L ESL I E L UDY’ S
the h c n u re-la ue! iss meet shauna
sister of the common life
FIRST LOVE cultivating true intimacy with Christ
loving what God loves hating what God hates
leslie’s blog JANUARY 7-9th, 2010 register now! setapartgirl conference 1
ISSUE . JULY/AU G U S T 201 0
setapartgirl | July/August 2010
leslie ludy BEST-SELLING AUTHOR FOUNDER, SET APART GIRL
Welcome! Almost exactly a year ago, one of the greatest moments of my life occurred – the birth of our little daughter, Avonlea Rose Ludy. I remember walking along the Poudre Trail the day I went into labor and praying, praying, and praying with every contraction that came. Memories of giving birth to Hudson four years earlier (with 39 excruciating hours of labor and some serious complications) flickered through my mind. But whenever fear began to creep in – I prayed. And when the pain began to feel unbearable – I prayed. And 12 hours later, when I had reached a point of absolute exhaustion, I prayed. And just four minutes after crying out to God to bring the baby right now, Avonlea Rose was in my arms. As I reflect back on Avonlea’s birth, I am once again aware that our God is perfectly faithful; He knows the number of hairs on our head, and cares more about us than we could ever imagine. If only we lived each day in light of that amazing truth! As we release this new magazine issue, we are celebrating God’s faithfulness. It’s been a year of great battle – but also great triumph. Avonlea’s birth, the launch of our Ellerslie training school in Colorado, and countless other demonstrations of the awesome hand of our God at work. I pray these articles will point you toward Jesus Christ, and cause you to remember afresh His perfect, amazing, faithfulness – truly He is worthy of your entire heart, mind, life, and future! As it says in Psalm 16:11, In His presence is fullness of joy. May that become the reality of our daily lives! For His glory,
annie wesche CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Quiet & cozy office? Check. Macbook Pro? Check. Tracker-ball mouse? Check. A finely brewed cup of jasmine green tea? Check. It’s Monday morning and I’ve run through my checklist of “tools” needed to bring together this issue for our setapartgirl.com relaunch, and contentedly decide that I’m set. Yet within just 5 minutes of hitting this exciting project I am gently reminded of my great inadequacy to produce Life within these “pages”. My morning study time took me to Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” That word “worketh” actually means to put forth power, and this does not mean my own time-invested, fully-focussed, gear-down-get-er-done power, but the indwelling power of Christ Jesus at work within me. What a blessed promise and timely reminder! So let’s re-assess some things. Surrender? Check. Prayer? Definitely. Trust? Yes. Faith that God will bring it to completion? Amen! So here’s to the One for whom this magazine issue is dedicated, and the One by whose strength it is created. And here’s to you, my sisters, a prayer for deep edification and unspeakable joy as you seek more of the matchless One in your life, Jesus. HIS and yours,
6 46 18 28 14
table of contents
meet our guest writers |
first love |
awed by his faithfulness | 14
sister of the common life | 18 avonlea rose turns one | 24
loving what God loves | 28 q & a with leslie | 38
a pair of jeans & a holy heart | 42 faith that laughs | 46 leslieâ€™s picks | 50 4
our guest contributors
I’m a country girl from the
I’m from a little town in Ohio
Less than a year ago God
Ozarks of Arkansas, currently
and am incredibly blessed to
answered the long-time prayer
serving as a "missionary" in
have a family that has
of my heart to work alongside
Northern Oregon. While a
supported and encouraged me
Eric and Leslie championing
registered nurse by profession,
in the various places God has
the message of a set apart life
most of my time is spent
taken me in the past few years.
unto Jesus. I grew up in North
working with various youth
God has given me a heart for
Carolina, but now call Colorado
ministries, overseas missions,
Thailand and its beautiful
my home and delight to fill my
orphan ministries, doing
people, and my heart’s desire
days with the four precious
personal evangelism, and
is to one day return there for
Ludy kiddos, assisting Leslie,
writing/blogging to encourage
long term missions, if it be His
sharing in student life at
my friends in their walk with
will. Until then, I am very much
Ellerslie Training, and enjoying
God. I love living the adventure
looking forward to attending
a growing passion for
of the "Set-Apart Life" and my
Ellerslie Training this summer
photography and design.
greatest interest and passion is
to go deeper in the Set Apart
Whether its been through
living daily for my King, and
life, fall more in love with
serving as a missionary for a
sharing the joy of this journey
Jesus, and patiently seek out
year in Korea or answering
His calling on my life.
ministry emails, it is my greatest delight to serve at the
MEL’S ARTICLE PAGE 42
TESSA’S ARTICLE PAGE 46
feet of my Beloved Jesus! JADE’S ARTICLE PAGE 14
1st love setapartgirl
Cultivating True Intimacy with Christ By Leslie Ludy
…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us… Hebrews 12:1
When I was in high school, my life seemed like that of a normal, healthy, active Christian teen. I had all of the ingredients that make a modern-day young womanʼs life: friends, guy, dating, popularity, and a bit of God thrown in on the side. I had every reason to be happy and fulfilled. I was enjoying the pleasures and attractions of the world, experiencing all the excitement of friends and dating and parties, and yet still maintaining my good standing with God. I knew that someday I would go to Heaven, and in the meantime I was having fun and living as much for myself as I possibly could without forsaking my Christian faith. Life was good – or at least, it was supposed to be.
