew on a button or fix a hem, but alas – I must rely on “experts” to help me out!

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eight

You’re newly married, hosting a dinner party for the first time, and everything is going perfectly until you move into the living room for dessert and someone spills their coffee all over your white carpet. Such an affair does not need to throw you into a frenzied panic if you’re already acquainted with a few fundamental household secrets. Part of being a good steward is learning how to properly care for the material possessions the Lord has blessed you with. Things like stain removal, laundry care, and cleaning techniques are all simple ways to place adequate value on your belongings and maintain a beautiful and inviting atmosphere that will bless both your husband and those you welcome into your home. Even if you didn’t grow up observing this wifely know-how, take on the challenge of learning these useful tricks of the trade.

Learn the

tricks of the trade.

Another interjection from Leslie: This is an invaluable skill to learn. Just this afternoon Avy threw up all over the white carpet and to make matters worse, she’d had blueberries for lunch! I tried baking soda, soapy water, and carpet spray to no avail – my next plan is to try shaving cream at a friend’s suggestion. Here’s hoping!

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nine Perfect the

art of time

management.

You may be used to spending Saturday afternoons engaging in your favorite hobby or grabbing a peanut butter and banana sandwich for dinner instead of cooking a “real” meal, but once you tie the knot, my daily schedule becomes our daily schedule. While your time belongs first and foremost to Jesus, in marriage, it also belongs to your husband. To ensure that he gets your complete focus, all other tasks need to be finished in a timely and organized fashion, freeing you up to be all there when you are with your man. While scheduling quality alone time with your husband is important, he should never become a task to “check off” or an appointment scheduled into your calendar. Being purposeful and wise in the use of your time allows you to reflect the peace and sacred calm of Christ rather than becoming a harried housewife.

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ten

Hone your

hospitality

skills.

Part of the fun of being a newlywed is having your own home; somewhere you can entertain friends and guests. Even if your first place is a small apartment, you can still create a friendly and inviting atmosphere in which others will be enriched and encouraged, always sensing the warmth of God’s presence. Whether it’s a homemade fivecourse meal or a simple evening of dessert and coffee, ministering through the art of hospitality is a great way to practically pour into the lives of others shoulder-to-shoulder with your husband. Having a ring on your finger will not automatically transform you into the perfect hostess, so the time to start polishing your skills is now - even if it means inviting a friend for tea in your dorm room.

Leslie’s Conclusion: To experience a world-class marriage demands extreme dedication, the focus of your entire being, and a staggering expenditure of heart, mind, and body. Marriage is certainly not life under a shade tree – it’s an emotional, physical, and psychological obstacle course in which only the fortified survive. Great marriages are the stuff of the heartiest and stoutest souls. It’s boot camp for the entire inner life, the testing of the fiber of the heart, and the proving ground for the true substance of one’s love. If you take this challenge seriously, long before you walk down the aisle, you will have an amazing foundation in place for a Christ-centered, happily ever after love story. Happy skill-honing!

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*


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Inspire the guys in your life towards true masculinity Learn more about the pattern of warrior-poet manhood 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.


a purposeful intimacy.

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By Tessa Hershberger

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Photos by Lauren Torres

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One blueberry tea with two packets of honey - check. One piping hot hazelnut coffee, minus the cream and sugar - check. Two fresh, oversized peach muffins with butter crumb topping - check. Two friends eager to sit down for breakfast before a long day at work - check. So began my Thursday mornings with Lynn... Thursday mornings at 6:45 had lives we realized that unless we were more become one of my favorite times of the intentional about taking the time to week. Nestled in the back corner of a regularly nurture the friendship, it might quiet (and mostly empty) coffee shop with soon end up on the back burner - and it steaming drinks and warm muffins in was certainly not our desire for that to place, my dear friend Lynn and I would sit happen. Getting out the door by 6:35 down together for an hour to catch up on instead of 7:45 required some extra effort what God was doing in each other‘s lives. from both of us, but it always proved to be Some days we shared exciting answers to well worth it. prayer, and other days we shared burdens Now that I have moved halfway that needed still more prayer. Some across the country, it may be a long time Thursdays, Lynn needed more time to talk, until I share another peach muffin with and sometimes it was the other way Lynn. But until then, I will forever treasure around. Either way, we could always count on the other person to offer a listening ear and encouraging word and of course, we could almost look forward to laughing. Meeting early Thursday morning hadn’t always been a special tradition for Lynn and I, but at one point in our busy 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.


those early Thursday mornings; not only openings in our contrasting schedules or because they fostered one of my dearest quick five-minute chats on our way out of friendships, but also because they taught church, we wouldn’t have been able to get me a lesson in cultivating intimacy - on to know each other the way we wanted to. purpose. We needed to choose a day and time we A.W. Tozer said, “The man who knew we would both be regularly available would know God must give time to Him.” - even if it required extra effort. It is truly a stunning reality that the God of In the same way, cultivating inthe universe is One with whom we can timacy with Christ must be purposefully have an intimate relationship. And how planned. If we simply spend time with much more grand and beautiful is the God when something opens up in our thought that is it His delight and desire to schedules, “when the mood strikes,” or have such a relationship with us! But as when we’re after some kind of quick Tozer said, a relationship in which we emotional fix, our relationship with Him will know God and do not simply know about be little more than a selfish and halfGod will not just happen. Just like my hearted acquaintance. friendship with Lynn, building intimacy with God will not be the result of a mere desire for intimacy, but will only be the outcome of specific actions taken purposefully.

