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setapartgirl

LE SLI E L UDY’ S

?

MAGAZINE

Noble Beauty

BLOGGING in a Christhonoring way p.8

the power of forgiveness

p.32

loving your husband even now

a warrior-poet shares his thoughts p.67

Spring Cleaning

refocusing your life spiritually and practically p.75

MEET CARRIE

sister of the common life p. 90 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.

MAR / A P R 201 2


letter from leslie ludy BESTSELLING AUTHOR FOUNDER, setapartgirl

Well, it’s official. Spring – my favorite time of year – is actually on the horizon. Even when the weather is less than pristine, I always feel a certain kind of freshness this time of year, as the budding flowers and trees are offering a “clean start” with their arrival. Back when I was in middle school, we used to have a day right after spring break when we could clean out our notebooks, backpacks, and lockers for a fresh and organized launch into the second half of the academic year. I always loved the buoyant feeling that came along with getting rid of the old and making room for the new. And still to this day, I look at spring as a great time to refocus and re-prioritize around what matters most to God. Song of Solomon 2:11-12a says, “For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines…’” This issue has some great articles and inspiration to help you “prune the vines” in your own life. Whether some not-so-edifying pastimes have entered into your life, your spiritual walk has grown dull, or you simply need to clear away clutter in order to make room for what’s really important, this is the perfect time of year to renew and rebuild both spiritually and practically. I pray that you will be revived and refreshed by the words of encouragement and exhortation you read in the following pages, and that you will join with me in celebrating the arrival of springtime freshness!

Leslie Copyright 2012 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 wesche CREATIVE DIRECTOR, setapartgirl

Early on in my journey as a designer, I struggled with the private insecurity that I didn’t have what a “real” designer should possess. I had no college degree, no formal training, and very little experience. On the few occasions I had to speak with publishing houses, I found myself trembling and looking only at what I didn’t have. But through that season, and still to this very day, the Lord has humbled me, teaching me that whether I am educated and equipped or not,

Let There Be Light Photography

I need Him. He is the only One who can live the life He calls me to. Dependency is a theme for the believer that should be learned and acknowledged every single day, but it is admittedly not always an easy one. It leads us to continually die to self’s comfort, defying what is normal and popular in this world, and setting our sights upon believing and obeying the Word of God. And in this place, God alone receives the glory. We’re thrilled to present a brand new issue for you to dive into, and with it comes our prayer that you will be pressed in countless ways toward the Cross of Christ, and led to see more of His beautiful promises to you! Whatever you are called to today teaching your siblings, finishing a college paper, interviewing for a new job, raising your little ones, speaking before masses, discipling a young woman, or taking your first steps as a Gospel-bearer in this world - may dependency become a joy as you are drawn closer to the true, unfailing, dependable One! His and yours,

annie

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“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”   - C.T. Studd

about leslie

FOUNDER, setapartgirl

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. Copyright 2012 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

PLAYLIST

NOTE TO OUR READERS: We realize that everyone has different tastes and preferences when it comes to music. Our goal in offering this list is not to endorse or condemn any specific music style; these are merely personal song suggestions from different members of our setapartgirl team. We hope you’ll use the songs that mesh with your personal taste and convictions in music style, and that you will feel free to ignore any that don’t.

songs we love.

Leslie’s PICK:

Faithful One by Selah makes me cry. It causes a hundred images to float through my mind of the many times God has come through for me, answered my prayers, comforted my spirit, brought hope and encouragement, created beauty, and won victories in my life. This lovely song ushers me into an edifying meditation of the perfect faithfulness of our God! LAUREN: Esperame by Jesus Adrian Romero MANDY: Make My Life a Prayer to You by Keith Green AMELIA: O Great God by Sovereign Grace Music TESSA: Worthy of Affection by Shane and Shane MADISON: Highest Praise by Kathleen Carnali MARLENE: I Have a Shelter by Sovereign Grace Music AMY: My Hope is in You by Aaron Shust ANNIE: Soon (Live) by Hillsong United

GET THE FULL LL U F E PLAYLIST ON H ON GETTITUNES! T S I YLTO PING PLAIN LOG S. & E N U IT ! SEARCH FOR E R E H LICK C“setapartgirl playlist”

Copyright 2012 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.


inthisissue set apart femininity

Explore God’s Sacred Intent for Your Life

8 | Top 10 Time Wasters, Part 9 - Unhealthy Blogging 22 | Prayerfully Planned and Deliberately Devoted

set apart walk

Cultivate Your Daily Romance with Christ

32 | Noble Beauty, The Power of Forgiveness 42 | The Unconditional Hallelujah 52 | Hearing the Shepherd

set apart relationships

Honoring God in Love and Romance

67 | Doing Your Husband Good Even Now

set apart style

Showcasing the Radiance of Christ

75 | Spring Cleaning for Your Life

set apart motherhood

Discover God’s Heart for Home and Family

102 | Prayerful Mothering 130 | Kiddo Spot

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New King James Version.

11 4

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


8 32

75 7 6

102

42 ineveryissue 5

setapartgirl playlist

50

Staff Book Recommendations

58

Q & A (with a set-apart girl)

90

Sister of the Common Life

112

Leslie’s Blog

114

Photo Spread

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10

TOP TIME WASTERS

Part 9 By Leslie Ludy

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unhealthy blogging... Copyright 2012 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.


W

hen I was seven, I made my own diary using wrapping paper, cardboard, a hole punch, and string. I think it was a summer camp arts-and-crafts activity. I was excited about my new masterpiece and couldn’t wait to start writing in it. A few days later, with a red crayon, I scrawled my first spellingchallenged entry: “Today I got to go to the zoo. We fed the jirafs and a cloun painted my fase. Then we came home and ate makirony and cheez. It was the best day of my lif.”

eleven, I had a collection of at least five different diaries, all of them filled with the vast inner musings of little Leslie, and all of them extremely private. I would not allow another soul to come near any of my diaries. This rule was quite strictly enforced upon my two younger brothers, who posed a constant threat to my “diary code of honor.” Statements such as “Keep Out!” and “Private – Do Not Read!” were scrawled on the front cover of every diary I kept, along with a few menacing frowny faces to ward off any For the next year or so, I continued to curious little meddler who might record many exciting entries in my stumble upon it. prized diary – details about my pink and purple birthday party, my newly- Even in elementary school, it was my constructed “live worm farm” in the firm belief that the content of any diary backyard, and my quest to become a was supposed to be a secret. In fact, champion roller skater by the time I that was part of what made keeping a turned ten. (Sadly, this lofty ambition diary so special. After all, if my inner was never achieved.) Soon, I graduated from my homemade diary to a real one – complete with a fancy lock and key – which I kept in a hidden location under the far corner of my bed. As I grew older, I began to write about deeper things – my feelings, hopes, struggles, and dreams. By the time I was

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...if my inner ponderings were displayed to the world, I would have nothing special or sacred left to guard and protect.

ponderings were displayed to the world, I would have nothing special or sacred left to guard and protect. Everyone would know everything about me – and where was the fun in that?

*** Back in the day, it used to be perfectly normal to keep a diary (and all of its contents) a secret. But now we live in different times. The era of the private diary has all but faded. In its place has emerged something new and infinitely more powerful – the blog. Modern blogging provides an opportunity to get all of your feelings “out in the open” while impressing people with your unique and artistic philosophy skills at the same time. A blog is basically a diary - with an audience. All of the “Keep Out!” and “Private – Do Not Read!” signs have been

removed. The lock has been broken off. Instead of keeping our personal ponderings and feelings private, modern blogging encourages us to publish them; to creatively market our unique thoughts and ideas in order to gain a following. Sure, there are many cooking blogs, knitting blogs, and auto-mechanic blogs (wow, that sounds really tedious!) that probably don’t fall into this category. In practical blogs such as these, useful information is being shared rather than emotion or personal philosophizing. And there are some edifying spiritual blogs published by Christian leaders used to exhort their readers with God’s Truth. But that’s not how most modern young women use blogging. For all too many young women, blogging is an unhealthy publicizing of thoughts and feelings that should be kept private, a distraction from the things of God’s kingdom, and a careless waste of precious time. One of my favorite Scriptures is Luke 2:19, when Mary the mother of Jesus “kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Mary had

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witnessed amazing miracles; she had encountered an angel, she had prophesied, and she had given birth to the Christ-child. She had personally participated in God’s plan for the rescue of lost humanity. If anyone had a reason to publicize her thoughts, observations, and experiences, it was Mary. And yet, she chose instead to keep them and ponder them in her own heart. From my first diary at the age of seven to my current journal, I have thousands of pages that capture my thoughts, dreams, fears, struggles, and prayers throughout the years of my life. And still to this day, nearly all of them are kept private – they are not for public consumption, but rather are for personal communion with Jesus Christ. In my books and articles, I often write about personal experiences or share snapshots of my personal spiritual journey for the purpose of exhorting my readers in their faith. My

...the deepest thoughts and ponderings of my heart are kept secret, away from the eyes of the world...

life is not a closed book. And yet, the deepest thoughts and ponderings of my heart are kept secret, away from the eyes of the world, and seen only by my Heavenly King (and sometimes my husband as well). In spirit, my “diary” still has a “Keep Out!” sign on the front cover. And I believe this is how it should be. As women, God tells us not to exude merely a physical beauty, but to allow our beauty to flow from the “hidden person” of the heart: “Do not let your adornment be merely outward arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:3-4) The phrase “hidden person of the heart” refers to the secret, intimate part of who we are; our emotions, musings, dreams, struggles, and ideas. When we fall into the habit of publicizing our intimate thoughts, we have no “hidden person of the heart” left to protect; nearly everything we think, hope, dream, fear, and feel is out there on display for the world to see. Granted, it can be more exciting to deposit our personal thoughts in a public forum rather than a private journal, especially when people leave

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s i e f i l y m t a no book. d e s o l c d yet... An

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us nice comments and our following grows with every blog post. But going public with our thoughts can all too quickly lead to unbiblical patterns in our lives, destroying the feminine mystery God intended us to preserve.

*** Unhealthy blogging can take a variety of different forms. I’d like to explore a few of the most common ones. Whether you are spending time reading other people’s blogs, writing your own blog, or both, these are the blogging trends to avoid at all costs.

1) “All About Me” Blogging

beautiful, etc. Of course, it’s not always as blatant as coming out and saying, “I am really a big deal. I hope you notice and appreciate how great I am.” Usually it’s a lot more subtle than that, like sharing all kinds of details about your personal tastes, quirks, pet peeves, and so on. Or mentioning specific ways in which your personality is so different and unique. Or spending paragraph after paragraph waxing eloquent about your own dreams and desires. It is entirely possible to have a blog that mentions Jesus over and over again still be completely about you. Many Christian bloggers think they are pointing their readers to Jesus Christ, when in reality they are only exalting themselves. Eric and I call it “spiritualized selfishness.” Ian Thomas explained this concept well when he said, “It is startling to discover that even God may be used as an excuse for worshipping yourself, demonstrating again the satanic genius for distorting truth and deceiving man – for it was to this temptation that Adam and Eve fell in the Garden!”

We live in a society that is constantly telling us how “special” and “important” we are. Even the modern Church has picked up the “love yourself, be true to yourself” mantra, so that even our so-called worship of God is laden with self-focus and selfglorification. The blogging world is no different. Young women often use their Sisters, let us not use our “Christian blog platform as an excuse to turn blogging platform” as an excuse for people’s eyes to themselves and what lifting up ourselves. The goal of any m a k e s t h e m s p e c i a l , d i ff e re n t , conversation, be it written or spoken, Copyright 2012 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.


should be to leave others with a clear view of Jesus Christ, and a blurry view of us. As John the Baptist said, “He m us t i nc re a se , b u t I m u st de crease” (John 3:30).

It is entirely possible to have a blog that mentions Jesus over and over again still be completely about you.

(Note: For more on this topic, I encourage you to listen to Eric‘s sermon titled Spiritualized Selfishness, your blog and start acting like the kind available here.) of man he knows you’ll fall for. The same is true in reverse. “Fishing 2) “Fishing for a Guy” Blogging for a Guy” blogging is a creative way to manipulate men’s hearts. Instead of As strange as it sounds, many young waiting on God, controlling their women actually guy-hunt and flirt emotions, and allowing God to script through their personal blogs – their love story in His perfect time, girls sometimes without even knowing it. often try to impress their guy readers When your blog becomes an outlet for by showing off their wit, sense of your emotions, a showcase for your humor, unique ideas, creative artistry, unique likes and dislikes, or a chance magnetic personality, and the list goes to voice your romantic dreams and on. When a girl writes a “what I want desires, it makes your heart an open in a guy” kind of blog post, it is like book for any guy to read whenever he standing up in front of a room filled wants. Not only does this destroy the with eligible young men and annatural mystery God gave you, but nouncing that she is actively hunting guys can also use the personal things for Prince Charming, that she is you share on your blog as a way to making her romantic dreams the prime manipulate your heart. Instead of focus of her life, and that she is really having to ask you questions, get to hoping a guy will show interest in her. know you, or study and observe your Not exactly the recipe for godly life over time, a guy can simply use all feminine mystique. the information you have shared on Copyright 2012 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.


empty discussion...of vain and useless matters

“...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account Copyright 2012 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   thereof...”