But there was a growing emptiness inside of me; a sense of discontent and restlessness that never seemed to fade, no matter how loud I turned up my music or how many friends I surrounded myself with. Whenever I laid in bed at night, I felt a still small voice within my soul; beckoning me away from the frenzy of the world and calling me back to Himself. I knew God wanted more of me. But He felt so far away. And I had no idea how to draw close to Him. Softly, tenderly, He began to call me to Himself. I began to long to know Him, to give my life fully and completely to Him. I began to awaken to the fact that the only solution for the empty void within
setapartgirl my heart was to yield my life completely to Him. My life was so full that I couldnʼt imagine how I would ever find more time for my spiritual life. Every day was a whirlwind of classes and homework and activities. On the weekends, I devoted all my time to catching up on sleep and maintaining my demanding social life. I crammed every spare moment with parties, movies, concerts, football games, dates, youth group get-togethers, and shopping with friends. This was the normal, healthy, expected life of a girl my age. I had never questioned it. The fact that I was involved in so many activities and constantly surrounded with friends had always been my “great Christian witness”—proving to the world that just because a young person was a Christian did not mean that he or she couldnʼt survive on the fast track of the typical American teen. I felt Him gently speak to my heart, “Leslie, stop try to fit Me into your life – instead, build your life around Me.” The words were convicting at the deepest level. The more I looked at my life, the more I began to realize that friends, guys, and career pursuits completely dominated my time. I had been trying to fit Him in here and there, whenever I had a spare moment. Though a lot of my time was spent with Christian friends doing Christian things, He was not the center of my world. I called myself a Christian, but my life was not built around Jesus Christ – it was built around myself. And yet I had no idea how to build my life around Him. At first glance, there seemed to be hardly anything that I could cut out. Abandon my friends? Withdraw from my activities? Skip out on my school
and career goals? Shut down my dating life altogether? How could I make decisions like this and expect to live a normal existence? Patiently, my Lord opened my eyes to a new understanding: If I wanted to be His set-apart princess, I should not expect to live a “normal” existence ever again. He had so much more in mind for me than the expected pattern for todayʼs typical young woman. And He wanted to teach me a completely new pattern for every area of my daily life. One night, I knelt beside my bed. “Lord, I have been calling myself a Christian, but living for myself. Now, I surrender my life completely to you. Take every single dimension of my life – and make it a reflection of Your nature, Your pattern.” And one by one, I began to lay down each practical area of my life at the feet of Jesus…
Even though I knew that being obsessed with popularity was not honoring to God, I had an addiction to being surrounded by loads of friends. I wanted to prove to myself and the rest of the world that people liked me and wanted to spend time with me. Thus, I surrounded myself with as many friends as I possibly could. Yet when I stepped back and really examined those friendships, I was surprised to realize that the majority of them were not true friends. They did not really know me, nor did they have a desire to. I was simply another voice in the midst of their gossipy chatter, another body squished in the backseat of their car,
myself wondering why I felt the need to devote my time to maintaining these shallow relationships.
another ear for their jokes and secrets, another workout partner, or another shopping buddy. Though many of them were so-called Christians, they did lead me closer to Jesus Christ – many times, they pulled me away from Him. I found myself wondering why I felt the need to devote my time to maintaining these shallow relationships. I discovered that my reasons were based around the assumption that if I did not have plenty of friends my own age, I would not be normal and healthy. I would be isolated and alone. I would be strange. I would forget how to relate to society. I would be on my way to a remote and depressing hermitʼs cabin in the woods for the rest of my life. But the gentle voice of Christ, drawing me to intimacy with Him, began to challenge this ingrained assumption. Wasnʼt He far more important to me than being considered normal? Even if it meant that I never had friends again and became a social outcast, with all my heart I wanted to build my life around Him. So I withdrew from my circle of friends. They
hardly noticed I was gone. Surprisingly, I found that I did not miss them either. God was amazingly faithful to meet my needs for human companionship by bringing true friends into my life—friends that were pursuing Him in the same way I was. They were friends who understood my commitment to building my life around Christ, and I did not have to spend huge amounts of my time or energy maintaining the friendships. They were not always friends my own age. Some of them, shockingly enough, were actually right in my own family. Others were godly adults in my life, much older and wiser than me. They were people who I never would have thought of as potential friends. They were not typically the “normal” friends a young woman today is expected to have. But they were the most supportive, encouraging, like-minded companions I had ever known. They led me closer to my Jesus Christ. They helped pave the way for intimacy with Him in my inner sanctuary. From a young age, the “way” to do things had been ingrained in my mind, and I had never questioned societyʼs pattern for success: Make top grades in high school, be career-minded from the age of fourteen, get into a good college, graduate with
laying down future dreams. honors, find a high-paying job, make a lot of money, buy a nice car and big house, and most of all, steer clear of ending up in the homeless shelters! I became goal-oriented and ambitious, and I was committed to living the American dream. My first week of high school, I had been forced to sit through a lecture entitled “ F r e s h m a n S e m i n a r. ” D u r i n g t h i s enlightening experience, Mr. Armstrong (a bulky JV football coach and part-time guidance counselor) attempted to scare us into taking our education seriously by explaining the ABCs of academic reality for todayʼs young American adult. Mr. Armstrong went on to inform us of the sobering requirements for getting into a good college. We stared at him with wide eyes as he raised his husky arms in the air and emphatically warned us that if we did not maintain a decent GPA throughout high school—especially our freshman year, which was extremely crucial to the whole plan—we had no prayer of being accepted into a good college, we would never amount to anything, and we were headed straight for the homeless shelter. I went home that night, armed with a huge pile of college brochures that had been passed out at the end of Mr. Armstrongʼs lecture, and carefully laid out my ten-year plan. And the older I got, the more attached I became to my own ideas of how my future should unfold. But my Lord had something far better in mind for me. “Can you trust Me with your future?” He whispered. Mr. Armstrongʼs threats from my freshman year came racing
back into my mind. If I let my Christ have full reign over the direction of my life, my carefully-laid ten-year plan might be compromised. Irrational worries that had been planted years ago began to haunt me. The culture had trained me well—fears of what would become of me viciously attacked my mind. But the patient whisper of my Lord continued to tug at my heart. Finally I was ready to allow Him full access to my future plans—to do with my life whatever He desired. The most important focus of my life now was to build my daily existence around intimacy with Him in my inner sanctuary. I realized it was nearly impossible to do this with my current schedule, so, with plenty of fear and trembling but also with plenty of support from my parents, I made the decision to finish my high school education at home. I was amazed at what happened as a result of that choice. Every day, before doing anything else, I was able to spend a long, focused period of time alone with my King. For the first time in my life, things that pulled me away from Him did not assault me throughout the day. The noise and distraction I had been so used to every day had disappeared. I began to hear His gentle voice even more clearly. I was able to build my life around Him. Whenever a decision needed to be made about my future, instead of following the cultureʼs push toward money and success, I began to allow Christ to lead me wherever He wanted me to go. As I made my Lord the center of my days, I quickly found that my obedience to His voice did not destroy my education, career, or future, but only enhanced those areas beyond my greatest imagination.