purposefully planned. Thursday mornings were not the only times Lynn and I spent together. Once in a while we would get together in the evening during the week or on a Sunday afternoon. However, had we relied on those spontaneous

purposefully kept. When Lynn and I decided on

Thursday mornings, we didn’t put a condition on it. She didn’t text me

If we simply spend time with God when something opens up in our schedules, “when the mood strikes,” or when we’re after some kind of quick emotional fix, our relationship with Him will be little more than a selfish and halfhearted acquaintance.

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Wednesday night and say, “As long as I fellowshipping with a group. Though Lynn can get myself out of bed tomorrow and I had mutual friends who would have morning, I’ll see you at 6:45!” There were a added joy and laughter to the concouple times Lynn was running late versation, Thursday mornings were because she didn’t hear her alarm clock or purposefully private - just me and Lynn. because she had to scrape a layer of ice Had we randomly invited others along, the off her windshield, but she never stood me closeness we were seeking to cultivate in up or canceled last-minute. our friendship during those times would If we are to know Christ, the times have been hindered. we plan to spend with Him must be If we desire to cultivate a beautiful purposefully kept. Intimacy requires a intimacy with Christ, we must be willing to steadfast faithfulness in which we are spend time alone with Him. Prayer joyfully committed to seeking Him no meetings, coffee dates with a Godly matter what the cost. How would Lynn mentor, and group Bible studies may all have felt if I had made a habit of calling serve to be edifying and beneficial to our her at 6:40 every other Thursday morning growth in the Lord, but our Beloved also to tell her something came up, or if I longs for an exclusive relationship in which repeatedly arrived 45 minutes late we come away with Him, and Him only. because I got distracted organizing my bedroom closet? Along with an unwavering loyalty, our time with God must be vigilantly guarded, rather than approached with a casual, ho-hum attitude in which “if it happens, it happens.”

purposefully private. There is something about a one-onone conversation that sets it apart from

purposefully meaningful. Even if we both arrived on time,

Lynn and I usually had to keep our Thursday morning talks to about an hour. Rather than chattering on for the first twenty minutes about the dreadful snow outside or what we ate for dinner the night before, we kept the conversation purposefully meaningful. It wasn’t that every single discussion was deep and emotional, however, we did come with the

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mindset that the time was not to be wasted on trivial conversation that would neither edify us as individuals nor provide any sustenance to a Christ-centered friendship. It is important to be consistently watchful of how we spend our focused time with Christ each day, lest minutes and hours be given to mindless

We have the great privilege of meeting with Him in the secret place every single day...May these moments and hours and days with our Beloved not be wasted, but cherished...

purposefully focused. It wouldn’t have done me and Lynn much good to meet privately if I spent the whole time texting my friends or if

“spiritual activity” that profits for nothing. Lynn started chatting with the waitress Do we rattle on through our prayers with every time she came by to check on us. empty words in an attempt to cross as Thursday mornings were purposefully many people off our prayer list as focused. If I was talking, I had Lynn’s full possible, or do we wait, and pray as the attention, and vise versa. If Lynn’s Spirit leads, while letting Him speak as husband happened to call with a need or well? Do we hurriedly read through an question, she kept the conversation as entire book of the Bible just to say we short as possible. read “enough” for the day, or do we take It is difficult to build intimacy with the time to carefully study, practically Christ when we are preoccupied with a apply, and attentively meditate on bunch of little distractions. In order to stay Scripture? attentive and alert, we must be intentional to remove whatever things would tend 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.


“The man who would truly know God must give time to Him.” - A.W. Tozer

sidetrack our minds - cell phones,

Let us remember, dear sisters, that

computers (if you use a computer as a we don’t have to wait until Thursday tool for Bible study, be wary of the morning rolls around each week to build temptation to jump on Facebook every ten intimacy with Christ. We have the great minutes), piles of mail or homework, etc. privilege of meeting with Him in the secret Whether we’re meeting with God in a place every single day - communing with small dorm room corner or a wide-open Him, worshiping Him, meditating on Him, living room, keeping the area clean and pouring out our hearts to Him. May these organized will also contribute a great deal moments and hours and days with our to your ability to give Christ your full Beloved not be wasted, but cherished and attention. meaningful, as we press on fervently to know Him - on purpose. * 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.


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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 stepby-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 copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

69


Q&A with leslie

Q:

I want to be a good friend, but most of the time I end up losing my friends through one silly conflict or another. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Do you have any advice for me?

A:

Amy Carmichael wrote: “If the praise of others elates me and their blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” Prayerfully consider what practical changes you can make in your life in order to go the extra mile in your friendships. Are you the kind of friend that can be implicitly trusted, or do you tend to give away secrets, criticize, and gossip?