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If you want to write about the qualities you want in a guy or philosophize about the romantic dreams God has placed in your heart, then your private journal is the perfect place to do so. Let this be something sacred that you share with your King, the Author of all love and romance, and the Keeper of your heart – not something you share with every guy who happens to stumble upon your blog. Your future husband will surely appreciate your guardedness. And more importantly, you will be honoring your Heavenly Bridegroom with your discretion. (Note: For more on this topic, I encourage you to read Answering the Guy Questions, available here.)

3) “Blah, Blah, Blah” Blogging Second Timothy 2:16 says, “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (KJV). The term “vain babbling” here means, “empty discussion, discussion of vain and useless matters.” What a perfect description of the vast majority of modern blogs! Pointless ramblings, emotional philosophizing, chatter that really doesn’t have much

“Therefore let us pursue the things...by which one may edify another.” of a purpose other than to sound artistic and wax eloquent about nothing in particular – this is what is currently hip in the blogging community. But vain babbling is the opposite of godly communication. Romans 14:19 says, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” The word edify here means, “to build someone up in their faith, to promote another person’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, etc.” If we choose to blog, our primary goal should be to edify our readers; to build up their faith in Jesus Christ and encourage them spiritually through what we are sharing. In other words, if you don’t have something truly important, edifying, and Godhonoring to say, then don’t say it (or blog it) at all! Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, “…every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (KJV). May we weigh each word we say (and write) in light of eternity.

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4) “Fan Club” Blogging Popularity is much easier to achieve now than it was when I was younger, thanks to the global blogging community. It used to be that in order to become one of the “cool kids” you had to wear the right clothes, use the right slang, and strategically position yourself around the in-crowd. Now, if you simply know how to sit at your laptop and blog in a hip, trendy, artistic, or unique way, you can become popular, gain your own little fan club, and get your ego stroked by the many affirming comments that people leave on your blog site. “The fan club factor” is one of the most dangerous and addictive aspects of the blogging world. All too many young women who blog spend a huge amount of time and energy “competing” to gain more subscribers and see more comments posted on their blogs. They are addicted to the applause and approval of the outside world, and this is their leading motivation for blogging, despite often proclaiming that their blog is “all about Jesus.” But what does God say about those who desire to steal the glory that

...the applause and approval of the outside world is often our prime motivation for blogging... belongs to only Him? Let’s look at a brief snapshot from Scripture: “So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’ Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died” (Acts 12:21-23). Though Herod’s example is a bit extreme, we must examine ourselves according to the same standard by which he was judged. If being noticed, appreciated, and recognized is the motivation behind anything we do, we are headed down the wrong path, subtly stealing glory and seeking praise that belongs to our King alone. When you find yourself constantly checking to see how many new subscribers you have, always taking a

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peek at the comments people post, and feeling jealous toward other bloggers who have a bigger following than you do, it’s a sure sign that you are “Fan Club” blogging rather than doing it for the sole glory of Christ.

5) “Fake Preacher” Blogging One of the most dangerous things about the Internet is that it puts everyone on equal footing; veteran pastors of fifty years often have far less influence on the web than the many immature eighteen-year-olds who just happen to know how to blog well. The web world removes all personal, real-life interaction with people and only allows us to observe one small part of who they really are. As a result, we often have the tendency to judge someone’s credibility by how well they can put words together, rather than basing our judgment on their true character. People who have very little understanding of God’s Word can gain spiritual influence over others just because their blog sounds spiritually strong. I call this “Fake Preacher” blogging. In real life, these bloggers

may be self-focused, worldly, and spiritually weak, and yet in the blogging world they are looked up to as spiritual giants and Christ-like examples. In 1 Timothy 3, Paul gives very detailed and specific qualifications for teachers and leaders. He warns that those who train, lead, teach, and disciple should not be novices, but should be tested and proven before they are given influence over others (see 1 Tim. 3:6,10). We should never blindly take spiritual advice from people’s blogs simply because they can write well. Everything must be tested against the Word of God, not just by how artistic the words sound. When it comes to your own blogging, offering simple, Christ-like encouragement and godly edification is great, but steer clear of attempting to teach, train, and disciple others if you are not truly qualified to do so.

One of the most dangerous things about the Internet is that it puts everyone on equal footing...

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He is worthy of everything. James 3:1 says, “… let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” Teaching others about the things of God’s kingdom is something that must be done with fear and trembling, knowing that we must one day give account to our Creator for every word spoken (or written). The Truth we speak (or write) must first be tested, tried, and proven in our own lives before we are truly capable of teaching it to others effectively.

awaiting us in the blogging world, I encourage you to take this area of your life before God and allow Him (not the current trends) to shape your approach to both writing and reading blogs. Be willing to give it up for a season, or for a lifetime, if He so leads. Nothing is more important than your relationship with Jesus Christ, especially not a bunch of empty words floating around in cyberspace.

Truly, He is worthy of everything – even the “good” things in our lives must be laid at His feet. (And if you decide to exchange your blog for a diary, I can show you how to make Blogging, just like Facebook, movies, your very own out of wrapping paper or music, is not intrinsically evil in and cardboard!) itself. It can be used for the glory of God. Yet because of the many pitfalls

***

*

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Copyright 2012 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.


Prayerfully Planned & Deliberately Devoted Organizing a God-scripted Day with the Girls

By Tessa Hershberger and Amy Meyers

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THE TYPICAL PATTERN When you think of a girls' weekend, the things that normally come to mind are shopping together, heading to the spa, or having a chick flick marathon. While there is nothing sinful about getting a manicure and a fancy lunch out with a few of your best friends, it's difficult to cultivate an atmosphere wholly centered on Christ when you are surrounded by the distractions of the world. You may not spend the entire time steeped in compromise, but you are not constantly being pressed more and more into the depths of Jesus Christ. It is these times of "neutral" fellowship and entertainment that can easily dominate the time even set-apart young women spend with their like-minded sisters. However, this does not have to be the testimony of our fellowship, whether in a small or large group, if we choose to adopt a pattern that is completely other than this world. We hope these ideas encourage and inspire you, whether you are leading a small group of young women or planning a special day with your female friends.

A taste of something different Sitting under a giant oak tree on patchwork quilts, with the warm summer sun filtering through the branches, a group of seventy-five sisters in Christ enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch and rich fellowship. There was something about the heaven-scented atmosphere that invited a perfect peace and sacred calm to reign among the group while still fostering much pure-hearted laughter and enjoyment. It was a day to remember for the women students, staff, and interns of the Ellerslie Summer 2011 semester - the very first Ellerslie Girls' Weekend. From the start of this special event early that morning, the girls had Copyright 2012 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.


tasted something altogether different than any "day with the girls" they had experienced before. And at the end of the hours spent together, everyone left filled with greater love and adoration for their King, and a new hunger to seek Him with all of their hearts.

designed with intention While this beautifully set-apart time was scripted by God, it was also very purposefully thought out and planned by a band of prayerful young ladies with a vision for a truly edifying and Christ-centered weekend. The purpose was not to merely tack Christ on to the activities we wanted to do, but instead to build it around Him and His agenda. Every portion of the day was planned with the mind-set of, How can this particular time be used to bring glory to the name of Christ, unify the Ellerslie sisters, and fix their minds on heavenly things? Even our fellowship should not be about us, but about Him! When the time is completely focused on Christ, no one is left desiring the paltry entertainment of the world, because it cannot even compare to the richness of a heaven-scripted hour, day, or entire weekend. All anyone is left wanting is more of Him.

build it completely around

Him and His agenda

the specifics Prayer walk - The Ellerslie girls greeted the day with a bright and early sunrise walk on a nearby trail. Before leaving with hot cups of tea or coffee in hand, everyone drew a card printed with a verse and inspiring quote to meditate on during the first half of the walk. On the way back, they enjoyed a sweet time of Copyright 2012 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."


fellowship while getting to know one another better. Guided meditation - A few days before the weekend, two of the girls on the planning team put together a short study that each person could walk through during their individual quiet time that morning after the walk. It included a few verses and reflection questions on a specific topic to serve as a launch pad for deeper study. With everyone meditating on the same subject individually, the door was open for edifying corporate conversation about these truths throughout the rest of the day. Picnic lunch - There is something special about sharing a fun and delicious meal with like-minded sisters in Christ. Gathered on the lawn at a nearby park, the Ellerslie girls enjoyed a unique European-style lunch consisting of bread, cheese, olives, and grapes. There was plenty of time for fellowship and munching in the beginning, and then the girls were very blessed to hear one of the ladies from the setapartgirl team share her inspiring testimony of how God had brought her to the ministry. Prayer and encouraging note - After lunch, the girls drew names and spent an hour in prayer for that sister, and concluded their time by writing her

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a sweet note of encouragement and exhortation. They exchanged their notes at dinner that night. Dinner and an (edifying) movie - That evening, the girls were delighted to walk into one of the multi-purpose buildings to find it beautifully transformed by a dozen blankets spread out on the floor, a few strings of white lights, and whimsical decorations to complete the charmingly feminine look. After one of the Ellerslie staff shared stories from the mission field during dinner, the night ended with a showing of The Hiding Place (and chocolate fondue for dessert!).

a few more Tips and Ideas. • If you have a small group, plan to have a time when each girl can share a God-story from her life. It can be spur of the moment, just sharing whatever God brings to mind, or you can ask the girls to prepare something short in advance. If you have a larger group, ask a few girls, who you know have something valuable to share, to speak during a meal time. • When you are dealing with a larger group, it is likely that there will be a variety of physical situations. Be sensitive to the different needs, and plan

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accordingly so that each girl can participate. For example, in our group we had someone with food allergies, a deaf girl, girls with certain injuries, and others with specific physical limitations. Whatever the needs are in your group, take the time to do a few simple things that will allow everyone to feel more comfortable and included. • Don't feel like you must have an unlimited budget before you can create a meaningful and beautiful gathering. You might be surprised at what unique decorations you can find simply by looking around your house. When it comes to the food, focus on making it simple and special rather than frivolous and fussy. Remember, the weekend is not about having the perfect presentation, but drawing ever closer to the Perfect One. • Do not neglect to spend much time in prayer for the weekend. God knows better than we do what will make the weekend special for everyone and draw all eyes to Him. So, let Him define the menu. Let Him choose the decorations. Let Him write the guided meditation. Let Him script the conversation. And be fully expectant for Him to work in every heart! • An impacting time with the girls does not need to be an entire weekend long. Whether it be a Friday evening, an entire Saturday, or a Sunday afternoon, when the time is prayerfully planned it will be sufficient for God's work to be done in each girl present. • Keep the environment sacred by avoiding places that would compromise the atmosphere of purity and Christ-likeness, such as a noisy restaurant. Instead, enjoy fellowship in someone's home, your church, or out in God's beautiful creation. • This kind of an event can be enjoyed with more than your three best girlfriends. Consider bringing the idea to your pastor and hosting a day with all the girls in your youth group, college and career group, or Sunday school class. It could also be a great way to celebrate Mother's Day with the women in your church.

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Joining the Ranks “What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.” -Amy Carmichael History is filled with amazing examples of stunning set-apart women, wholly devoted to Jesus Christ. Their awe-inspiring examples of radiant femininity put modern young women (myself included!) to shame. Here are two of my favorites: Vibia Perpetua, one of the earliest Christian martyrs, was thrown into an arena among wild beasts and then killed with a gladiator's sword because of her faith in Christ. A beautiful young woman of high education and noble birth, she gladly gave up all worldly comforts and applause for the cause of Christ.... Click here to sign up and read the rest of this devotional.

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true

brand new from leslie ludy

TRUE FEMININITY STUDY SERIES

8-week DVD study series

for small groups or individuals -

[

with study guide included!