setapartgirl From the time I was thirteen years old, I had carried an unwavering pressure from the world around me to hurry up and “find that special someone” to spend the rest of my life with. I still desired to get married and have a family someday, and conventional wisdom told me that the longer I waited to snag someone, the less chance I had of seeing that desire fulfilled. My parents had been high school sweethearts; they met at a dance when they were fifteen (back in the days when everything had a black-and-
Handing the pen of my love story over to my Prince was by far the most difficult step He ever asked me to take. Though He had never been anything but faithful in all other areas, still I was plagued by the fear that this area would be ruined if it were out of my control. Surely He needed the aid of my romantic expertise! What about that popular saying “God canʼt steer a parked car”? Didnʼt I need to rev up the engine for Him—get out there and make myself available to the opposite sex—and then
laying down romance. white Leave It to Beaver flair). This, along with the sage advice of the other young women I talked to, pushed me to start searching aggressively for the right guy, desperately hoping to find him before I missed my chance. I became convinced that if I hadnʼt found him by the time I graduated from college, I was doomed to be stuck choosing from the “bottom of the pile,” like arriving at the tail end of a huge half-off sale and finding nothing left but random, useless articles of clothing that donʼt fit. " But God was asking me to surrender my future romance completely into His hands —avoiding the usual places I went to meet and flirt with guys, letting go of most of my social activities to focus more on Him— walking away from the dating scene. I began to worry that if I was not “out there,” I would never meet someone. Visions of that lonely hermitʼs cabin in the woods began to haunt me once again. “Trust Me with your love story,” came His tender voice. “Allow Me to write each chapter of your future, in My own perfect time and My own perfect way.”
Allow Me to write each chapter of your future, in My own perfect time and My own perfect way. 10
setapartgirl keep a helping hand on the steering wheel as He drove in order to make sure He didnʼt crash the car? “Trust Me, Leslie. Trust Me with all your heart; donʼt lean on your own understanding.” The message He spoke to my heart could not have been clearer. He wanted me to stop building my life around the pursuit of the opposite sex and instead build my life completely around the pursuit of Him. I was to concern myself not with finding human love, but with falling more deeply in love with Jesus Christ. ~ Handing the pen of my love story over to my Prince was by far the most difficult step He ever asked me to take. Though He had never been anything but faithful in all other areas, still I was plagued by the fear that this area would be ruined if it were out of my control. Surely He needed the aid of my romantic expertise! What about that popular saying “God canʼt steer a parked car”? Didnʼt I need to rev up the engine for Him—get out there and make myself available to the opposite sex—and then keep a helping hand on the steering wheel as He drove in order to make sure He didnʼt crash the car? “Trust Me, Leslie. Trust Me with all your heart; donʼt lean on your own understanding.” The message He spoke to my heart could not have been clearer. He wanted me to stop building my life around the pursuit of the opposite sex and instead build my life completely around the pursuit of Him. I was to concern myself not with finding human love, but with falling more deeply in love with Jesus Christ.