Are you the kind of

person that people know they can come to, day or night, and receive strength, encouragement, and unwavering support, or are you too focused on your own needs and problems to truly be available at that level? Do people receive rest, refreshment, and

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godly edification from being in your presence, or do you merely turn their attention and focus toward shallow things? Take some time to stack your conduct up against the statement from Amy Carmichael.

Then, ask God’s Spirit to gently strengthen and

refine you in any areas that are weak. Becoming a person who brings life, rest, and refreshment to the souls of others means loving them as Christ loves us. It’s not just being socially sensitive and outward focused - it’s putting their needs above our own, considering their highest good above our own agenda and wants. We all know what it feels like to be disappointed, let down, or even betrayed by people we trusted. But what amazing joy to find a friend we can trust with our very life; a friend so loyal and Christlike that she would lay down her very life for us. Such friends are rare indeed, but this is the kind of friend Christ has called us to be. “Greater love has no one than this,” He said, “that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 NASB)

If you submit this

area of your life to God with a willing and moldable heart, He will enable you to become that kind of friend - one who pours out on behalf of others - for His glory. You will be thrilled if you take the time to honor Christ in this area of your life. *

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a morning scripted by theAuthor of peace. By Amy Meyers

Photos by Lauren Torres

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I

n the early morning, before the day begins and all is quiet and still, I steal away for a few precious hours with my King. There is hardly another portion of the day I hold closer to my heart than this treasured time communing with my Jesus and basking in His sweet presence. Those hours are peaceful and beautiful, full of love and complete serenity. I never want that feeling to fade, and I have been pleased to discover that it doesn’t have to. It is possible for that attitude of sacred calm and inner rest to be the lasting theme of my day. For many of us, however, the rest of our morning looks more like a tornado ripping through a field than a placid lake in a peaceful meadow. But I have found that by taking a little time to organize and plan, that heavenly relief can go with me and my morning does not have to turn to total chaos and tumult the moment I exit the prayer closet. One verse that has really helped me stay focused on the way God intends for my life to run is 1 Corinthians 14:40: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” This verse is speaking about the daily operations of the Church, but it so clearly applies to our daily lives as well. “All things” means just that - every single thing in my life should be done with organization, cleanliness, and calm. There are no exceptions; no situations in which it would be okay to be sloppy, harried, or rushed. It does not mean that things can’t be done quickly or efficiently, but

I steal away for a few precious hours with my King.

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the attitude behind “all things” should be one of tranquility and utmost decorum. To maintain this attitude of composure throughout our daily routines, we must first and foremost take it to the Lord in prayer. When God started nudging me on this issue and opening my eyes to His pattern of purity and planning, I asked Him to show me specific things that He wanted to restructure. He gently pointed out pockets of time I was wasting in the morning and how I could better use the moments I did have in a more effective way. Jesus cares about these little details of our lives even more than we do. He delights to reveal the way we ought to go and refine us to more clearly reflect His beauty and perfect rest.

He delights to reveal the way we ought to go. While bringing the peace of God into our moment-by-moment existence begins in prayer, it is very practical as well. We are the ones who must actually make the decision to live “decently and in order.” One of the things I have found vital to creating and maintaining a peaceful morning is to set a routine and stick to it. Obviously,

unforeseen things will arise from time to time, and we must be adaptable to them without becoming ruffled or stressed when our schedule gets rearranged. But for the average day, I have a detailed routine and it very rarely alters. Everything from when I will have prayer time and Bible study to when I will get myself ready and eat breakfast is planned out. This consistency creates a seam-less flow to my morning. I know

exactly what it coming next and have allotted the time needed for each task so I know I will not end up rushing around at the last minute. My room-mate and I got together on this point as well. Coordinating our schedules for shower time, eating breakfast, and getting ready has really helped to virtually eliminate any wasted moments in the morning. Spending time now to save time later is another helpful trick to keep the morning running smoothly. By ironing my clothes either right when they come out of the dryer or the night before I want to wear them, I do not go to my closet only to discover that the top I planned to wear is a wrinkled mess and the shoes to match are nowhere to be found.

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reflecting 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.


For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...” I Cor. 14:33

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Also, I purpose to put things where they belong so I know where to find them. Things such as my handbag, keys, glasses, and shoes all have a place and that is where they are always put. It may be easier to just toss my keys on the table or kick my shoes off haphazardly when I come in at night, but these kinds of habits make it all too easy for these items to get lost in the shuffle. The frenzied search that inevitably results from such a situation is easily avoidable simply by creating a place for everything and being faithful to return it to its place after each use. The time wasted in tracking down that other shoe or ironing that crazy wrinkled blouse are moments that could be spent in prayer or investing in the life of someone

fifteen or so minutes in the shower every morning is to decide what I am going to wear. This enables me to quickly get my outfit together and avoid staring blankly into my closet for five minutes. As I apply my make-up or get my bag ready, I think through through what I would like for breakfast or I remind myself of what is on my agenda for the day. There are certain situations in the morning when it is absolutely vital for me to be completely focused such as my time with Jesus, studying the Word, or when I am speaking with others. And I am able to give my full attention to those interactions because all of my other moments are used in an efficient and appropriate way.