]

Today’s young women often seek fulfillment from guys, social status, and pop culture attractions.  But a young woman who is truly fulfilled, radiant, and beautiful is one who has made Jesus Christ her All in all, her First Love, and her True Prince.  Leslie Ludy's True Femininity study is a powerful and practical message that points young women to God's pattern for world-changing, Christ-focused feminine beauty. This 8-week study includes a 2-disc DVD set and accompanying study guide. This study is designed for small groups or individuals, and is appropriate for young women of all ages.

order now! Copyright 2012 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."


take it deeper

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N noble beauty The refreshing radiance of a forgiving woman

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 A couple of years before I was married, my brothers and I began visiting a local nursing home. I’ll never forget my very favorite resident there. Her name was Dolly. Dolly was eighty-seven years old, and she was beautiful. Nearly blind and in frail health, she was confined to the nursing home and spent most of her days sitting in a wheelchair, knitting scarves for her great-grandchildren or playing checkers with the nurses. Every week, my brothers

and I would knock on Dolly’s door and she would light up with a genuine smile. “It’s so wonderful to see you!” she would exclaim, and joyfully hold out her hands in welcome. T h o u g h D o l l y ’s b o d y w a s wasting away, her mind was sharp. She was funny and witty, and loved to be told good jokes or interesting trivia. Dolly enjoyed talking about God, and especially loved to hear my brothers and me sing worship songs. She was by far our

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her joy was contagious

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favorite occupant in the nursing home, and we lingered in her room longer than any other. Her joy was contagious. She had sparkling eyes, silky white hair, and rosy cheeks. It was clear that Dolly had lived a rich, full life, and that she did not have many, if any, regrets.

age, there was nothing left of her beauty. She was hardened and bitter. Every time we talked with her, she was complaining, griping, or criticizing. It was clear that her life had been quite a disappointment, and that for all the favor and beauty she used to posses, it did not provide lasting happiness.

I think that was what made Dolly stand out so dramatically from the rest of the nursing home residents. So many of the older men and women we encountered seemed to be wallowing in regret, heartache, and bitterness. One woman, named Simone, had once been a fashion model. On her dresser was a framed “glamour shot” of herself from younger days, beautiful and seductive. But now, in her old

Dolly had settled all her accounts; there was no one in her past whom she was bitter toward, and she enjoyed the last years of her life to their fullest. Simone, on the other hand, carried many painful wounds that had never been healed. She was angry and resentful toward just about everyone, from her son who had placed her in the nursing home, to her husband who had died five years ago,

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N graciousness forgiveness

to the nurse who forgot to bring her Bitterness, resentment, and unforthe right blanket. giveness can turn even the most physically beautiful woman into a It was stunning to see the difference in hard, cold, undesirable, and unbeauty between the two women. attractive female. But by the same Dolly glowed with life and radiance, token, graciousness, forgiveness, and while Simone, the former model, guilelessness can transform a phywasted away in bitterness and ug- sically plain woman into a radiant liness. It’s a lesson I’ve never princess. Just think about women forgotten. you’ve met who are seething with anger and bitterness. Are they pretty

Not only is being gracious and forgiving the pattern of the Gospel, it’s a crucial element to true feminine beauty; the kind of beauty that will last... Not only is being gracious and forgiving the pattern of the Gospel, it’s a crucial element to true feminine beauty; the kind of beauty that will last long after physical allure has faded.

and ladylike, or rigid and ugly? God’s Word says, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman” (Prov. 21:19 KJV). An angry, bitter, unforgiving

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woman is one of the most undesirable kinds of people in the world. When someone offends us, our feminine tendency is to pout, sulk, and act moody and sullen in order to send the message that they’ve really messed up, or to say critical and cutting things about them to others. For some reason, our flesh convinces us that being bitter toward those who hurt us is our God-given right. But the opposite is true. Christ spoke in no uncertain terms about the necessity of forgiving (see Matt. 18:21-35).

Forgiveness is not primarily a matter of feeling, but a matter of choice; a decision to obey. When we simply say, “Lord, I choose to let this go, and give this offense to You instead of carrying it,” God supplies the willingness, the love, and the compassion needed to practically live it out. When it comes to a decision of whether or not to forgive, we must remember that we ourselves have been forgiven and delivered from an eternity in hell. We did not deserve Christ’s unconditional love, but He gave it anyway. And He asks us to do the same in return – to forgive even those who are undeserving.

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Forgiveness is an essential part of the Christ-life. It’s not optional. We cannot have a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ if we hold resentment and bitterness in our hearts. In fact, Christ goes as far as to say we will not receive forgiveness from our Heavenly Father if we do not forgive those who have wronged us (see Matt. 6:15).

To be a gracious and forgiving woman is not easy. In fact, it’s not even possible without the supernatural, enabling power of God’s Spirit. But o u r L o rd p ro m i s e s t o g i v e u s everything needed for life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3), and that includes the power to forgive.

Here are some practical ways to put this nobility into practice, starting today:

keep your accounts short

Someone once said that your humility can be measured by how quickly you admit you are wrong. Though it is uncomfortable and damaging to your pride, if you ask forgiveness from someone the moment you realize you have wronged them, you keep accounts short, rather than allowing a

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case to be built up against you. You honor the other person by showing that your relationship with them is even more valuable than your pride. Similarly, the moment you recognize that someone has hurt you, immediately stop, pray, and give the offense back to God. The more you mull over it, think about it and go over the scene in your mind, the more it has opportunity to take root within your soul and plant deep seeds of bitterness. But if you are quick to forgive, you keep your heart and conscience clean before God. Even if the other person never comes to you and asks your forgiveness, remember

that forgiveness is first and foremost an issue between you and God. It is not your job to force someone to a place of repentance. That is between them and God. Your only job is to love them as Christ loves you, and to demonstrate His noble love no matter how they act in return. Even after seventeen years of marriage, Eric and I don’t carry around bitterness and resentment toward each other for past hurts. This isn’t because we never hurt each other – far from it. Rather, our marriage slate is kept clean because we deal with issues as soon as they arise. It’s a conflict habit we developed when we

...immediately stop, pray, and give the offense back to God.

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were first married, and it has made an incredible difference in our relationship. Never once have we gone to bed angry with each other – even if it meant we had to stay up all night talking it out and making things right. We kill the seeds of bitterness before they have a chance to grow. We wake up each morning knowing that things are right between us.

is critical. There might not be anything more challenging to our flesh than to live out this principle of selflessness, unconditional love, and forgiveness; to bite our tongue when a harsh reply wants to burst out, take a deep breath, and pray for the other person instead. To exude the nature of Christ in the face of rudeness, insensitivity, or cruelty is a supernatural ability that His Spirit gives, not something that we can muster up in our own strength.

N give a gentle answer

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” When someone speaks rudely or says something insensitive to us, the way we respond

A woman who has been transformed by the selfless love of Christ is not easily angered. She does not fly off the handle. She is not a slave to tumultuous emotions. She is not concerned with protecting her right to

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be treated a certain way. She is far more interested in the eternal souls of those around her than in her own feelings.

him years of torture and imprisonment. Elisabeth Elliot was able to forgive and serve her husband’s killers. Vibia Perpetua was able to intercede for the

HIS love and life is far more powerful than our most intense emotions. And we are not to be controlled by anything but His Spirit. As women, we’ve often been trained to believe that we are slaves to our emotions; that we can’t help it when our feelings overcome us, controlling what we say and how we act. But contrary to popular belief, outbursts of anger, tears of self-pity, overwhelming feelings of hurt, and even hormonal ups and downs, can all be conquered by God’s Spirit overtaking our inner being. His love and life is far more powerful than our most intense emotions. And we are not to be controlled by anything but His Spirit.

salvation of those who tortured her, humiliated her, and took her life.

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One of the things that helps me most when it comes to giving a gentle answer is to remember stories of persecuted Christians throughout the ages. Betsy ten Boom was able to see her vicious, murderous prison guards with eyes of compassion instead of hate. Sabina Wurmbrand was able to sincerely love the pastor whose betrayal of her husband caused

If these women could receive grace and strength to love even the cruelest of men, can we not trust God for the power to overlook the much smaller offenses we encounter every day?

give bitterness to God

“Looking carefully . . . lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled“ (Heb. 12:15). Whenever we have been deeply wounded, we often feel it is our right to cling to those offenses, to nurse anger and bitterness in our hearts toward the guilty person; to see them as a monstrous enemy rather than a person to whom we can show love

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Everything you need to find complete freedom from resentment, and sincere love for those who have hurt you, can be found at the foot of the cross. and mercy. But when we allow a root of bitterness to grow within our hearts, as Hebrews says, our inner lives become distorted and defiled. It’s impossible to showcase the beauty of Jesus Christ when we are hosting resentment in our hearts. We must let go of our bitterness before it destroys us. Do not allow the enemy to gain even more victory from a wound by making room in your heart for bitterness. Take your pain and hurt to Jesus. Lay it at the foot of His cross. Just as Corrie ten Boom took the hand of her sister’s killer, in a step of sheer obedience to God, take that first step of letting the offense go. Trust God to supply the love, mercy, compassion, and grace needed to walk in true forgiveness from this point forward. Sometimes the old feelings might try to creep back in. But when they do, simply call on the name of Jesus and ask Him to cleanse them away from your heart, as far away as the east is from the west. It’s a prayer He is always faithful to answer.

Life is too short to spend it wallowing in bitterness. Even if there are people in your life who seem impossible to forgive, remember that you do not need to accomplish this in your own strength. Everything you need to find complete freedom from resentment, and sincere love for those who have hurt you, can be found at the foot of the cross.

*** A woman with noble beauty is gracious and forgiving, tenderhearted and compassionate, and does not keep record of wrongs. If you feel far from such an attitude, ask God to transform you from the inside out. Remember how much He has forgiven you, and ask Him for the grace to show the same mercy toward others. When you habitually forgive and love instead of resent and hold grudges, you’ll glow with a softness and feminine grace that cannot be manufactured any other way.

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gracious & forgiving

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The Unconditional

Hallelujah By Amy Meyers

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Why is this happening to me, God? How will I ever get out of this situation? Lord, what should I do? So often, I found myself praying these exact words when a difficult or confusing situation arose in my life. I would ask God to show me why I was dealing with the problem and constantly worried, always wondering what I should do. After all, it seems perfectly logical to turn to Him in times of need. And so it is. But God began to challenge me through His Word and the testimony of great Christians from history to sing His praises when I was faced with those types of situations. While He did want me to turn to Him for help, it was praise, not questions, that He wanted to hear come forth from my lips. How can one possibly praise the Lord and sing to Him when they are in desperate need of wisdom, guidance, and rescue?

an incredible picture of a praise-filled life. Copyright 2012 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.


True to His creative nature, God answered that question in a very unique way, and used my love for words to spark a study that would not only challenge me greatly, but that would also give me a new vision for a life lived in constant worship to Him. Captivated by all that it meant and the fact that five whole Psalms are dedicated to the concept, I began to study the word "hallelujah." While the word never actually appears in the Bible, it's rendering, "Praise ye the Lord," can be found all throughout the text, primarily in Psalms, where my search for its depth and meaning began. But my study quickly took me out of the book of Psalms and brought me to

she knew the nature and character of her God one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible - the announcement of Jesus' birth. I find myself slipping over to the first chapter of Luke quite often to read and reread its beautiful Truth, but this particular day I was struck by something in the familiar text that I had never

realized before. I saw Mary, not only as a stunning example of submission to the will of God and given-ness to Him despite what anyone thinks, but also as an incredible picture of a praise-filled life. In this beautiful passage, an angel has told Mary that something impossible will happen to her - she, a virgin, will bear the Son of God. While Mary does ask, "How can this be?" (see Luke 1:34) she takes the word of the angel as fact. No more questions. No doubts. No need for any further explanation, but simply, "...be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38 KJV). Ever since I can remember, I have always been one to ask a lot of questions. I like to know details, specifics, and the "hows" and "whys" of things. At times, I have felt this tendency attempt to creep its way in to my relationship with God. Rather than implicitly trusting Him to do what He has promised me, I would ask Him a thousand questions about the situation - why it was there, what was happening, and how it would be resolved. But as God began to reveal more of

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Mary's attitude to me, the desire swelled within my soul to carry the same disposition as she. Mary was not ignorant with her head in the clouds, simply going along with whatever she was told. Rather, she was a woman who had found favor with God due to her rich faith and deep knowledge of the Scriptures. She knew the nature and character of her God, and that is the reason she was able to simply take the angel at his word instead of question God's promise. Out of her deep knowledge of the Lord came a solid and mighty trust in Him. Therefore, she didn't need to worry or wonder how exactly it would look or what would take place, and she was free to just rest in the arms of her God, knowing that He would come through for her. The outflow of this resting trust has always astounded me when I read about the life of Mary. She didn't question, but she also didn't just sit and wait. Nothing had altered in the physical realm, she probably didn't even feel as if she was carrying a child, and she certainly could not tell that the promise would come to pass, but

Mary lived from that moment on as if it was already done, for she knew it was only a matter of time before the promise became reality. As a result of her dauntless faith, Mary sang song of sweet praise to the One she knew so well, even without the physical manifestation of a baby in her arms. Her song, found in Luke 1:46-55, is full of worship, assurance, peace, strength, and mighty faith, not in the promise of the Savior to come, but in the Promiser Himself.