A young figure skater with the dream of winning an Olympic gold medal does not just read about skating, watch videos about skating, sing songs about skating, listen to advice about skating, and hang out with other skaters. She devotes her heart, soul, mind, body, energy, and time to skating. She gets up before dawn, practices tirelessly for countless hours, and spends every spare moment of her days, nights, and weekends on the ice. That kind of passionate, unyielding dedication is what Christ asks us to give Him. Donʼt settle for hearing about intimacy with Him, singing about intimacy with Him, or reading about intimacy with Him; really discover true intimacy with Him by building your entire life around Him. Begin with the foundations of your life. Ask yourself these questions: What are the things that consume my time, energy, and attention throughout the week? In what practical ways could I restructure my life to center around intimacy with my heavenly Lover? With an open heart and mind, ask Him to show you what aspects of your life are hindering your ability to focus completely on Him. With His gentle guidance, do whatever it takes to build your life around Him. It will not be easy— but soon you will discover a depth of intimacy with Jesus Christ you never knew was possible. And truly, there is no other way to live.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. Psalm 73:25 11
2010 Fall: October 11 - December 17
2011 Winter/Spring: February 14 - April 17
June 13 - August 13
one treasure. a single eye. a sole master. - jim elliot
by His Faithfulness
by Jade Valcarcel
When I was asked to write an article about the faithfulness of God in my life, at first I knew just what I wanted to write about: the beautiful season of waiting that the Lord took me through a year
The only thing that I said over and over to God was, “Please, please, please.” Not, please save his life or please heal him, just please. ago, the lessons I had learned in that season, laying all my hopes, dreams, desires, and plans at His feet - and then watching Him orchestrate something far beyond what I could have imagined in
setapartgirl bringing me to be a part of the staff at Ellerslie and Set Apart Girl. And yet, as I sat down to capture all of this, I was gently reminded by God’s Spirit of an event that took place in my life when I was sixteen years old – an event that left me forever changed and caused me to fully surrender my life to Jesus Christ because of the aweinspiring faithfulness of God… That November morning had started off as any other. The sun was shining and the air was crisp and clean, the kind of day that is perfect for decorating a house with Christmas lights. Thinking that this sounded like a fantastic plan, my family marched into that morning with laughter, singing, and high hopes of a bright and twinkling house by the evening to come. My cousin Chris and I bravely decided that we should be the ones to try and put the lights up on our roof, since my Dad was at work and my Mom was a much better overseer for that kind of job. So away we went, trying our very best to get the strands of white lights into some sort of order on our extremely steep roof. When my dad came home for lunch and learned about our plans, he quickly decided that the roof was really not safe enough for us to be hanging over trying to staple lights onto and he promptly took over. We thought it would be fun to just sit on the roof and chat with him as
he worked, I tried to get comfortable while concentrating on not sliding off. There are moments in our lives that are forever etched in our memory and they strangely do not grow dim with the passing of time. Sitting on that roof, joking with my dad as he climbed back up the ladder after retrieving something he’d left on the ground, will forever be branded on my mind. For one moment he was there, laughing at something I’d said and in the blink of an eye he had fallen head first, fourteen feet below onto the concrete sidewalk. My Mom’s screams will forever echo across my heart as I watched her run across the yard to where my dad lay. I remember not being able to think or feel. I was just there, still sitting on the roof, unable to get down because the ladder had fallen with my Dad, an observer of the events that were forever changing my life. A neighbor who heard my Mom screaming came running over after calling 911 and tried to help in any way she could, first off by getting me off the roof. It seemed like years before the ambulance arrived and drove my Dad to the tiny little hospital that our small midwestern town claimed. Driving to the hospital, I remember not even being able to form a coherent prayer. The only thing that I said over and over to God was, “Please, please, please.” Not, please save his life or please heal him, just please. When I arrived at the hospital, I sat waiting with my Mom for a doctor to
setapartgirl come out and let us know what injuries my Dad had suffered or if he was even going to make it. Finally, after what seemed like more years, a doctor did come with a prognosis that would have discouraged most people. My Dad had suffered severe head trauma, a broken neck, two collapsed lungs, two broken elbows, and a broken wrist. The hospital in our town was not equipped to handle his injuries and so they were airlifting him by helicopter to a larger hospital near Chicago. We would have to make the one-hour drive and meet them there, since we could not fly with him. I remember my Mom asking me to call everyone we could think of to pray for my Dad. We didn’t even know if he’d make it through the night, let alone what kind of repercussions his injuries would cause if he did live. At the end of that one-hour drive to the hospital, we had people praying from South Carolina to California and all states in between. Walking into the second hospital, we were met by a very confused and somewhat annoyed doctor. He wanted to know who had diagnosed his patient as having such serious injuries. Couldn’t the first doctor have seen that clearly, none of his injuries were serious? My mom and I of course wanted to know what in the world he was talking about and what did he mean “no injuries that severe”? “Well, that’s exactly what I mean! We have him in x-ray right now to get more images of his neck because I
He took a situation that the enemy meant for destruction and through it He changed my life and altered the course of where my life would go. don’t even think that it is broken!” he replied. My mom and I stared at each other in disbelief as we waited for the results and to see my Dad. Coming back out, the doctor stuck both x-rays, the one from the first hospital and the second that they had just taken, up on the light board and clearly pointed out the break on the first. “Um, the thing is, you can’t see this break on any of the latest pictures we’ve just taken...sometimes, something can look like a break and it’s not...or doctors can misread things.” he awkwardly added. Can you misread severe and visible head trauma? I wondered to myself, smiling and knowing the answer.
“Doctor, do you believe in God?” my mom quietly asked. Smiling and looking away he answered, “ Yes.” and left the room. Two days later, after doctors has predicted that if he lived he would probably not walk again, my Dad walked out of that hospital. No head trauma, no broken neck, no punctured lungs, no broken elbows or wrist. In fact, today the only reminder he carries is a scar where the “head trauma” turned into nothing more than a small cut that needed a few stitches. However, the miraculous work that the Lord did to heal my dad’s body served as the push I needed to 100% turn my life over to Jesus Christ. Every time I look into his face or hear him laugh, I am reminded of the utterly indescribable faithfulness of my God. For He is the same God who created the heavens and the earth, who sent down fire from heaven when Elijah called for it, who appeared in a burning bush to Moses and parted the red sea, who left His throne and all of heaven to become a baby who would grow into a man. A man who was “despised and forsaken of men” whom “we did not esteem” who willingly bore our griefs and sorrows. The love of such a God, of my precious Jesus, is far more than I can ever deserve. Yes, I have seen His faithfulness, for He took a situation that the enemy meant for destruction and through it He changed
my life and altered the course of where my life would go. So, I sit here tonight thinking about all that He has done in my life over the past year, of the testimony He has been so faithful to give me, of how I came to be at Ellerslie and of the one event that began this adventure. All I can think to say is,” Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings, and shall not be ashamed.” -Psalm 119:46
setapartgirl | July/August 2010 I have lived my whole life on Cape Cod by the sea surrounded by my family and deep friendships. While I was a teenager, God gave me a heart to minister with/to the Deaf however and wherever He may ask me to go. My journey with Him has been truly life changing and I have learned so much at every turn in the road of life. I am currently working as an American Sign Language/ English interpreter and I am looking forward to what God has for me around the next bend in the road.