What does a morning governed by the Author of Peace really look like? else. And frantically tearing the house apart to find a misplaced item doesn’t exactly reflect the dignity and radiant confidence we ought to possess as daughters of the King. We can bring Him glory even in these seemingly meaningless and simple details of life, but only by being purposeful in creating a calm and orderly environment. As I read, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...” (1 Cor. 14:33 KJV) I prayerfully asked Him to teach me what a morning governed by the Author of Peace really looked like. God patiently and lovingly opened my eyes to specific moments in the morning that I wasn’t necessarily wasting, but certainly was not using as effectively as I could. I have found that a great use for my

God’s design for His daughters is to be constantly reflecting Him - His peace, His order, His beauty - in every single circumstance. By making the most of every moment, it is possible to maintain an u n r u f fl e d a t t i t u d e a n d s t e a d y c a l m throughout the morning when the rest of the world is rushed, scattered, and frazzled. All it takes is some simple planning and a few organizational tools to have your entire morning bear the serene likeness of the glorious hours spent in the secret place. The sense of perfect peace and soft tranquility does not have to end, but with a little effort and much prayer it truly can become the beautiful reality of every moment of the day.*

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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

in hot weather

By Leslie Ludy

and the setapartgirl team The other day in the grocery store, my eye caught a heading on the cover of a popular women’s magazine. It was claiming to have an article revealing all the secrets needed to look your best during the “nearly-naked season” - summer. The world uses summer as an excuse to strip down to the bare essentials and become as sexy and sultry as possible. But a girl who dresses with modest, feminine, dignified style sends the message that she values those around her and wants to reflect the beauty of Christ in

her appearance, not the empty allure of this world. While it’s tempting to succumb to both the cultural pressure and the heat and let down our modesty guard during this time of year, there are plenty of ways to keep cool, look beautiful, and protect your feminine mystery in summertime! I’ve asked several girls on our Set Apart Team to share some practical ways they put this principle into action during the summer months. Here are some of their great insights:

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AMELIA wears: Lighter-weight fabrics, in lighter colors and looser styles (as long as things fit well and don’t allow for gaping). Also, I wear my hair up and off of my neck. Loose fitting capris or long shorts have come back into style recently - yay! I like to wear loose-fitting lightweight skirts that fall to my knees - they allow for airflow and the cut adds a fun and feminine feel!

MANDY wears: Some of my favorite summertime outfits consist of partnering a fun and flowy tank with a lightweight sweater or shrug. It gives modern class with modest charm. Lightweight, comfortable, and versatile, tea-length skirts are my favored feminine pick!

LAUREN wears: A light tee layered under a tank, thinner, lightweight cardigans over casual or dressy tanks and sleeveless shirts, and flowy, loose-fitting “peasant-style” tops are my favorites.

MARLENE wears: I like to dress in long, flowy skirts with sandals and a casual top. I also like to pair a lightweight scarf over a casual top, and often pin up my hair with a pretty flower clip.

A Note from the Team: It’s not our aim to be “trendy,” and in fact, the set apart girl does not allow herself to be ruled by the trends of our culture. It’s a matter of working with what’s available in the stores (modest fashions are terribly hard to find!) and working them with these practical layering ideas to transform current styles into ones of dignity, beauty, and a heavenly guard over a young woman’s body and appearance.

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TESSA wears: COOL OPTIONS I love to wear skirts in the summer, but on days when I’d rather not wear a skirt I’ve found that a looser fitting pair of wide-leg style jeans is a good alternative. I like to add a pair of nice sandals or ballet flats and a more feminine top to dress up the jeans. JEANS If I’m wearing a pair of jeans that are a more straight-leg style (straight, but not the tight-fitting “skinny jeans”), I like to roll up the hem to make them look like cuffed capris. To dress things up, I like to wear a pair of heels or wedges (on the lower side), along with a more dressy and feminine top. T-SHIRTS Sometimes it’s nice to just wear a plain, solid-colored t-shirt when the weather is so hot. But a lot of plain t-shirts can be a little too form-fitting to wear by themselves. I have a lightweight elbow-sleeved cardigan that I like to put over a plain tee. Not only is it more modest, but it also dresses things up a little. The lightweight material also keeps the extra layer from being too hot. TANK TOP LAYERING In the summer, stores carry a lot of tank tops and spaghetti strap style shirts with feminine ruffles and prints. One way I like to wear these in a modest way is to put them over top a more form-fitting, solid color t-shirt. However, to keep it modest, it’s best to choose tanks that are not too low (even with a t-shirt underneath, it can draw attention to the wrong area); also, I try to be cautious of tank tops made with too much lace and ruffles, as they sometimes end up looking more like lingerie.