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... because Mary knew God ... she was able to praise Him, despite the natural situation she was in.

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Most likely, Mary's station in life was lessened and her circumstances made more difficult by the promised child, and she was surely scorned and ridiculed for her claim that she was carrying the Son of God. However, undaunted by such things, Mary freely worshiped her Lord for all He had done and all He had yet to do. How often do we wait until the promise has been fulfilled before we thank and praise our Jesus? Rather than spending our time in prayer giving God the praise and honor due His name, questions fill our hearts and mouths. Psalm 71:5-8 says, "For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You. I have become as a wonder to many, But You are my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day."

those things for us despite our circumstances, praise will be the natural outflow. And if our mouths are full of His praise, we will close the door to any opportunity for questioning His promises. Just as we choose the food we put in our mouths each day, we must also make the deliberate choice of what we will fill our mouths with in relation to God. He desires to train all of His children to lay aside all anxious inquiries and take up the art of restful rejoicing.

My praise shall be continually of You...Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day.

In the Old Testament there is another song, in some ways, quite similar to Mary's. It was sung by Moses and the Israelites after the Lord had delivered them from Egypt by parting the Red Sea and allowing them to walk on dry If we, like Mary, truly believe that ground. After witnessing such a God is who He says He is in this miraculous rescue, the Israelites verse - our Hope, our Upholder, our were full of gratitude to the Lord, Strong Refuge - and trust Him to be Copyright 2012 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


and couldn't help but sing His praises (see Ex. 15:1-21). However, as soon as they reach the wilderness and discover that the water is bitter, all of the Israelites begin to murmur and complain about their situation (see Ex. 15:22-24). Rather than continuing to praise the Lord and trust Him to take care of them as He did at the Red Sea, they question, wonder, and worry about their water supply. Wholly unlike Mary, the "hallelujah" of the Israelites was conditional to ceases to bless and take care of us, their circumstances and not at all we ought to never stop singing His founded on a true knowledge of the praises and lifting high His holy and Most High. precious name. Let us be like Mary It was because Mary knew God and disregard any natural hapthat she was able to praise Him, pening that would seek to hinder despite the natural situation she our praise, and rest peacefully in was in. Mary's "hallelujah" was the knowledge of the Promiser. absolutely unconditional, depen- When we are founded on the Rock dent solely upon the character of of who He is, no earthly circumher God - who is utterly unchanging stance can shake our trust in Him or stop our mouths from issuing and faultlessly faithful. forth the most beautiful of melodies Through the incredible story of this to our Beloved King. May we be little teenage girl from Nazareth, found fully believing, joyfully God has shown me so many things. resting, and implicitly trusting in But this beautiful secret to a praise- H i m , w i t h a n u n c o n d i t i o n a l filled life is among my most trea- hallelujah ever flowing from our lips. sured discoveries. Our God is so He alone is worthy! worthy of worship. As He never

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OUR

TEAM

RECOMMENDS

GOOD READS. Copyright 2012 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.


Tessa recommends: TORTURED FOR CHRIST by Richard Wurmbrand

With straightforward (yet necessary) detail, Richard Wurmbrand tells the story of his fourteen years as a prisoner in the hands of Romanian communists. Because he was willing to stand up and defend the name of Jesus Christ, he was separated from his beloved wife Sabina, and forced to endure unspeakable torture and suffering, including three years in solitary confinement. In light of the daily comfort and security of American freedom, reading this book was extremely challenging to my soul. I was forced to ask myself if I would truly be willing to suffer such extreme persecution with unwavering joy and remain unchanging in my love for and devotion to Jesus.

Amy recommends:

THROUGH GATES OF SPLENDOR by Elisabeth Elliot

"When passing through the gates of pearly splendor, Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days." These words were triumphantly sung by Jim Elliot and his four friends before they headed into the camp of the Waodaoni indians, and they are the words that birthed the title of Elisabeth Elliot's world-renowned book. In her signature candid and personal style, Elliot shares the story of these five selfless and surrendered men who, without thought for themselves, followed the Almighty into one of the most dangerous places in Ecuador. This amazing testimony of God's faithfulness, and love that only comes from Him, is a challenge to my soul every time I pick it up.

Marlene recommends: THE WEAPON OF PRAYER by E.M. Bounds

To be honest, I am not done with this book yet. But the portion I have read has altered my life already! Packed with a good dose of conviction, it’s undergirded with a heap of encouragement that God does move and answer when we pray! With statements like, "Praying saints are God's agents for carrying on His saving and providential work on earth. If His agents fail Him, neglecting to pray, then His work fails," and "Nothing is done well without prayer, for the simple reason that it leaves God out of the work," I cannot stay in my seat. Will I pray? God doesn't need ability, He only needs availability. Copyright 2012 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.


Hearing the Shepherd

By Tessa Hershberger Copyright 2012 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

fter a tiring week at work, Friday had arrived and I was thrilled to be leaving that night on a weekend getaway with my dear friend Lauren. We had decided to celebrate our September birthdays by taking a short trip to my parents’ cabin, and we were very much looking forward to some precious time with God and each other in His beautiful creation. Once the car was packed with plenty of books, journals, cozy sweatshirts, and much more chocolate than we could ever eat in two days, we started off on the hour and a half drive. My dad had generously offered to arrive at the cabin a few hours before us to unlock the gate, get a fire going, and show us how to set the alarm. The cabin was in the middle of nowhere, so I was even more grateful when he suggested we meet him at the small grocery store about twenty minutes from our destination and follow him from there. The light of the sun was long gone by the time we finally arrived that night, but within a few minutes, my dad pulled into the parking lot, ready to lead us the rest of the way. Since I had never made that particular drive in the dark before, I was quite unfamiliar with those

twenty minutes of countless hills and winding roads, and unsure of what turns to make. However, there was no question in my mind that my dad knew exactly where he was going, and so I confidently fixed my eyes on his tail lights until we came to the gravel driveway leading up to the cabin. Believing my dad’s sole aim was to get Lauren and me to our destination, I was certain that staying behind him was in my very best interest. I knew and trusted the one whom I was following, and thus it was with untroubled peace, not anxious worry or questioning, that I remained behind him. As we drove silently through the thick darkness of nightfall, I began to ponder the nature in which my dad was conducting us and how similar it was to the gentle ways of God, my wise and tender Shepherd. In John 10:3-4, Jesus describes this shepherdly nature of His in relation to the sheep He cares for: “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

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Why do the sheep follow the shepherd? Because they recognize his voice to be that of an ever-faithful guide, who brings them to green pastures and streams that satisfy their thirst. He does not leave them to guess the way, but clearly speaks it to them. And when he tells them to go right, they go right. When he tells them to go left, they go left. Nothing makes more sense to the sheep than to heed the voice of the one whose simple intention is to direct them on the path he knows to be of benefit to their weary and hungry bodies. To fear, disregard, or turn a deaf ear to the shepherd’s instructions would be to the sheep’s own hurt and loss.

His delight was in the Shepherd’s willingness to show him the paths of righteousness

Just from reading his many psalms, it is clear that David intimately knew the shepherd nature of his God. He says in Psalm 23:1-4: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no

evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.“ Interestingly, David was not only looking for the loving care and refreshing rest offered by the Shepherd. His delight was in the Shepherd’s willingness to show him the paths of righteousness. He so desired to walk in the right way that even the Shepherd’s rod was a comfort to him. The rod of a shepherd was used to protect and defend the sheep, but it was also used as a disciplinary agent to keep them in line. If they began to deviate off the correct path, the gentle prodding of the rod put them back on the right track. With a passionate heart to love and please his worthy King, David was eager to receive that “prodding” of his righteous Shepherd. He was constantly heeding His still, small voice, and even the most uncom-

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fortable of corrections did not fall Shepherd, wanting only to listen to upon deaf and stubborn ears. He the things that will allow us to remain says in the Psalms, comfortably in the ways we have been walking for so long - even if “And see if there is any wicked way in those ways deviate just slightly from m e , A n d l e a d m e i n t h e w a y the right path. Rather than carefully everlasting” (Psalm 139:24). and humbly inclining our ears to His firm, yet gentle whispers of cor“Cause me to know the way in which I rection, we tune out whatever does should walk, For I lift up my soul to not accommodate our personal You…Teach me to do Your will, For agendas and desires, in fear of what it You are my God; Your Spirit is good. may cost us if we surrender to His Lead me in the land of upways. rightness” (Psalm 143:8b,10). This was the very same position of “Lead me, O LORD, in Your rightthe Israelites all throughout the Old eousness…Make Your way straight Testament. God longed to be a before my face” (Psalm 5:8). Shepherd to this people He dearly Just as I knew the nature of my dad, loved and had set apart for His glory. and that it was for my highest good to He so desired to lead them in a way that would allow them to live in all the follow him, David knew the nature of his Shepherd. He was willing to hear whatever the Shepherd spoke, regardless of how it might require him to change his ways, regardless of what sting it might bring to his flesh, and regardless of how narrow and lonely the path - for it was the only way worth following, the way of satisfying, abundant life.

David knew the nature of his Shepherd

fullness of His blessings; a way that would showcase His righteousness on earth, and proclaim the mighty power of heaven. But the Israelites Often, it is easy for us to try and would not heed the word of their God choose what we hear from our spoken by the prophets He sent to Copyright 2012 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."


Let us, after we have heard and understood Him, incline our hearts, our hands, and our feet, and obey Him no matter what the cost

faithfulness, and His father heart. But when we truly know our God as the faithful, loving Shepherd that He is, we will not be afraid to hear His voice, for we will be assured that to obey Him is not only to love Him, but to walk in the way that will bring us to the place we so desire in our heart of hearts. Yes, the path of righteousness is narrow, lonely, and uncomfortable; it includes pain and suffering, stretching and refining - and the world looks upon it as utterly foolish. But it is truly the path them continually, and time and time upon which we experience the again they lived in a state of gross deepest joy and unrivaled peace; the idolatry and cold-hearted rebellion. richest satisfaction and the fathomless depths of His abundant life. They would not hear Him, because they did not know Him - nor did they Truly, it is a wonderful place to be in seek to. which we eagerly desire to hear the voice of the Shepherd. But let us not stop with mere desire! Oh yes, it is even more wonderful to then hear and recognize the voice of our beloved Shepherd when He reveals to us the path upon which we are to walk. But let us not stop with only hearing, To hear our Shepherd’s voice, and either! Let us, after we have heard and understood Him, incline our then tell Him we will not obey, is to tell hearts, our hands, and our feet, and our most affectionate Guide that we obey Him no matter what the cost. do not know His nature, His love, His Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost for His Highest, “Why are we so terrified for God to speak to us? It is because we know that when God speaks we must either do what He asks or tell Him we will not obey.”

*

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Q&A

with Leslie

and a special guest

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)

58


Q&A Note from Leslie: I normally interject my own answers in this Q and A section. However, I thought you would be encouraged to hear some answers from other set-apart young women. The following is a question that came into our ministry and was beautifully answered by a set-apart young woman here at Ellerslie named Alyssa Pinkham. I hope you will be blessed and encouraged by what she shared‌

Q: A:

I have a question that has been torturing me for days. How does one deal with the doubt that Satan whispers in our ears? Having recently turned my life around for my Savior, his voice has been debilitating. I will not back down from my path, but the doubt is eating at me.

I too have faced the overwhelming giant of doubt in my life. At first I did not even recognize it as doubt, but it crippled me nonetheless. You are absolutely right when you say that doubt is debilitating spiritually. However, it is not the final statement. The Word of God says that Christ is the Alpha and the Omega (See Rev. 1:8). He is the final statement. To share with you what I went through, we have to rewind to the spring semester of my freshman year of college... Buzzzz. Buzzzz. Buzzzz. Buzzzz. Groggily, I rolled over to find my phone. Click. I hit snooze and snuggled back underneath my oversized comforter. Buzzzz. Buzzzz. Click. Repeat. Forty minutes and eight snooze cycles later, I finally dragged myself out of bed, fumbled into some clothes, brushed my teeth, and made it to my 8:00 am class just in time.

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before He could come restore my brokenness I needed to be awakened to my need of Him.