sister of the common meet shauna life 18
setapartgirl | July/August 2010 Q: When did you come to Christ and choose to live fully set apart for Him? I was blessed to have been raised in a home where Christ was always central and strong Biblical theology was taught at home, school, and church. Living a set apart life was never a foreign concept and always discussed by those around me. When I was seven years old, I made a personal decision to follow Christ. As the years past I thought that I lived a set apart life, however, fell into a self-righteous view of the world around me. I always “wanted Christ to be central” in my life, but God patiently uncovered my true selfcentered and judgmental motivations. It was a step by step transition from head to heart throughout high school. Q: What have been some of the greatest challenges and joys of living as a set-apart young woman? One challenge I face is keeping my faith relevant to my co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Living the set apart life without compromise and yet being able to communicate it to others in a personal way. There are times that I have found myself removed from people with different worldviews, and I have struggled with conversation and sharing what I believe. At the same time, I cannot blend into the world around me. Jesus came into the world for those that are in need of Him. If I am His ambassador I must be among people in need and be ready to ‘share the hope that is within me.’ This is not always easy and I find that when in constant prayer God reveals providential moments for ministry. Another challenge I found came from an unexpected place. While growing up there were several people that I looked up to as heroes in the faith. One of these people unknowingly hurt me deeply. I found myself going through the motions with a shaken faith for a season. After crawling back to my Savior and Healer I realized that I had allowed my faith to rest on more than the One and Only God of the Universe. Other people that live or have lived a set-apart life can and should be examples for us but, they cannot be leaned on in the same way that we are to lean on Christ. They are here to point us to the One that saved them and encourage us to grow closer to Him. That experience, in a way, pushed me to
setapartgirl | July/August 2010 understanding dependence on Christ from a whole new perspective. I realized that asking other set apart Christians for godly advice was in no way a replacement for going directly to God for guidance. The greatest joy in the set-apart life is knowing Christ personally and knowing that He knows me personally. He never ceases to amaze me by all that He is and all that He does. His grace and mercy towards me are astounding. I know that I will spend eternity learning more about Him and I will still not fully comprehend the vastness of His character. Christ, however, is our Creator. He knows all there is to know about us. He created us all with a multitude of unique personalities for a reason. He makes no mistakes, and has a place for each of us, if we will only surrender to His call. I have always had an adventurous side of me that I was never sure what God would do with it. There were times when I thought that the set apart life would force me to give it up. But I found that God gave me that desire for adventure and He has lead me through so many adventures that I could have never have imagined on my own. At times I think about the crazy situations that I have been in and smile, because I know that they were set up by Him. It is truly amazing! When I am surrounded by His works it is more rewarding then anything offered by the man-made adventures. Q: What first drew you towards ministry for the Deaf? Why is this kind of ministry so needed? I first became interested in Deaf Ministry when a lady in my church taught a sign class. After the first class, I thought the language was beautiful but it was much harder than I had expected. I wanted to finish out the summer class as fast as possible, but God had another plan. I began to fall in love with the language, Deaf Culture, Deaf History and what I knew of Deaf Ministry. That summer class led to several years of mentorship. While researching the life of Thomas Gallaudet, God impressed upon me that this was the direction He wanted me to serve Him. I had no idea what this would look like, but read and watched everything I could get my hands on. I learned that less than 2% of the American Deaf population consider themselves Christians. Of that 2%, few have access to the rare Deaf church or the intermittent interpreted
setapartgirl | July/August 2010 church service. A limited amount of discipleship materials were available and the Bible had not yet been translated into American Sign Language. (The New Testament and parts of the Old Testament have since been completed!) If you look at the rest of the world you will see the need even more consuming. Many areas of the world consider the deaf less than human and unworthy or even incapable of learning and communicating. They are often left uneducated and with no formal language to express themselves to the world around them. This leaves them in silence; vulnerable to slave traders and abuse. Those that have loving family or friends lead simple lives of gestures and physical labor. They may attend churches or live among Christians with no access to the gospel. I would read stories of missionaries both Deaf and Hearing traveling around the United States and the world reaching this largely unreached people group. My heart yearned to join their ranks. For a time I tried in my own strength to do something. I constantly ran into brick walls. In late 2006, God clearly spoke and led me towards interpreter training. Over the last several years God has taken me down a totally unconventional path. His hand was on every step and I sat back amazed as the walls I had faced crumbled. Godâ€™s timing and power are extraordinary! Glory to His Name! I am currently working as an interpreter and involved in local Deaf Ministry. I am praying about what the future will hold and keeping my heart open to wherever God would lead me into.