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AMY wears: LIGHTER & BRIGHTER In exchange for my winter darks, I choose lighter, brighter colors when warmer weather hits. Lighter tones are cooler when out in the sun and they are fresh and cheerful - a perfect compliment to the sunny weather of summer. FABRIC CHOICE A great way to stay cool in summer heat is to wear a lightweight chiffon top over a camisole. These more delicate types of tops are feminine and classy, while still being breezy, soft, and comfortable when the temperatures start to climb. SKIRTS A cotton knee length skirt is comfortable and cool in hot weather, yet it maintains a look of gracefulness and femininity. Modest shorts are nice for swimming or yard work, but for every day a skirt is my first choice. I feel more like a lady in a skirt than I do in shorts, and thusly I am more inclined to carry myself and behave in a ladylike manner.

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ANNIE wears:

A DRESSING ROOM STORY Just the other day while I was shopping, I came out of my dressing room with a short dress layered over my jeans. Standing in front of me was a young woman wearing the exact same dress, but worn alone. She stopped and after looking at my ensemble said, “Are you going to wear it like that - over jeans?” “Yes, or with some cropped pants and heels to dress it up.” I said with a smile. “I had never thought of that, but I would be so much more comfortable wearing it like that than just as a dress,” she said, pulling at her short hem. “I mean, wearing it like this, by itself, I couldn’t even sit down without bearing everything!” And pointing to my modest choice said, “I like that!” She didn’t look at my layered combination as prudish, but rather a flattering, stylish, and safe way to wear the dress she liked.

SUMMER DRESSES I love long summer dresses, but these days it seems that they are taking fabric off of the top to add length at the bottom. So I like to pair a cropped short-sleeved cardigan over these dresses with a layer tank, or pair it with a nice fitted t-shirt. Another trend in stores is the short, short dress. Alone, they are completely out of the question for me, but by adding cropped pants underneath (not leggings) I feel both feminine and comfortable on hot summer days. And there is such a variety out there that I can mix and match them, making several outfits. ACCESSORIES I love classic floppy hats - they can be so practical in shielding me from the hot sun, but they also add a Grace Kelly elegance even if they’re topping off just a simple pair of cropped jeans and t-shirt. FLOWY, FEMININE TOPS Most of the summer tops in stores have barelythere straps and are either too low or far too “gaping.” I love feminine detail, so I’ve found that with creative and light layering you can have a lovely look that has this detail and personality, while still being modest and cool. I’ve chosen to invest in several quality layering tanks (the ones that fit you perfectly!) and a few light cardigans (in basic colors). That way nearly any dress, tank, or blouse can be directed away from immodesty and towards the dignity of ladylike dressing. *

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Let There Be Light Photography

take it deeper

Order Now!

The Lost Art of True Beauty 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 popsingers, 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:

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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 become 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."


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E: N O T R A P

MOTHERING WITH DIGNITY

Creating a Beautiful Environment By Leslie Ludy Photos by GIVENPHOTOGRAPHY 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 Ellersli


When Eric & I

were first married, we visited the home of a Christian family with many young children. The father picked us up from our speaking event in their mini-van. We slid into the backseat, our feet crunching on chips and cracker bits that were strewn all over the car floor. I had to move several crumpled McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes off the seat in order to make room for both of us. As I buckled the seat-belt, a sticky jam-like substance transferred onto my hand. Eric reached behind him and pulled out a small plastic robot that had been jabbing him in the back. Toys and crayons littered every spare inch of the van. The father, a local pastor, smiled apologetically. “Sorry about the mess,” he said, “but we have five kids. You’ll understand when you have a family. It’s impossible to keep anything clean. We never even bother to pick up this van anymore; it just gets trashed again the next day!” When we arrived at the family home, it was more of the same scenario. Dolls, trucks, games and books were scattered over every square inch of the living room. We had to watch our step at every moment in order to avoid crushing toys beneath our feet. The five young children ran wildly about the house, yelling, shrieking, and laughing. The kitchen was a mess, with dishes, cookbooks, and junk mail cluttering the countertops. The bathroom looked like it had not been cleaned in several months. All throughout dinner, the couple told us about their strong conviction that the primary way Christians could evangelize the world was by having a large family and

homeschooling their children. But I kept wondering what kind of testimony the outside world would see in their lives with such chaos and disorder surrounding their environment. The mother attempted to give me some advice to tuck away for the future. “Having children changes your life, honey,” she informed me. “You have to get used to your house always being in disarray. That’s just the way it is with kids. But God gives you grace for it when you are obedient to Him in becoming a mom.” Though the couple did their best to “sell us” on the idea of having a large family, I walked away from that experience less excited to have children than ever before. I’d always wanted to be a mother. But early in my marriage, I met one frazzled, harried mom after the next who told me that a chaotic lifestyle and disorderly home environment was to be expected, and gladly accepted, once I started having kids.

What kind of testimony would the outside world see in such chaos & disorder?