This was my routine almost every morning during my second semester of college. I would stay in bed until the last possible moment and then rush off to class. Sometimes I would weakly try to get up and read my Bible or attempt to remain conscious in a kneeling position, but for weeks I had mostly been burying myself in schoolwork while trying to avoid Jesus. Sure, I felt guilty about it; however, I was so mentally and spiritually exhausted by the constant barrage of the enemy that I was truly afraid to spend time seeking Christ. And suddenly I found myself floundering and sputtering in a vast ocean of confusion, with seemingly nowhere to go but further down. My only reprieve from the guilt I felt and my own selfcondemnation and self-hate was to spend all my waking hours doing homework or being around other people. Yet, in my deepest moments of doubt and confusion, the Lord, in His great mercy, did not give up on me or let me go. And though nothing within me was pursuing Him, He did not stop pursuing me. However, before He could come restore my brokenness, I needed to be awakened to my need of Him. It was not until I invited Him to shine His light of Truth into my heart and mind that I saw clearly what was allowing such depression and despondency into my life. It was doubt. I did not doubt the credibility of the Word of God. Neither did I doubt His existence. However, I did doubt His desire and willingness to fulfill the promises of His Word personally in my life. And, having been copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

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Q&A

allowed to grow, this doubt bred absolute misery and despondence in my life. I was at the point of giving up on Christianity. I was unable to see that God just wanted me to stop trying to find the solution to my problem and allow Him to be the solution. Having looked for the solution in myself (and failing continually to find it), I was finally at a place of deep enough humility to accept the fullness of the Gospel. It was a Gospel I had never wanted to hear. Oh, I had heard it with my physical ears many times, but I had never before had the spiritual ears to hear it in the depth of my soul. It was the Gospel of dependence. It was the Gospel which told me that coming to Christ meant dying to self and letting Him fully live His life in me (See Gal. 2:20). It was the Gospel that came with power and with Truth, transforming my feeble, doubt-ridden life into one of victory and triumph in Christ. It was the Gospel of freedom and joy and peace. It was the Gospel that bid me come and die, that I might truly live (See Rom. 8:13). And it is the same Gospel that leads me forth to victory today. It means living in daily, hourly surrender to God’s purpose and plan for each moment. It means allowing Him, as Lord of your existence, to work the Truth and triumph of His Son Jesus Christ in your life. This dependency cannot be mass-produced. It must be cultivated in the little decisions of everyday life. It grows out of the root of unconditional allegiance to Jesus Christ though little steps of joyful surrender. It is a very practical dependence, not just a conceptual mind game. These are the three key things God has taught me personally as I have learned to depend on Him for triumph over

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doubt: I must know who He is, that I must stand upon solid Truth and not just emotion, and I have no reason to fear the attack of the enemy.

1. Know your God. Knowing the nature of God is critical for us to be able to combat the doubt that the enemy throws against us. This requires that we spend time with our God. He is Truth (See John 14:6), and Truth is the only thing that can combat and defeat lies. If you want to have your mind filled with Truth and shielded from the enemy’s fiery darts of doubt, meditate on who God is. Carve our time to get alone, pull away from the distractions of life around you, be quiet, and focus very intently on a facet of God’s nature. Meditation is taking the truth in your mind, and then chewing on it and digesting it until it becomes a reality in your heart and soul. And this does not happen in five minutes a day. It requires a deliberate commitment of your time and energy. As A.W. Tozer said, “It is well that we accept the hard truth now: the man who would know God must give time to Him.” Practical: Take an hour each day or several times this week to meditate on an attribute of God. For example, His self-sufficiency (the fact that He does not need anything outside of Himself to be totally fulfilled and fully God), His Fatherhood (the fact that He has the love of a perfect father towards His children), His Lordship (the fact that He is your rightful owner and master), His heroism (the fact that He rescues and adopts those who are vulnerable and weak), His faithfulness, His

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Q&A

goodness, His holiness, etc. There are dozens of aspects of God’s nature upon which to think. Dive into Scripture and find out what God has to say about Himself.

2. Stand upon Rock. Jesus speaks a parable about two houses. One house was built on sand, and when a storm came it was washed away completely. The other house was built upon a rock, and when a storm came it stood firm and did not fall (see Matt. 7:24-27). The rock that we must build upon is the Word of God. If we try to come against the enemy with our own words, he will just scoff at us and his darts will still be able to hit us. Our words have no authority or power over Satan. However, God does have authority over Satan, and His words do have power to defeat the enemy and send him running. When we use His words and stand in the spiritual armor that we have in Christ, we are invulnerable to the evil one (see Eph. 6:10-18). How did Jesus Christ respond when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness? He responded not with His own words (though He was God), but rather He combated Satan’s lies with Scripture (see Matt. 4:1-11). If Christ Himself fought the enemy with the Word of God, why would we not follow His example? Practical: Dig into the Bible to find verses about the powerlessness of the enemy to come against those who are cloaked in the blood of Christ (see Heb. 2:14-15), and how God views doubt, unbelief, and

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faith (see Rom. 14:23; Heb. 4:1-3). Use whatever Scriptures you find to speak Truth when the enemy is trying to assault you with lies of doubt. All the words in the Bible are God’s and they are the rock upon which we must build our spiritual house. Every other foundation is sand that is easily washed away by even the slightest wave. We must base our belief on the fact of Scripture, and not on our emotions or experience.

3. Don’t Panic. Part of what the enemy wants us to do is panic and switch into desperation mode. (I have fallen for this many, many times.) Satan wants us to think that he is strong enough to overcome us at any moment, which is simply not true. As long as we are in Christ, we are invulnerable. Jesus Christ is not “sometimes” able to stand against the enemy. He is always victorious, always powerful, and always overcoming. God’s promise is unchanging: He is “able to keep you from falling” (see Jude 24 KJV). Remaining unfazed by the enemy is very easy if you know the nature of your God. If you know that He is a good Father, you will not fear being abandoned. If you know that He is Light, you will not accept darkness, despondency, confusion, or depression. If you know that He is absolutely trustworthy and that He cannot lie, you will not linger in unbelief or doubt. For doubt is simply a denial that God is who He says He is. It is a fear that the Bible is not what it claims to be.

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Q&A

However, the Truth is, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear...” (1 John 4:18 KJV). We must abide and remain in His perfect love, against which fear and doubt are defenseless (see John 15:10). Practical: Whenever you are tempted with doubt, instead of growing anxious by thinking of your past struggles and defeat, think on your Victor - Jesus Christ. Turn upward and outward in your focus. Look toward Christ, His promises, and His faithfulness. And then, once you are assured in Him, turn to focus on those surrounding you who might need prayer. Spend your thoughts and energy on the unfading treasures of eternity by praying for and investing in the souls around you - like your family, friends, coworkers, or even the cashier at the grocery store. Spend time on the business of eternity rather than squandering time and spiritual energy entertaining the enemy’s lies. The fretting, the doubt, the fear, and the pain of this world is wood, hay, and stubble that will be only soot and ash in eternity (see 1 Cor. 3:12-13). The truth is that someday every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (see Phil. 2:10-11). Doubt will find its death at the feet of Jesus Christ, and for a Christian that reality starts now.

)

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take it deeper

When God Writes Your Love Story

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When God Writes Your Love Story has provided the foundation for a whole new way of thinking about relationships for today’s younger generation. Rather than promoting a love story formed after the pattern of this world (with a few Christian morals tacked on for good measure), this book introduces readers to a far superior way of building a love story - God’s way. God doesn’t need to imitate the world’s way of constructing a relationship; He has His very own perfect, amazing, beautiful way of writing a love story, and it is far more fulfilling and romantic than anything Hollywood could ever concoct. Eric and I believe that the foundation for an amazing, lifelong love story begins even before you meet your future spouse, by allowing the Author of romance to script every chapter and show you how to love like He loves. Rather than chasing after temporary relationships, this book challenges readers to give the “pen” to God and allow Him to script their love story in His own perfect time and way.

allow God to script your love stor copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

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~ Doing Your Husband Good Even Now

by an anonymous warrior-poet-in-the-making

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W

hile I was growing up, my family Though the man was not a Christian, lived in a rural area, and our elderly he saw something altogether different neighbor had a large property that in my sister’s countenance. There is she would allow us to explore. This something truly radiant about a beautiful piece of land consisted of a woman when she has been with the range of cliffs overlooking a valley of Lord, dwelling on His majesty and trees with several streams flowing greatness. down the entirety of it. Because of True warrior-poets, and sometimes the tranquil scenery of this environment, my siblings and I would often even phony warrior-poets, can often discern whether a young woman use this mountain as a place to hide away and seek the Lord. My sister possesses heavenly beauty, simply by looking at her. was once up on the mountain spending time with God and hapProverbs 31:12 says: “She does him pened to pass a man who lived good and not evil All the days of her nearby on her way back home. This life.” God makes it clear that not only

man was later speaking with my are women called to do their parents and several times mentioned husbands good after they have “that girl with the Christian glow.” married, but they are also exhorted to

there is something truly radiant about a woman when she has been with the Lord

show honor to their husbands even before they have set eyes on the one God has for them. As drastic as it sounds, every set-apart young lady is called to honor and respect her husband every moment of her existence. And I might add that God has also called me, as a man, to love, honor, and

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cherish my future wife every moment and find her everything in Him. It is of my lifetime as well. then, and only then, when she is seeking the kingdom of heaven first So, how exactly does a woman do and foremost, that she is able to do her husband good even before she her future husband good. And as a meets him? I believe it starts with man, it is only when I build my life meditating upon God’s Word day and around Jesus Christ that I am truly night so that she might know His capable of loving and honoring my character and nature. As she gazes future wife well. upon the face of Jesus, His radiance and beauty will be reflected in and It is actually very simple: the way to through her life. She must place her show honor to our future spouse is to full dependence upon Jesus Christ, place God before all and above all. Copyright 2012 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 way to show honor to our future spouse is to place God before all and above all When God is in His rightful place in and discipline into her life, spending our lives, honoring our future her time on God’s priorities rather spouse will be the natural result.

than her own whims.

As a warrior-poet-in-training, I would Keeping Emotions in Check like to share a few practical ideas Emotions are not inherently wrong, with you for doing your husband but every set-apart girl needs to good even now, as an outflow of learn how to bring her feelings and your relationship with Jesus Christ. desires under the control of God’s Spirit. If you heed the voice of

The Moments of Your Day

emotion and allow it to control or Where you spend your time reveals guide your life while unmarried, it will the object of your devotion. A young hinder your relationship with Christ, woman who has learned how to and eventually wreck havoc upon utilize every moment of her day your marriage. While learning to wisely will make an excellent wife. restrain your emotions does take How do you spend your moments? time, it is essential to begin while Are you devoted to earthly things? you are single. Your future husband

Or is your full devotion and affection will highly esteem you for purposing placed upon the Lord? A young lady to stand upon the Rock rather than can honor both the Lord and her allowing wavering emotions and future spouse by bringing structure feelings to govern your life. Copyright 2012 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."


Putting Christ First

The Power of Prayer

When the Lord is your refuge and Hudson Taylor once said, “It is strong tower, you will press your possible to move men, through God, husband closer to Jesus Christ. It is by prayer alone.” So pray - earnestly important when you marry that your seeking the Lord on his behalf. life is constantly driving your Remember that until you have met husband to his knees in servitude your future husband, prayer is the and worship of the Lord. Ask God to only way in which you can press him do such a work in your daily life that into Christ. others would be convicted even now

if they were to observe your most Serving Your Family h i d d e n a c t i o n s , w o r d s , a n d Growing up, my mom always told thoughts. If you are showcasing the me that the way I treated those at glory and majesty of King Jesus in home was how I would ultimately every area of your life, you will treat my future spouse. Most of us ultimately be serving and honoring have a strong dislike for that your future husband. Jesus Christ statement because it incriminates us must always come before your -but it does contain truth. If you do husband. Whether single or married, not serve those in your life now, how the Lord must be the first Beloved of do you expect to suddenly learn your life. what it means to be a faithful servant

the Lord must be the first Beloved of your life

in marriage? Show deference to those around you with a towel and basin in your hand, and as a result, you will be prepared to serve and love your husband in a manner which befits a woman fully given to the Lord.

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***

It ultimately comes down to this: be

heaven, He will be forming your future husband after His own heart.

a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, In human strength, you will never be conforming to His image in all things, able to do your future husband and He will honor and serve your good. Allow Christ to be the King of future husband through you. Rest in kings in every facet of your life and the fact that the Lord will watch over He will be begin to showcase His life those who put their trust in Him. He in and through you. Make Jesus cares about your future marriage, Christ your everything, and you will and while you seek the kingdom of surely do your husband good “all the days� of your life.

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*

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take it deeper

Order Now!