Q: God led you to ministry to the deaf in Africa for a time. Tell us about your work there. I was given an opportunity to join a team headed to Liberia for one month in the summer of 2009. I knew that this was the next step God wanted me to take at that time. They were looking for an interpreter to assist the team of American Deaf and Hearing missionaries. I felt God using every part of my training to fulfill His purposes. We mostly gathered research for future long-term missionaries, visited several Deaf orphanages, met with the Deaf community in the cities and visited the language-less deaf in the country. We would share the gospel with those that had a formal language. At one orphanage/school seven of the Deaf
setapartgirl | July/August 2010 young men gave their lives to Christ and were baptized in a local river. It was a beautiful experience. One of them told me, “Other people have come and tried to tell me, I never understood until you told me in my own language. Thank you!” Needless to say that was one of the highlights of my trip. Other children we met had no formal means of communication. We worked with them on a more basic language level. Q: Can you share one of the most impacting things that happened to you while you were in Africa? One really impacting moment was when we arrived at an orphanage prepared to share the gospel with the children. We quickly realized that these Deaf children did not even know their own names let alone know enough language to receive the gospel. We taught them their names and watched their faces light up realizing that the name signs represented themselves. In the days that followed we were able to teach more language. I will never forget one young girl about thirteen years old who first connected the sign for “bird” with the bird flying above the concrete school room. She ran around the school yard pointing to everything wanting to soak up all the language she could. Only God can arrange moments like that. It was a confirmation in my soul of what He has asked me to do. Once returning to the United States I prayed about the next step. God has asked me to remain in local ministry for the time being. I have no idea what the future holds but I know that He is in control of my destiny and it will be greater than anything I could imagine on my own! Q:
What would be your encouragement to other young women who are
setapartgirl | July/August 2010 considering a ministry to the deaf? It is always wonderful to hear of God drawing others into ministry with the Deaf. I would encourage anyone interested to pray about it and begin to learn some basic American Sign Language and the culture of the Deaf community here in the United States. This type of ministry can be very broad and God can draw people into various avenues to release each individual gift. Connecting with a local Deaf Ministry and mentoring with Christian Deaf leaders is always ideal. If these resources are not in your area there are other organizations and ministries that can assist in training. Most importantly, I would encourage people to lay it all before God. There were times when I felt like no doors were opening and maybe this was not what God had wanted for me after all. Other times, doors seemed to miraculously be opening left and right. No matter what the season, keeping Christ central is vital. Truly, the ‘harvest is plenty and the laborers are few.‘ *
These are a few of my favorite things... beaches a good book playing with my nephews organizing long walks photography deep friendships cranberries my dog viewing God’s creation traveling meeting new people boating trying new things
avonlea rose turns !
On June 21st, the Ludy family celebrated Avy's first birthday! Â She is a spunky, chunky, giggly, wiggly, squishy little munchkin and we thank God daily for the gift of her precious little life. Â Hope you enjoy these glimpses of her cuteness! 25
Loving what God loves. hating what God hates.
by Leslie 28 Ludy
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
She who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 1 Timothy 5:6
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 2:15-16
A couple of years ago, I was talking with a group of Christian young women who enthusiastically told me that their very favorite movie was the 2004 “chick flick” The Notebook. They arenʼt the first group of Christian girls to applaud this popular movie. The story portrays a beautiful romance; showcasing a sweet older couple at the end of their lives who are still passionately in love. It paints a vivid picture of the lifelong love story that we all desire, and shows us a man who is so devoted to the love of his life that he stays by her side, tenderly cherishing her, even when she is struck with Alzheimerʼs and canʼt remember who he is. What girl wouldnʼt get teary-eyed at such a display?
But The Notebook isnʼt just a simple, innocent romance. As the movie flashes back to this coupleʼs younger-days, it implies that this kind of beautiful, life-long love story can be discovered through shallow, sensual attraction, animalistic pre-marital sex, rebellion against parents, breaking of promises and betrayal of trust. Not only are the sex scenes in this movie lengthy and graphic, they portray a patently false and dangerous message. There is no way to discover Christ-like, lasting love without following Christʼs pattern. Build a relationship the way that couple did, and I guarantee you are going to end up with heartache, bitterness, and
setapartgirl misery, not the “happily ever after” ending you see in the movie. But The Notebook makes sin seem so right, so good, and so noble. When sin is so beautifully and artistically portrayed, itʼs easy to allow Hollywood moviemakers to subtly shape our thinking, even on a sub-conscious level. Look at how well their love story turned out, we start reasoning, and they had sex before marriage. It was so sweet and beautiful; I canʼt imagine that it was wrong. They were just following their hearts! Maybe I shouldnʼt be so uptight about this whole purity thing after all. One young woman I talked to, after seeing a handful of movies that portrayed affairs as beautiful and right (rather than selfish and sinful) became convinced that it was okay for people to leave their marriage partner for someone else if they found their “soul mate”. I canʼt help but wonder why we as Christprofessing young women are so willing to submit our minds and emotions to an industry that openly mocks the purity and righteousness of our Heavenly Prince. Most of us are far more influenced by pop-culture than we are by the Word of God. We can quote our favorite lines from 100 different
chick flicks, but the only Scripture we know is John 3:16. And we wonder why Christ feels distant. But itʼs not just movies and T.V. that has us in its controlling vice. Itʼs an overall preoccupation with pop-culture. Music artists, professional athletes, and movie stars claim far more of our applause and attention than Jesus Christ does. Little children, keep yourselves from idols are the closing words that sum up the entire book of first John. (1 John 5:21 KJV) Idols are not just golden statues that people bow down to in ornate temples. An idol is anything that claims our attention and affection above Christ. Most of us verbally declare that Jesus Christ is more important to us than our fetish for music or movies. But what does our life say? Where do we spend the best hours of our day? What do we turn to for enjoyment and comfort? A man named Tauler wrote,
A pure heart is one to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring.