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When I mentioned to one young mom that I liked to sweep my kitchen floor daily, she chuckled sarcastically and remarked, “Just wait til you start having kids. They’ll cure you of that idea really fast!” When I showed up to dinner engagements dressed nicely, I would often be looked over warily by disheveled mothers and then told, “You better enjoy these days when you have time to actually look nice. Because once you have children, you will barely have time to brush your teeth, let alone put on make-up or iron your clothes!” So my enthusiasm for having a family began to wane. Was it really true that children removed all dignity, order, and cleanliness from a woman’s life and surroundings? I’d grown up with a mom who kept a beautiful, clean, orderly home. But our family only had three children, and we weren’t always home-schooled. Maybe having a larger family and choosing to home-school always led to messes and chaos, as these women kept insisting. I wasn’t really sure what to think, but the more examples of frazzled motherhood and messy homes I observed, the more hesitant I became toward having lots of kids and teaching them at home. A few years later, my perspective changed dramatically. I read a powerful book that chronicled the lives of many great Christian women from history past. And I saw what is possible when a woman fully yields every aspect of her home, family, and motherhood to Jesus Christ. I learned about amazing women like Elizabeth Fry, Catherine Booth, and Sarah Edwards – women who had large families and world-changing ministries – and managed both with

They showed Biblical motherhood without being harried and frazzled. They managed with incredible grace, excellence, & dignity.

incredible grace, excellence, and dignity. Their homes were clean and well-ordered. They were feminine and well-dressed. They made an eternal impact on the world around them for the glory of God. They showcased Biblical motherhood without being harried and frazzled in the process. Their children and husbands “rose up and called them blessed,” as it says in Proverbs 31. Seeing these women’s lives expanded my vision. It brought dignity back to the idea of mothering. I began to allow God’s pattern, rather than the experience of so many worn-out moms, to shape my perspective when it came to having children and managing a home. As I studied Scripture and Christian history, I gained a

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DIGNITY EXCELLENCE GRACE

clear, exciting picture of what my home and family life could be. Now, Eric and I have four young children and we teach them at home. Yes, I have had many moments of chaos, and I have experienced the overwhelming challenge of trying to keep order in a home with so many little hands working overtime to mess things up. But, by the grace of God, our home environment is not the constant disaster that those moms prophesied it would be. I am not the haggard, frazzled mother that I always feared becoming. As I’ve detailed in other motherhood articles, things are not always

picture-perfect in the Ludy house. And yet, as we’ve put a high value on beauty, order, dignity, and peace, God has backed us up. And thankfully, I’ve found that it IS possible to raise young kids and have an orderly, peaceful home environment at the same time!

just for fun

Just for fun, I wanted to share with you some little ways I’ve been putting these principles into action in my children’s play and learning environments.

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from an Oriental Trading catalog next to Hudson’s. I can understand why many moms throw up their hands and resign themselves to the notion that kids bedrooms are destined to be a display of I’ve found that it can be a real haphazard tackiness. Here’s how I’ve tried challenge to make a small child’s bedroom a to tackle this challenge: place of beauty and order. Most affordable kids furniture is characterized by cheap plastic, obnoxiously bright colors, and tacky images of Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob. Add to that the frustrating fact that kids are always toting around random items and leaving them on the bedroom floor. It’s not uncommon for me to find a squishy toy lizard, an old paintbrush, and the lid to a Tupperware container lying next to Harper’s bed, or a bunch of ripped-out pages

Kids’ Bedrooms

In Harper & Avy’s room,

it was my goal to create a soothing, peaceful, feminine retreat - a place where they could learn to be little ladies. I chose soft, fresh colors for the bedding and décor – with a few splashes of bold pink – trying to capture both girl’s unique personalities: Avy’s energetic spunkiness and Harper’s delicate grace. Wooden nameletters and special photos hang over

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each girl’s bed, making that corner of the room especially “hers.” I found some fun, inexpensive paper butterflies and pretty silk flowers to adorn the walls. My mom helped me paint a second-hand child’s table white with sweet pink embellishments, and a single silk rose adorns the tabletop. (This is where Avy and Harper like to sit and read books or pretend to have tea.) Toys and little extras are kept in labeled bins inside the girls’ walk-in closet. Every morning, we work with Avy and Harper to help them make their beds, put away their dirty clothes, and find a hiding place for all their cluttery little “treasures.” 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 Boys’ Room was trickier. It is a fairly small space that used to be our laundry room, and it does not have any kind of closet at all. We chose espresso colored bunk beds to save space and add a sparkle of fun adventure (what little boy doesn’t love a bunk bed?). We purchased an inexpensive red entertainment center and turned it into a freestanding “closet” to hide clothes and various other little boy clutter. I found a worldtraveler-style trunk to place at the foot of the lower bunk bed – and this has become a great place to stash extra toys, stuffed animals, and knick-knacks collected by our two little explorers. In the past, I’ve decorated the boy’s rooms with themes of trucks, cars, or

animals, but this time I wanted to do something a little more meaningful. Our vision for our boys is that they would become God’s little heroes, marked by

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courage, bravery and tenacity. We wanted to constantly remind them of these virtues each time they entered their special “boy room.” So Eric helped me find prints online by NC Wyeth – prints that portray the daring exploits of the knights of the round table and the bravery of William Wallace. We framed and hung these on the wall, along with wooden letters that declare words such as “Hero” “Courage” and “Brave.” A few swords and shields embellish the walls and underscore the “Little Hero” theme. Rich reds and chocolate browns add a masculine dignity to the room. Hudson says it’s his favorite room in the house. I’ve found that clean, beautiful, welldecorated kids bedrooms can greatly help make bedtime, nap time, and quiet playtime far more enjoyable for parents and children alike!