Set Apart Femininity This is a powerful, candid, conversational book in which I pass on a compelling vision for femininity that can forever alter your existence and take you far beyond the unfulfilling trends of modern culture. This book is not the same old mediocre message you’ve always heard. It’s a radical call to a counter-culture lifestyle in which every aspect of your femininity – from the way you relate with guys to the focus and direction of your life – is shaped by an intimate relationship with the King of kings. It’s the kind of heroic femininity that the world-changing women of history understood. And it’s well within your grasp, no matter where you’ve been.

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Unlocking God’s sacred call upon your life Understanding God’s pattern for true feminine beauty Captivating the heart of a Christ-like guy Aligning your daily existence with God’s priorities Finding real fulfillment by living a poured-out life

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SPRING CLEANING for your life (Ten Tips & Truths) By Tessa Hershberger and Amy Meyers

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practical Out With the Old

1

It is an obvious necessity to clean out our closets once in a while to get rid of items that are riddled with holes, no longer fit, or are not age-appropriate. However, as God continues to refine us and reveal His pattern for set-apart living, it also becomes necessary for us to evaluate our wardrobes with the intent to get rid of anything that does not rightly represent the standard of Jesus Christ. Though we may resolve to no longer wear certain items when we become convicted, allowing them to remain hanging in our closets only invites the temptation to pull them back out and opens the door for new justifications of why the items aren’t “that bad.” It’s better to have a small but honorable wardrobe than a closet full of questionables.

Three Ways to Critique Your Closet ๏ Ask yourself if the items in your closet truly reflect what you desire your life to be centered upon - Jesus Christ. Get rid of anything that carries even the slightest scent of compromise.

๏ Go

through each season’s clothing separately. If you didn’t wear it last time it was “in season” you probably won’t wear it next time it is either.

๏ Don’t

stop with your clothes - go through your shoes, bags, and accessories as well. Ask yourself what your motivation is in wearing them. Eliminate anything that only serves to draw others’ eyes to you.

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Take Out the Trash

2

While there is nothing wrong with holding on to special mementos from significant events or meaningful notes from sweet sisters in Christ, we can quickly become overrun with paper if we hold on to every single receipt, birthday card, catalog, and brochure. Being able to look back at your sister’s wedding program twenty years from now is one thing, but really - will you ever want to look at the map of the St. Louis Zoo or the program from your cousin’s third grade musical again? Once-in-a-lifetime memories are great, and obviously it is necessary to save particular receipts and documents. However, if the time comes when you need to find a certain record or important paper, it will prove a challenge to locate the exact one needed amongst unorganized piles and messy drawers. And if you save every single paper from every single occasion and store away every little note received, the truly special will be lost in the midst of all the ordinary.

Three Ways to Eliminate the Unnecessary ๏ Take

some time to go through your wallet, junk drawers, files, and keepsake boxes and differentiate the necessary from the unnecessary. If you won’t look at it again, feel free to let it go.

๏ When an important document or receipt is no

longer needed (bank notices, expired warranties, invitations, etc.), don’t hesitate to throw it away. If it contains confidential information, simply rip it up before discarding.

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๏ Choose

one location (or container) for important documents, and another for special mementos. Not only will it make them easily accessible, but it will also help you to keep only the things that are truly necessary or meaningful.

Press Delete

3

How many photos do you have stored on your computer that are poorlytaken snapshots of things you don’t even care about? What about all those reports on World War II you wrote in high school five years ago? How many hundreds of month-old emails are just sitting in your inbox waiting to be either deleted or moved to a folder for storage? While a cluttered computer is not seen by those around us and may not necessarily hinder our spiritual walk, it is an easy way to allow disorder into our lives. It is certainly appropriate to keep photos from your niece’s first Christmas, but you don’t need a picture of every rip of the wrapping paper. Be willing to press delete, not just for the sake of your hard drive, but for the further cultivation of a clutter-free life.

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Three Ways to De-clutter Your Computer ๏ Spend an hour or two going through your documents, music, and photos.

Ask yourself which ones are really needed or worth saving, and organize them into specific folders that will make them easy to find.

๏ If you have a lot of files that are important but not looked at often, consider

investing in an external hard drive or flash drive where they can be stored safely.

๏ Go

through your email folders and delete both sent and received emails that you no longer need. Get in the habit of immediately deleting emails you know for certain will not be needed. On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, make it a point to go through and delete any emails that have become outdated or irrelevant.

Drive With Dignity

4

Have you ever gotten into someone’s car and immediately felt like you were taking a ride in a garbage can on wheels? While an unexpected visitor would make you blush if your house was a mess, many of us feel anything but embarrassed to offer a ride to someone when our car is in a less-than-orderly state. While a vehicle littered with smashed Cheerios, empty coffee cups, and random articles of clothing will effectively transport someone from point A to point B, it is not the best reflection of Christ’s pattern for an orderly life, displaying His honor to everyone we encounter. It’s a good idea to do a thorough cleaning of your car to start fresh, but as it is not always practical to maintain perfectly vacuumed floor mats, you can create a few simple systems to at least preserve an atmosphere of cleanliness, even if not every inch is spotless. A perfectly clean car is nothing to obsess over, but it is a simple way to show your passengers (and Christ) the value you place on them and the things you have been entrusted with. Copyright 2012 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.


Three Ways to Clean Out the Car ๏ Get in the habit of keeping up with your car by purposefully taking in all

your belongings when you go home, or cleaning out any trash when you stop for gas.

๏ There is nothing wrong with having a few things that always stay in your car (such as sunglasses, hand sanitizer, or an umbrella), but keep them all together in a basket or the console to prevent any opportunity for clutter.

๏ Purpose to vacuum and wipe down the inside of your car once a month. If

you have a hard time remembering to do it consistently, it may be helpful to choose a date (1st, 10th, 23rd) and clean out your car on that day each month.

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Keep it Contained

5

You may not be ready to whip out a label maker or organize your tea bags by color, but you don’t have to become an alphabetizing nazi to create a living space marked by the order and dignity of heaven. And while it is not necessary to have one cup for pens and a separate one for pencils, maintaining an environment where cleanliness and beauty reign, not only honors guests, but also promotes a focused atmosphere free of distractions. We cannot use our personalities as an excuse to avoid growing in this area organization is not just for women who frequent The Container Store. It does not need to be something we obsess over, spend lots of money on, or are constantly paranoid about. But implementing a few simple and easy systems can go a long way in transforming a disorganized mess into a peacefully productive place to be.

Three Ways to Get Creative with Storage ๏ Baskets and small decorative boxes can be a great asset to an organized

home. Simply by using one for a specific grouping of items can quickly create order and ease when you find yourself in need of a particular item. Here are a few suggestions for different boxes to get you thinking: special occasions (cards, gifts bags, tissue paper, etc), office supplies, electronic accessories, keepsakes/letters, craft supplies, winter accessories (scarves, gloves, hats, etc.), and Bible study materials.

๏ Jars of all different sizes are a fun way to store a myriad of different items

that can easily get out of control or could simply be displayed a little more nicely. For example, if you live in a dorm room, instead of having a bunch of random food bags and boxes sitting around, use jars of all different sizes to store pretzels, popcorn, sugar, tea bags, nuts, etc., and put them all on one shelf together. If you have a messy dresser drawer, use baby

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food jars to organize your hair clips, bobby pins, q-tips, rings, and other small items that can easily become mixed up in a jumbled pile.

๏ If you are on a tight budget and can not afford to spend money on plastic

containers or baskets, use shoe boxes. Cover the outside with decorative paper or fabric from the remnant bin, or make a collage out of pictures from decorating magazines.

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spiritual Scrub it Up

6

James sums up the truth about the human tongue simply and matter-offactly: “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity…It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:6,8). Our speech does not have to largely consist of profanity, gossip, and slander in order to be “full of deadly poison.” Often, it is the carelessly spoken words, subconscious speech habits, and hastily spewed remarks dripping with sarcasm, that typically do the most damage and are the easiest to overlook. But every single word we say must be taken seriously, in light of what Jesus said in Matthew 12:36: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” We cannot speak with utmost purity and holiness in our own power, but as we purpose to speak more slowly, thoughtfully yielding our lips to the Lord, He will train us to speak with dignity, honor, and graciousness that gives life to the hearers.

Three Reflections on Sterilizing Your Speech ๏ Am I constantly using my tongue to edify, encourage, and speak words of life and Truth? Or do I often find myself speaking harsh, negative, or critical words that only serve to foster a discouraging environment?

๏ Do I seek to use wit, humor, or intellect to draw attention to myself? ๏ Does my daily speech leave others knowing to whom I belong and who I am living for? Is there anything in my speech that would make people question what my life is all about?

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Part With the Past

7

Even after we have asked God to forgive us of past sins and declared that we are cleansed by His blood, we can still allow ourselves to hold on to those mistakes and tote them around like a suitcase full of bricks. They may not be constantly flaunting their presence in your life, but if past mistakes continue to go undealt with, they will mock Christ’s work on the cross and hinder you from reckoning His personal gift of redemption. David says in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” As with all the other promises in the Bible, we must take that as fact for us individually, believing that God’s Word cannot lie. Our God has made provision for us to be free indeed from every misstep of the past, but we have to take hold of the hand of victory reaching out to us.

Three Reflections on Leaving Your Mistakes with God

๏ Is there something from my past that I am still allowing to linger in my heart

and mind, even after asking God’s forgiveness? If so, look up a few Scriptures on the work of cleansing God has already accomplished for you and ask Him to give you the faith to take Him at His word that you have already been completely forgiven of every past mistake.

๏ Is there anything hindering me from declaring Christ’s victory over my past

mistakes? If so, it may be a good idea to write out the reality of what happened, and then write the reality of what Christ has done for you - His love, His redemption, and His provision for victorious living.

๏ Am

I heeding the voice of the enemy regarding a past situation, and allowing him to hamper me with lies and plant seeds of doubt in my mind of what Christ has done for me? If so, make it a point to hit him back with Truth. Write out verses on index cards that counteract the specific lies you are hearing and keep them with you at all times so you will be ready whenever that cunning voice attempts to slip into your mind.

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Use it Wisely

8

Every day is filled with moments - routine moments, fun moments, sacred moments, productive moments, and “in-between” moments. It is these inbetween moments in our day, whether it be waiting for a friend to show up at the coffee shop, sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, or killing time before the next class, that can so easily slip through our fingers if we are not purposeful to use them well. Rather than mindlessly surfing the internet, sending a few random text messages, or simply sitting around doing nothing, use those awkward gaps of time to memorize Scripture, write that quick note of encouragement to a friend that you have been meaning to send for three weeks, or read a few pages of the book you have been trying to finish. It is possible to use every moment of our day in a way that is both prudent and Christ-honoring - it just takes intentionality.

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Three Reflections on Avoiding Wasting Time ๏ When I go to bed at night and God looks at the way I spent my time that day, what does He see? Wasted moments? Mindless moments? Moments spent seeking after the things of this world?

๏ Does the way I use my time reflect the fact that my days are not my own,

but a gift from God? Do I ask Him what His agenda is for the day, or do I have the mind-set that I have the right to choose how my moments are used?

๏ Are there any little pockets of time that I am consistently wasting? What are some ways that I could be more purposeful with those moments?

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Turn it Off

9

It may be easy to recognize the movies, music, TV shows, and other media containing messages completely opposite to the Word of God. But while we may get rid of media that is blatantly harmful to our walk with God, we often neglect to detect the threat of the more “neutral” media we engage in. For example, there are plenty of TV shows, such as The Amazing Race, What Not to Wear, and The Dr. Oz Show, that may not be filling our minds with sexual innuendo and romanticized selfish living, but can still subtly shape our thinking and influence our standards. Colossians 3:1-2 says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” If we want Jesus to truly be our everything, to fill every thought and affection, He must be what we are continually seeking to take in. Setting our minds on “things which are above,” requires more than simply avoiding the “bad” - we must purpose to give our time and energy to that which keeps our minds fixed upon Christ at all times.

Three Reflections on Overhauling Your Media Intake

๏ Do the things I watch and listen to rightly reflect the standard of Christ? If

not, ask the Lord to show you if you have become content with being a less-than-accurate representation of Him.

๏ Does every song I listen to, movie I watch, and book I read bring glory to the name of Jesus? If not, prayerfully consider why you enjoy participating in it.

๏ Am I using media to “zone out” and take a break from pressing hard into Christ? If so, allow the Lord to reveal specific things that have been stealing your focus, and let Him train you to more vigilantly guard what comes through the door of your mind.