setapartgirl Pop-culture floods our minds and senses with things that are not of God. But for most of us, the glamorized sin that surrounds us is not strange and jarring. Itʼs normal and accepted. In fact, we go out of our way to enjoy and participate in it. We even spend a huge amount of our time and money on it. And we allow it to capture our mind, emotion, and attention. Many of us have seen pastors or Christian authors rely upon movies (rather than Godʼs Word) to illustrate his or her point. Because Hollywood can so poignantly and artistically capture human angst and emotion, it is all too easy to “spiritualize” certain movies, blending ungodly messages in with our pursuit of Godly Truth. But Godʼs Truth will not be discovered through profane images, no matter how profound Hollywoodʼs messages might seem. Remember that cult leader who gave his followers Kool Aid to drink, and they all died? Kool Aid by itself is harmless enough. Itʼs a sweet, refreshing beverage that can be safely enjoyed even by kids. But when Kool Aid is mixed with poison, it changes from a harmless beverage into a deadly toxin. In the same way, when Truth is mingled with the poisonous ideas of Hollywood, it brings about death, not life. Paul writes,
For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what
part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Eph 5:11 What are the fruitless deeds of darkness? Anything that is NOT of the nature of Jesus Christ. Movies, TV, internet, music – all of it either brings glory to Christ or distracts us from Him – it is either of light or it is of darkness. As Christ said,
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30 So, at the risk of seeming like a ranting wild-eyed prophet (smile), I would like to take a few moments to look at some of our most common pop-culture preoccupations and weight them against Godʼs standards:
Countless Christian young women are caught up in the Twilight books and movie craze. If you are one of them, I would like to challenge you with this question – does Twilight bring glory to the name of
setapartgirl Jesus Christ? Does it showcase His nature, His character, and His glory? I believe the answer is a resounding no, for three reasons: 1.) Vampire stories come from a demonic root: The very first vampire story (Dracula) was originally inspired by the real-life demonic antics of a man named Vlad the Impaler – a Romanian ruler in the 1400ʼs. Wikipedia summarizes: The atrocities committed by Vlad in the German stories include impaling, torturing, burning, skinning, roasting, and boiling people, cutting off limbs, drowning, and (other methods that are too graphic to mention in this article) His victims included men, women and children of all ages. Vladʼs Romanian surname "Drăculea" means "Son of the Dragon" and is derived from his father's title, Vlad the Devil. The word "Dracul" means "the Devil" in modern Romanian and the suffix "lea" can be translated as "son of". In other words, Vlad, the original vampire, in name and in deed, was “the son of the devil.” " Focus on the Familyʼs Plugged In magazine says: Occult references and violence build throughout the Twilight books, beginning with the idea of vampires and werewolves existing at all. There is also sacrificial suicide. . . and reference to such devilish creatures as incubi and succubi, as well as body-swapping, shape-shifting, telepathy, telekinesis, precognition, the ability to alter someone else's emotion or mental state using mind control, and even causing physical pain via mental aggressiveness.
And another Christian movie review states: So far every “Christian” review I have seen does not call this movie and book series out for what it is…an introduction to and glamorization of the occult. Twilight makes death look glorious and makes vampirism look like an alternative to physical death….but in reality itʼs more than that…itʼs a truly spiritual death…being damned to wander the earth drinking blood and seeing humans as prey… It promotes a godless, spiritless, culture of death. What does God say about participating in such things?
And do not. . .practice fortunetelling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord. Deuteronomy 18:10-13 In other words – do not engage in any spiritual activity that is not of Godʼs kingdom. Do not meditate upon any spiritual reality other than Godʼs – when we open our minds to the Twilight message, we are doing just that.
setapartgirl Twilight tries to make evil seem noble and good. Here is a comment from Chuck Colsonʼs website, breakpoint.org: Vampires are evil. But in todayʼs morally relative culture, vampires have taken a kinder, gentler turn. Theyʼve gone from sinister villains who deserve to have wooden stakes pounded into their chests to tender-hearted friends and lovers who yearn for our compassion. In Twilight, the pouting male protagonist slurps the blood of animals so he doesnʼt have to stalk human prey. The fashion-plate vampires of today are undead metrosexuals: sharp-dressed men with sharp teeth. . . . There was a time when we knew a monster when we saw one — and understood that some nasties need to have their heads chopped off and their mouths stuffed with garlic. Nowadays, however, vampirism and its related maladies are just alternative lifestyles. And Focus on the Familyʼs Plugged In says: After selling her soul and becoming a vampire, Bella says: "It was like I had been born to be a vampire. The idea made me want to laugh, but it also made me want to sing. I had found my true place in the world, the place I fit, the place I shined.” How did she get there? Pregnant with Edward's halfhuman, half-vampire baby, Bella dies during childbirth. She's brought back to undead life by Edward, who pumps her heart and limbs full of his venom. And everybody lives happily ever after. Life is therefore revived amid agony. Salvation is found through (spiritual) death. By becoming a blood-thirsty vampire, Bella is beautiful. She's powerful. She's in love.