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The Classroom Having a designated “school room” is something that greatly dignifies the process of teaching your children at home. One homeschool mom I know was tired of doing school with her kids at the kitchen table or the living room couch, and didn’t much like the idea of setting up a learning area in her dimly-lit basement. Learning was becoming more of a chore than a fun, exciting adventure. So she transformed her little-used formal dining room into a fresh, adorable, well-organized classroom, and now both she and her children look forward to school time every day. Last year, Eric and I did something similar when w e fi n i s h e d o u r a t t a c h e d g a r a g e , transforming it into a large classroom for our children. I love the fact that this room

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is spacious and well-lit. There are six huge windows surrounding the room, letting in an ample amount of sun and visions of God’s beautiful creation. There is plenty of room to dance and sing, to laugh and play. It’s right off the kitchen, so I can get housework done and monitor the children’s activities at the same time. This is my most challenging room in the house to keep clean, because the kids use it all day, every day. We paint, cut, color, glue, and do play dough in this room so it doesn’t always stay immaculate. But with a little focus and effort, and many carefully labeled bins and baskets, we’ve more or less found a place for everything. To hide some ugly electric boxes on one wall, I covered inexpensive canvas with cute material and created an “art display” wall for

WITH A LITTLE FOCUS & EFFORT my children’s daily masterpieces. To cut down on craft-supply clutter, I filled two white bookshelves with coordinating baskets and storage bins, each one with a chalk-board label announcing its contents. I found two desks with “character” at a thrift-store for about $10 each, painted them white and switched out the hardware for fun

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new knobs. I re-purposed an un-used table from our basement as my “teachers” desk, where I store all my planning books and resources. Having a fun, cute, well-ordered classroom has completely transformed the concept of “homeschooling” and made teaching our children at home a dignified, enjoyable experience!

The Playpen Every day, our two toddlers have “playpen time,” where they learn how to stay in one designated area and play with specific toys. Up until a few months ago, the playpen was in the darkest corner of our basement – a big plastic play-yard with bins

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of toys dumped on the floor for them to play with each morning. I decided it was time to add a bit more dignity and order to “playpen time.” I didn’t want to move their playpen upstairs to the main level of our house, because there was not a good location for it and I didn’t want the tacky play-yard cluttering up our living space. But I repurposed a well-lit corner of our basement, and determined to make it the nicest “playpen” area possible. I asked Eric to paint our ugly grey window well cover white. I hung a green vine over the fire escape ladder to make it look less like a dingy window well. We painted the walls a fresh ocean blue and found some coordinating curtains at Target. I hung some fun wooden animals and letters to give the area a kid-friendly feel. We used the built-in cabinetry for toy storage – to keep toy clutter off the floor and out of sight. We set up a child’s table and chairs, a little reading corner with a bookshelf, and a train-table for them to whisk their cars and trucks back and forth. We put a soft rug over the laminate floor. Now, our little ones always enjoy playpen time. The tables, reading area, and decorations give them far more dignity than simply feeling “penned in” with a bunch of toys dumped on the floor, and the light and fresh air makes it a healthy, edifying part of their day! *

When we purpose to honor His pattern, He shows us that “all things are possible” when He is at the center of our families!

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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."


GIVENPHOTOGRAPHY

Avonlea Rose

turns

2!

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."


She has decided that her favorite color is pink. Whenever I give her a sippy cup of any other color, she yells out in great distress, “Mama - I need pink!” 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."


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."


hide &

seek When she can’t get something to work she yells out, “Mama - I can’t see!” She loves to climb, climb, and climb. She hangs on the monkey bars, ten feet in the air, her feet swinging and dangling, and she doesn’t want me to touch her. “No Mama - do self!” she proclaims, as she plummets down and I catch her just before she hits the ground. When we went for a hike around Lily Lake, she decided she was big enough to walk the trail instead of being carried. She furrowed her brow with determination and swung her elbows back and forth in a sort of “power walk,” her curls flying behind her. This brought chuckles from everyone who passed her but she made it around the entire lake! 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."

GIVENPHOTOGRAPHY


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."


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."


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."


GIVENPHOTOGRAPHY

A merry heart does good, like medicine. Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

Proverbs 17:22

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peek-a-boo

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GIVENPHOTOGRAPHY


GIVENPHOTOGRAPHY

the

kiddo spot e t custuff

the ludy kids are “saying & doing”

AVONLEA, age 2 She loves me to read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Everytime the story gets to the line, “Do you like green eggs and ham?” she yells out, “YES!” with great enthusiasm. Though to my knowledge she has never actually tried green eggs and ham. The other day at the pool she was jumping off the side and into the water with a big splash - I was there to catch her, much to her consternation.