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Abandon Improper Affections

10

It is possible to be seeking after Christ and sincerely desiring more of Him, while harboring undue affection for something or someone that hinders us from truly going deeper in our love relationship with Him. God does give us good gifts and intends for us to enjoy the things He created, but He is also jealous for our single-hearted love, and is not willing to share the place that He alone is worthy to fulfill in our lives. While we may not be obsessed with Twilight or addicted to romance novels, there may be something we participate in that is seeking to steal our focus (and quite possibly our time) from being squarely placed upon Jesus Christ and His kingdom. What causes one person to be distracted or preoccupied is not necessarily what would do that for someone else. Therefore, we must be very watchful over our own souls, ensuring that we are not justifying a misplaced affection just because so-and-so is enjoying it or spending her time that way. Your relationship with God is between you and Him - let His jealous love define what it should look like.

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Three Reflections on Returning to a Single Focus

๏ Is

there anything in my life that I would have a hard time giving up for a season (or forever) if God asked me to? If so, it does not necessarily mean that God will ask you to leave it behind forever, but ask Him to remove the unhealthy hold it has on your heart and help you to come to that place of glad willingness to lay it down if He should ask.

๏ Do

I define how I live the daily Christian life by looking at others and comparing myself to them, or by looking at the Word of God and heeding the still, small voice of the Spirit instructing me in the way I should go?

๏ Prayerfully evaluate the follow areas, and ask God to show you if any of

these things have claimed any portion of your affections that were meant only for Him: Romantic relationships (even the hope of someday having one) Popularity Money Your talents Your appearance Friendships Pop culture Diet and exercise Hobbies (scrapbooking, blogging, photography) Internet Books and music

*

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NOTE FROM LESLIE: Carrie Perrine is a refreshing gift to everyone who encounters her sweet spirit.  After graduating from Ellerslie Training, Carrie joined the His Little Feet staff and is now joyfully pouring her life out for these precious children – tirelessly serving them day in and day out.  I know that you will be blessed as you read the following pages and get to know this lovely girl who has devoted her life to Jesus Christ. 

Meet Carrie

common life SISTER OF THE

Q: When did you come to Christ and choose to live fully setapart for Him? My parents are both Christians, so I grew up knowing about God and believing in Him. As a child, I knew that God was there, and since He was such a big part of life, I never questioned His existence. At age 10, my parents felt a burden to go into greater depth with explaining the Gospel to us and what it meant to become a Christian. After talking to me and two of my sisters about this, they asked us if we wanted to accept Jesus as our Savior that day, and give our lives to Him. All three of us said yes, and our Papa prayed for each of us and then had us pray aloud ourselves. And because we were not going to a church at the time, my dad baptized us himself - in our bathtub! Although I know that at such a young age my understanding of the Gospel was limited, I also know that I understood enough, and that

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that day marked the beginning of my walk with the Lord. I felt a peace and a joy in knowing that my sins were forgiven and that I was going to heaven. My journey of living with Jesus progressed from there, sometimes slowly or seemingly not at all, while at other times it grew by leaps and bounds. There were definitely "ups and downs," but through it all, I knew God was there and that He was faithful - He was my Rock. I went through some very hard times as a young teenager, which God used to draw me closer to Him, and cause me to give my life completely into His control. When I was 15 and 16 years old, I spent a lot of time in tears and on my knees, broken before the Lord. I remember those times as some of the worst and the best of my life. It was a painful, but very necessary, process of God breaking me and rebuilding me into His image. He was burning away dross and purifying me. I remember at least a few times during that season when I recommitted my life to Jesus Christ, surrendering everything to Him, and asking Him to take my life and use it however He pleased. At Ellerslie, God took me to an even deeper level of dying to myself and living fully for Him. In the last year and a half, He has brought me through several tests of faith to learn to trust Him more, and over and over, He has taught me to depend fully on Him for everything. And how freeing it is, when you discover how to truly give the control of your life to the Lord!

Q: What have been some of the greatest challenges and joys in living as a set-apart young woman? It is easy for people to misunderstand what I actually do with my time and resources and/or be uncomfortable with my different lifestyle choice, and as a result, I can sometimes feel rather distant from those whom I desire to be close to. Living a truly set-apart life looks very peculiar to a lot of people, and I have had to die to my right to be understood, appreciated, approved of, and praised. I am not here on earth to make myself look good or to advance my reputation. Rather, I am here to advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ and His agenda, and to bring HIM glory and renown!

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Another challenge has been being consistent with my standard of behavior and the use of my time and resources, no matter where I am or whom I am with. I bounce back and forth between Ellerslie in CO, home with my family of 14 in Iowa, and working with the His Little Feet ministry on the Ellerslie campus and on tour around the US, so I feel like I could easily have at least three different personalities, standards of conduct, etc. It has been a challenge to maintain a high, Christ-like standard for myself no matter what circumstances I find myself in, or rather, that God places me in. But my God is faithful to equip me with whatever I need for everything He calls me to do. Because of what God has called me to during my time at Ellerslie and working with His Little Feet, I have had to be away from my family a lot, which is very hard for me. I lived with my family (parents and 11 siblings) up until I went to CO in June 2010 for Ellerslie, and I am very close to them. They were (and still are) a huge part of who I am, and at first it was hard to imagine a life separate from every day life with them. It was a sacrifice that I had to make to be able to carry out what He was asking me to do. It taught me to find my security in Jesus Christ alone, not anyone on earth, even the people closest to me, my dear family. There have been lots of tears, but also so many sweet times of fellowship with my Jesus because of this. The challenges I have faced as I live for Jesus are difficult at times, but the joys I experience vastly outweigh anything negative. And God always uses anything challenging or difficult for our good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the

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called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). The joys of living the set-apart life are so numerous I could write a book! But for the sake of space I’ll try to summarize. Psalm 16:11 comes to mind: “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (KJV). My greatest joy is being in the Presence of Jesus Christ. He is my biggest reward, most fulfilling pleasure, and my sweetest happiness. When I think of the joys that have become a part of my life as a result of being a set-apart young woman, I think of the wonderful people I have met in just the past year or so. As I have found with my fellow students and the staff at Ellerslie, which I fondly call my "Ellerslie family," the sweet fellowship experienced by those who are living fully for Jesus is absolutely beautiful and amazing. Though we come from many different backgrounds and walks of life, we all share the common bond of following hard after the Lord Jesus and living a set-apart life. We have such sweet times together passionate prayer meetings, deep discussions about theology and life, and fun moments filled with pure-hearted laughter. I also have my His Little Feet "family" - the staff and our 29 children (15 of those were in our Haitian choir last year). Traveling with the same people for many months on tour created a close bond between all of us, and some of my sweetest memories are with those wonderful people. It amazes me that I can love so many people so much, but then I realize that it is God giving me His love for every single one of them. All glory to Him! Though this calling of caring for, discipling, and teaching these children is weighty and challenging, it is so very rewarding. This year we have 10 children from Ethiopia and 4 from Honduras. Every day I get to see their beautiful smiling faces, hear their voices, and get at least 14 hugs a day. I am so blessed! I am in awe and so thankful that, though I had to give up living with

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my family, I now have two other "families" to love and who love me. Because of what I gave up for the Lord, I see how He has blessed me with more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined! A God-written life is an amazing and interesting adventure. My life is filled with all kinds of new and exciting experiences and places, and interesting and inspiring people! If anyone thinks that a life lived for God alone is dull, they couldn’t be more wrong!

Q: What is one thing you desire the women of your generation to know? Jesus can and will satisfy all the longings we, as women, have for love, approval, affection, comfort, security, protection, provision, and guidance. If you seek Him, you will find Him; and when you find Him, He will truly become everything to you. He will be the security and comfort you run to, and the one you turn to for a depth of love and affection that no father, mother, husband, brother, or anyone on earth can match. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The

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God of the whole earth shall he be called” (Is. 54:5 KJV). He is the One who knows all of your thoughts and every desire of your heart, and He understands you even if no one else does. He knows and understands you better than you do yourself, which has been a great comfort to me. When I can’t make sense of my life, I know that God understands, and that He will direct me, guide me, and give me the wisdom I need. “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8 KJV).

God is not limited by our limitations, and nothing is impossible for Him. Q: You currently serve as an intern with His Little Feet international children’s choir. How did God lead you there and what is your role within the ministry? While I was a student at Ellerslie in the Summer 2010 semester, I met Mike and Christa Hahn, heard about their ministry, His Little Feet (HLF), and the children’s choir they were starting. I also found out that they might be looking for Ellerslie students to intern with them, but honestly I didn’t give it much thought. I really did not think that that was what God had planned for me. I had Haiti on my heart and I felt that God was going to send me there at some point, which is why I was disappointed and confused when the planned class trip to Haiti was canceled because of the earthquake. But even after that, I felt as though God had plans for me in Haiti, and my desire was to serve at the Hope for Haiti Children’s Center in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Although I thought God was leading me in a

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different direction, I attended a meeting for any students interested in the internship with HLF. As I heard more about it, my interest grew and I began praying very specifically. I only had a few days to decide if I was going to apply or not, but as I prayed and thought about it, and talked to my parents, I felt strongly that I should fill out the application. It was a 9 month commitment, and I was nervous about making such a big decision, but I knew that if it happened it was God’s will for my life. I turned in my application with an increased desire to work with this ministry, and I waited anxiously for days. Then the news came - I had been accepted! I soon realized that the children coming to be in the choir were from Haiti, and all of them were from the exact children’s home that I had wanted to go to! God was faithful to fulfill the desire He had placed in my heart, it just wasn't in the way I expected. And actually, I did get to go to Haiti when all of us on staff with HLF took the children home at the end of the tour. My job with His Little Feet consists of many different tasks, but my main role is to help care for the children when we are in Colorado and when we are on the road. On tour, I go with a few of the children to stay in a host home provided by the churches where we are performing. Along with the children’s physical care, all of us on staff are also responsible for teaching the children, both academically, by helping them with schoolwork, and spiritually by giving devotionals, reading the Bible to them, praying with them, and teaching them about how to behave in a way that is pleasing to God. When we are staying at the Ellerslie campus, the other staff and I help with laundry, meals, shopping, cleaning, organizing, preparing activities and crafts for the children, and supervising play time and nap time.

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Like being a mother, I have to do a little of everything - hair styling, stain removal, child psychology, massage therapy, first aid, and the list goes on. A project we are currently working on is a curriculum for the children. It is basically the Ellerslie training simplified and made into lessons that children can understand. We are going to write the lessons and teach them to the children while on tour, and then send the curriculum home with them, hopefully so it will be taught to the other kids in their children’s homes

Q: What are some of the memorable moments from this past season on the road? There are so many moments from last year’s choir tour that are precious memories for me, but here are a few that come to mind. One of my favorite memories is when we visited the Grand Canyon and the children sang some of their worship songs there. I remember the way the sounds reverberated off the rocks and echoed into the expanse. It was so appropriate to worship the Lord while admiring His awesome creation. During the Haitian children’s time in the US, one of their beloved “Mamis”, the women that care for them at their c h i l d r e n ’s h o m e , p a s s e d away. We had to tell them on a Saturday night, which meant they would have to perform the next morning. They were devastated, but that Sunday morning was one of their best performances of the year. The most memorable song they sang was "Blessed be Your Name," which goes like

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this: "You give and take away….But my heart will choose to say, 'Lord, blessed be Your name.'" They understood this very well and felt it deeply, but out of their mouths came beautiful worship. It was so amazing to see how the Lord used the children’s singing to touch people’s hearts and change their lives. Often we would see people singing along with the children during their performance, worshipping with tears streaming down their faces. Or people would come up to us after a performance with tears in their eyes telling us how God had spoken to their hearts. Before the children went to bed at host homes, we would usually have a devotional time when we would read the Bible or a good Christian book, talk, and pray together. Sometimes I would think they weren’t listening, when all of the sudden they would ask deep questions, and I could see that they truly were chewing on the Truth being taught.

Q: How do you cultivate your relationship with the Lord during the busyness of being on the road? I take advantage of any opportunity I have that I’m not busy with the children or other HLF tasks to spend time with the Lord, whether it is getting up early before the kids wake up, after they go to sleep, on the bus driving to our next destination, or a quiet afternoon when they are napping. It is so life-giving to make time to draw near to my Jesus and meditate on His Word. I will also stop just for a few minutes during a busy day to ask for His help, or purpose to think about Him when I’m doing a quiet task like laundry or cleaning. I definitely don’t get all the quiet time with Him that I did before the children came, but God has proven faithful to give me all the grace that I need. It's an amazing truth that when you are pouring out, you are strengthened yourself. When you give of yourself spiritually, you are given more strength than you had before. Some of my most encouraging times with the Lord are with the children.

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Q: What would you share with other young women who feel a desire to serve the Lord by working with vulnerable children? In a word, pray. Pray for God to burden you more and more with His heart for the orphaned and vulnerable. Pray about what type of ministry you should pursue. While you are praying, research different ministries and organizations that help the weak and vulnerable. Get informed about what is going on around the world with orphan advocacy and the different needs in each country, to try and grasp the reality of what is happening to God’s precious children. But don’t let the magnitude of need overwhelm you. You can make a difference. Every Christian is called to serve the poor, the needy, and the orphan, in some way. It may look very different for every one of us, but we are all called to do something. Ask the Lord what that "something" is for you. It could be anything from providing respite care for foster or adoptive families or volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center to working at an orphanage overseas or working with girls rescued from child trafficking. Be open to anything, because whatever the Lord calls you to do, He will give you all the resources, wisdom, and grace you need to accomplish it. God is not limited by our limitations, and nothing is impossible for Him. When my eyes were first opened to the horrible reality of what is happening to children all over the world, I was devastated, but I felt helpless and unable to do anything. Which is why I give God all the credit and glory for leading me into what I am doing right now. We cannot carry the full weight of the sin and devastation in the world. I only got a glimpse of it, and I felt incredibly overwhelmed. God allows us to feel His heart, but He carries the burden for us. He only allows us to see enough to inspire us to do what He wants us to do to help. We need to focus on loving the vulnerable and lost right in our own backyard. While looking for orphans to care for or a good cause to work toward, don’t miss the opportunities right in front of you. Have open eyes and a willing heart. *

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a few of Ca rrie’s favorit e things goin

g for long w alks alone & my family talking with J parents & 11 esus, s i b l i n gs, newborn b singing prais abies, e a n d w o pure-hearted rship songs, laughter, seei ng a child co spiritual trut mprehend a h, God-writte n love stories with lemon d , earl grey te essert, sprin a gtime, listeni children sing ng to the ing, being wit h my Ellersl ie family, anything choc olate!

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


Prayerful

mothering By Leslie Ludy Many years before Hudson Taylor became the father of evangelical missions, he was a wayward teen with no real interest in God. His mother was greatly burdened for the eternal salvation of her son. She began to labor diligently in prayer on his behalf, asking God to radically rescue his soul. One day, when she was away from home staying with a friend, she felt especially pressed to wrestle in prayer for Hudson. She knelt by her bed, and determined not to rise from the spot until she was confident that her son’s soul had been won for Christ. Hour after hour she pleaded for Hudson, until at last she could pray no longer, but knew in her heart that the victory had been gained. Christ’s Spirit made it clear to her that her son

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had come into the kingdom of God raising our children. God’s Word that very day. exhorts us to “pray without ceasing,” and being a mother Upon her arrival home several days provides plenty of opportunities to later, Hudson met her at the door to petition the throne of heaven daily, tell her the joyful news that he had hourly, and moment-by-moment. It given his life to Christ the very same afternoon she

a mother can change the world through faithfully praying for her children

had wrestled for him in prayer. But it wasn’t just Hudson’s soul that was won that day. The tireless prayers of this faithful mother helped shape one of the greatest spiritual heroes this world has ever known, leading to the salvation of countless lost souls and the inspiration for thousands of foreign

might seem silly to pray intensely about mundane child-raising issues such as potty training, binkieweaning, table manners, and sleep patterns. But this is our training ground. If we learn how to take everything to God in prayer,

missionaries. (Hudson Taylor, A knowing that He cares about every Retrospect, China Inland Mission, detail of our children’s lives, we will London, p. 5) begin to notice His faithfulness I am convinced a mother can day-by-day. As a result, we will be change the world through faithfully made strong in faith and spiritually praying for her children – and ready for the bigger battles ahead. countless mothers, like Hudson When Harper first came home from Taylor’s, already have. Korea, there were many But we cannot learn how to fight temptations for me to either worry large-scale battles in prayer until about or try to “solve” the many we have practiced on the small, challenges that came with her everyday challenges we face in Copyright 2012 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 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


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


it was a direct answer to our prayers transition into our home. While still in Korea, Harper had been diagnosed with “stranger anxiety,” and the social worker was quite concerned about her ability to bond with us. I envisioned the agony of having a child who would scream every time I tried to comfort her or cuddle with her. But Eric and I committed together to wrestle in prayer for all stranger anxiety to be removed before she even came home – and God truly answered our prayer in a miraculous, amazing way. From the very first moment we held her, she seemed to instantly know that we were her parents. When the social worker came to check on her the day after her arrival, she was shocked at how well Harper had bonded to us and how happy she seemed. We knew it was a direct answer to our prayers. Seeing God’s faithfulness in this area inspired us to faithfully pray for every issue – small or big – that Copyright 2012 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.


we faced in parenting our new little Asian import. Harper had never slept in a crib before. Her sleep schedule was completely opposite of ours since she came from the other side of the world. Her car seat terrified her. So I began

up perfectly with Hudson’s.” The answers didn’t always come instantly, but they did come. Harper’s adjustment into a new country, new family, and new life was truly supernatural. Other moms would sometimes ask me

praying over Harper nearly every what we did to help Harper moment of the day. “Lord, I pray transition into our family so that she would feel totally smoothly. The only real answer I comfortable in her car seat.” could give was, “We prayed!” “Lord, may she sleep through the night without any I am convinced that prayer was interruptions.” “Lord, may the primary reason behind every Harper’s nap schedule line

success we achieved.

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Sometimes they would get disgruntled with that answer. “Well, yes, but I mean – besides that,” they would counter, wanting something more practical from me. Sure, there were a few functional things we did to help Harper adjust to her crib and car seat, but I am convinced that prayer was the primary reason behind every success we achieved. One night, not long after Harper arrived home, she awoke with a high fever and stuffy nose. My first reaction was to rush for the infant Tylenol and check pediatric websites for advice. But Eric said,

our child-raising. Anything practical we do should merely be an outflow of our faithful, diligent praying for each detail of our children’s lives. Hudson Taylor’s mother could have frantically sought out practical solutions to help her rebellious, apathetic son. She could have searched for the right book to give him, the right church to drag him to, or the right mentor to disciple him. But Mrs. Taylor knew that until she had truly petitioned heaven on behalf of her son, everything she tried would just be a

“Wait…why don’t we pray first?” So we did. And instantly, the fever and stuffy nose were completely gone. As moms, we are often so eager for practical solutions to the everyday challenges we face with our children that we can easily forget about our biggest most powerful parenting weapon: prayer. Prayer shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be the very foundation of

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Whether you are wrestling in prayer over potty training your toddler, or are laboring over the fate of your child’s eternal soul, the victory lies in wrestling, importunate, diligent prayer. human solution to a God-sized problem. Wrestling in prayer for Hudson was the most powerful, effective way to reach his soul – and she knew it. A few weeks ago Eric and I noticed that little Dubber (Kip, age 3) was always pretending to be a “bad guy.” So, we started praying that he would catch a vision for being a protector, not a villain. And just today, as Dubber ran outside to play with a long stick in his hand, he announced, “Mommy – I’m a hero, not a bad guy!” As moms, we can rest in the full assurance that God cares more about our children than even we do. Every issue, big or small, can be entrusted into His faithful hands. If we learn how to win small victories in prayer now (i.e. car seats, binkies, and bad-guy tendencies) we will be ready for the more significant battles that lay ahead, battles that affect the generations to come.

Whether you are wrestling in prayer over potty training your toddler, or are laboring over the fate of your child’s eternal soul, the victory lies in wrestling, importunate, diligent prayer. The old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” beautifully captures the heart attitude of a prayerful mother: What a Friend we have in Jesus; all our sins and griefs to bear What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer!

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mighty miracles in our children’s lives. Jesus sees every sparrow that falls, He knows the number of Jesus knows our every hairs on our child’s head, and He weakness; take it to the Lord in cares about them - far more than prayer. we ever could. No matter is ever No matter what challenge we face too small or too big to take to our in our parenting, if we as mothers God in prayer! put these words into action, we will begin to see Can we find a Friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?

*

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Leslie’s Blog!

Marriage & mamahood

Moments from my life.

MAMAHOOD: A Glimpse of What God Will Do

The other night I was battling an intense headache. My kids are not used to seeing Mommy in pain and unable to interact with them in my normal energetic way. The toddlers kept looking at me with concerned faces and asking, “What’s wrong, Mommy? Why you not feeling better?” Little Dubber (Kipling, age 3) seemed especially concerned about my well-being. He watched me for few moments and then sweetly offered, “Mommy, can I jump on you?” Though such a suggestion was completely unwelcome at that particular moment, Dubber was genuinely trying to help me in his own way. Dubber’s love language seems to be rough play. I guess he put himself in my position and decided that if he was feeling a bit off, having someone tackle, wrestle, and roughhouse with him would certainly be a cure-all. What a little gentleman – at least for that one fleeting moment... CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST

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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, tailor-made for cultivating intimacy with Christ and becoming equipped for world-impacting Christian service. It’s a life-changing experience designed to super-charge your spiritual walk, ground you in a Gospel worldview, give you an unshakeable passion for God’s Word, and prepare you for a lifestyle of kingdom work. We would count it a privilege to personally invest in your spiritual life through this program!

upcoming sessions:

2012 Summer:

June 16 - August 19

2012 FALL: October 13 - December 16

2013 Winter/Spring: February 9 - April 14

a$ly at:

Or join us for a Taste of Ellerslie 3-day Conference April 27 - 29!

www.ellerslie.com

click here for information!

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sea

a girlish holiday at with harper grace & Avonlea Rose Ludy

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photos by given photography

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“A girl is innocence playing in mud, beauty standing on its head,and

motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. (Alan Beck)

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Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

givenphotography

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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.


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.


A girly little princess with a squishy lizard in her pocket.

harper grace Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

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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.


(age 7)

HUDSON

Gentleman in Training, Aspiring Rescuer, Inventor-Extraordinaire, Amazing Giſt-Giver

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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.


A spunky little monkey with a playful eye for mischief and adventure.

avonlea rose Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

givenphotography

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


Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

givenphotography

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


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.


little girls are heaven’s flowers (unknown)

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CuteStuff

the ludy kids are “saying & doing” 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."


AVONLEA, age 2

KIPLING, age 3

The other day she was disappointed that she wasn’t able to sit by Mommy at breakfast. So she asked me, “Mommy, can I sit by you next-er-day?” Meaning, “Can I sit by you tomorrow?” The word “next-er-day” made total sense to me, which makes me wonder if I am in need of a few more grownup conversations in my daily life.

He talks non-stop, but you need to be fluent in “Dubber” to really understand him, and none of us are fluent quite yet. The other night he kept saying, “Can you go get my cowbell? It’s in the chicken.” It took at least ten minutes before we figured out that he meant to say, “Can you go get my killer whale? It’s in the kitchen.”

HUDSON, age 7 For Christmas, the grandparents gave our kids a large motorized jeep that Hudson drives all around the yard, taking the other kids on safari tours and camping adventures. The other day he set up an entire campsite, complete with sleeping bags, pillows, stuffed animals, water bottles, and marshmallows on sticks. He loaded up the jeep with the gear and the other kids, drove them to the campsite, and organized the entire adventure with all the deftness of a real park ranger.

HARPER, age 5 Every night before bed, I sing her two songs and scratch her back. Anytime I am not home at her bedtime and someone else puts her down, she will wake up at 3 a.m. and come into our bedroom saying, “Mommy needs to sing to me!” So I will have to wake up out of a completely sound sleep and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”. Never thought I’d be singing those songs in the dead of night.

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setapartgirl

Want to be involved? (we’d love for you to)

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Pray.

This ministry is built upon prayer and we want you to join with us. See our up-to-date prayer requests online!

Share.

Our generation is in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His vision for all that femininity can be. So help us spread the word about setapartgirl!

Give.

Our ministry is a testimony of the provision of God - in its content, creative elements, and the finances needed to have such a publication. As we move toward going to print, there are many practical things that we will be needing. If you feel led to lend a hand in this way, go online to see a list of our practical needs!

GO TO:

www.setapartgirl.com/beinvolved

for updates, prayer needs, & practical ways to give. Copyright 2012 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 and conference video!

Lily Among Thorns

womanhood that changes the world Copyright 2012 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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The most beautiful women I’ve ever observed are those that have exchanged a self-focused life for a Christ-focused one.  They are confident, but not in themselves.  Instead of self-confidence, they radiate with Christ confidence.   - Leslie Ludy

inthenextissue Handling Your Emotions in a Christ-like Way When “Going Green” Goes Too Far God’s perspective on the earth-friendly craze A God-Written Romance a setapartgirl team member shares her story Copyright 2012 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. Soli Deo Gloria


setapartgirl MAR/APR 2012 issue  

Leslie Ludy's Online Magazine!

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