After a few

jumps, she decided to try diving, so she plunged into the pool head first and giggling all the way. I’ve never seen such a fearless kid!

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."


HUDSON, age 6 Hudson is learning to ride his bike without training wheels!

He made

homemade ice cream for the first time and has studied up on several new flavors he wants to try.

And he’s planning to turn our backyard

into an amusement park soon that will be open to the public.

The

price, he informed me, will be $5.99 per child and free for adults. Sounds like a pretty good deal.

HARPER, age 4 Harper has set her mind on playing the violin. She saw a giraffe playing a violin in a book and decided that she wants to do that too. She has convinced me that she will work very hard and practice every day. She’s completely unaware that her lack of fingers would have an impact on her ability to play violin, which I think is beautiful. Also, she saw me making fudge and asked if it was called “shrub.” Even after I told her it was called “fudge” she asked me a few minutes later if she could have some “shrub.”

KIPLING, age 2.5 Kip is very hard to understand though he always uses inflection and gestures when he’s talking and it’s clear he feels very strongly about whatever he’s saying.

The odd thing is, Harper always seems to

understand him and they have all sorts of little conversations – we can only understand her side of it. Usually it’s about animals going in the water. 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."


Leslie’s Blog!

& Marriage mamahood

Moments from my life.

MOTHERHOOD: Watching Over the Way of My Home When you spend countless hours conversing with preschoolers and toddlers, it’s easy to feel a little brain-dead by the end of the day. My conversations with my children are usually about animal noises (Mama, what does a camel say? Um, I’m not exactly sure, Dubber...uh, let’s talk about what a cow says!) reminders not to throw their food on the floor (Eat your eggs, Avy, and don’t throw them at your brother!) and discussions on the basics of proper social behavior (We don’t hit others in the head with our squishy lizard, Harper.). In other words, it’s pretty basic stuff. It can be kind of mind-numbing at times. Of course, when it’s your own children, there is a delight in training them, even in the small and seemingly mundane areas. But all the same, I often find myself wanting to “escape” at various moments throughout the day - just to tune out the squawks, screams, and childish chatter all around me and pay attention to something else for a little while - something more intellectually stimulating... CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST

go online to subscribe to Leslie’s blog 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."


A Semester at Ellerslie wi! E"c and Leslie Ludy JOIN US IN COLORADO!

A MESSAGE FROM ERIC & LESLIE: 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

upcoming sessions:

2011 FALL:

October 8 - December 11

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

2012 Winter/Spring: February 11 - April 15

2012 Summer:

personally invest into your spiritual life through this program!

June 16 - August 19

a$ly at:

www.ellerslie.com

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.


OUR

STAFF &

INTERNS’

RECOMMENDED

GOOD

READS.


Leslie recommends: PROPHET

by Frank Peretti

I read this amazing book back in high school and just recently picked it up again (actually I've been listening to the audio version which is very well done).  This is a very gripping, engaging novel, and it paints such an accurate picture of the deception happening in our culture through the media, political world, and abortion industry.   It takes you on a powerful journey through one self-focused man's awakening to the true Gospel.  I normally do not recommend modern Christian fiction but this book is a rare exception!

Tessa recommends:

C.T. STUDD: CRICKETER AND PIONEER by Norman Grubb

This is probably my very favorite missionary biography! I was incredibly challenged by the radical and single-hearted life of C.T. Studd as he poured himself out for the lost of China, India, and Africa. He was a man on fire, passionately in love with Jesus Christ and as a result he was glad and willing to forgo earthly comforts and pleasures in order to give himself fully to the work God had given him. Though he faced great physical challenges and was misunderstood by people he loved, he charged forward with zealous audacity and unwavering faith until the day he died. As I read the fervent letters Studd wrote to his family and friends, I was stirred with a deep desire to "go to the extreme" in loving, believing, and serving my God. Truly, his story will challenge you to remember and live by, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."

Mandy recommends: THE LIE: EVOLUTION by Ken Ham

Unabashed boldness.  Firm foundation.  Timeless truth.  Ken Ham drives a sturdy argument for Creationism based on the infallibility of the Word of God.  This book’s riveting content can be simmered down into a simple question that pokes at the foundation of our belief: “Where do you put your faith — in the words of men who are fallible creatures who do not know everything, who were not there — or the Words of God who is perfect, who knows everything, and who was there?”   As we behold a glimmer of our God’s glory and majesty through creation, might He dawn within us a fresh and sweet fascination with HIM!


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“God has made us for Himself, and our hearts can never know rest and perfect satisfaction until they find it in Him.” - Hannah Hurnard

inthenextissue Time Wasters: Overcoming Fear - Part Two Practical steps to freedom and victory How to Find a Warrior Poet The surprising secret to discovering true love The Excellence Test: Exploring God’s Pattern for Diligence The Art of Creative Hospitality Creating a welcoming environment no matter where you live

Soli Deo Gloria


July/August 2011 setapartgirl ISSUE