Girls, do you see anything wrong with this picture? Does it sound like God’s pattern? Does it sound like God’s best? 1 Corinthians 13 says,
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Anything that delights in and romanticizes darkness or death is the opposite of God – the Giver of life and life abundant. Twilight perverts true purity and heroism. Here is a great review from a Catholic father: Some are praising the series. Phrases like “old fashioned morals” are being used to describe the content. Bella and Edwardʼs relationship has been called a chaste courtship because they do not consummate it until after they are married. But what effort is being made at living chastely when the couple repeatedly place themselves in occasions of sin and then act on their impulses? Edward sneaks into the house without her fatherʼs knowledge and lies in bed with her all night long – every night! Old fashioned? Chaste? Edward is lauded by many for his selfcontrol because he seems to have a handle on his sexual desire and his blood lust, cutting things off at just the right moment. Repeatedly. This fact is meant to be proof of his love for Bella… but does Edward really demonstrate true love? He constantly tells Bella how bad he is for her and then keeps showing up anyway. If he tells her how bad
setapartgirl | July/August 2010 he is before he gets physical with her, does it somehow make him noble? No. If he was truly a hero, there would be no Twilight Saga because he would have left her in peace. But he doesnʼt suck Bellaʼs blood! Isnʼt that great? No. He may not kill her with his fangs, but their relationship does cause her death – both physical and spiritual… This is not love and Edward is not a good friend... And what witness does Bella give? Is she heroic? No. She is a girl who will do what it takes to get what she wants in spite of the cost. She uses and is used. Sometimes she suffers, sometimes she causes others to suffer. Neither is of any consequence to her. That is not heroism, that is selfishness. Why so many modern Christians see this as harmless truly has me baffled. If you have been tempted to jump on the Twilight bandwagon, I challenge you to measure its subtle and not-so-subtle messages against the holy standards of our Jesus. When we stop flirting with darkness, His light can finally be seen in and through our lives. ~~ A few months ago several young women told me they felt comfortable watching SEX AND THE CITY, because “It has some great messages about friendship.” They are among countless Christians who have justified their enjoyment of this super-sensual TV series and movie. So letʼs ask the question – is Sex and the City really a great show about friendship? A secular media source writes, Make no mistake about it, the title of this series says a lot: SEX AND THE CITY is about sex -- the need for it, the want of it, the pursuit of it.
They are among countless Christians who have justified their enjoyment of this supersensual TV series and movie. You only have to take a quick glance at the premise of this show to realize that Sex and the City does not honor or glorify God; it glamorizes immorality and sensuality. Why s o m a n y C h r i s t i a n s f e e l j u s t i fi e d i n participating in something so opposite of our Godʼs values is deeply disturbing to me. I am also concerned over the large number of Christian girls who feel completely comfortable watching shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Gossip Girl. Just the descriptions of these shows on parent-guide websites are too graphic to print on this website. Need I say more?
Toying with these things is NOT harmless fun or “pure” entertainment. It is deadly, dangerous and sinister – and it has the potential to destroy your spiritual life if you allow it in. Girls, this is not something to take lightly. Toying with these things is not harmless fun or “pure” entertainment. It is deadly, dangerous and sinister – and it has the potential to destroy your spiritual life if you allow it in. God says,
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 Whenever there is a show, song, movie, book or magazine that glorifies evil, sensuality or selfishness – we are not to enjoy it as entertainment. We are to run from it. If you have been loving the world – allowing messages of sin and sensuality to captivate your time and attention, there is only one way to respond – repent, turn and walk the other way. If you are confused about what you SHOULD watch or listen to, Godʼs checklist is simple and straightforward. Mediate upon things that are:
True Noble Just Pure Lovely Of Good Report
Of Virtue Praiseworthy Philippians 4:8
Ask God to train you how to love what God loves, and hate what He hates. Be willing to ruthlessly remove anything from your life that does not bring Him glory. Truly He is worthy – and no sacrifice is too great for the one who gave everything to rescue us. My prayer today is that we would echo the cry of Davidʼs heart,
For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139
in every generation,
there are a few...
! r e t s i g e r click to
setapartgirl CONFERENCE 2011 with Leslie Ludy January 7-9, 2011 Ellerslie Campus, Windsor, CO
COST: $199 on-campus option, inc. meals & lodging $99 off-campus option, inc. lunch/dinner on Saturday Limited space available! 36
The Newest Book from Leslie Ludy Order Now!
In today’s sex-obsessed society, pop-culture’s idea of feminine beauty seems to be all about looking like the hottest models, movie stars, or pop-singers. But the end results are often tragic - overwhelming insecurity, eating disorders, and sexual promiscuity. This book presents a whole different vision for feminine loveliness as god intended it to be - the breathtaking radiance of a young woman who has been transformed by Christ from the inside out. This book offers lots of practical advice about how to: *Showcase Christ’s beauty in the way you dress, act, and live *Overcome insecurity and see yourself as God sees you *Become attractive to the right kind of guy *Build your femininity on God’s values instead of the world’s The Lost Art of True Beauty will lead you on a life-changing journey to becoming a woman of feminine grace, inner radiance and timeless appeal!
Q&A with leslie
What are some practical ways to maintain physical purity in a pre-marriage relationship, without being too extreme?
When it comes to protecting the purity of your pre-marriage relationship,
there is no such thing as being too extreme. And we must be specific, rather than vague, about our commitments in the area of physical purity prior to marriage. Here are a few practical pointers that can help make this happen: Set Boundaries: At the very beginning of the relationship, sit down and have a clear-cut conversation about your physical boundaries. Donʼt make decisions based on other peopleʼs standards. Look to the standard of Christ alone. Remember, instead of coming from the vantage point of “how far is too far?” we should be asking, “how far can we possibly go to honor our King in this relationship?” Important note: If the guy youʼre in a relationship with is putting pressure on you (even in subtle ways) to lower your physical standards, thatʼs a clear sign that itʼs time to take a step back from the
relationship and allow God to shape him into a selfless protector rather than a selfish conqueror of purity. A truly Godly man will value and honor your desires for purity far above his own agenda. He will not make you feel guilty or strange for having high standards. Rather, he will esteem and respect you all the more for keeping vigilant watch over the treasure of your purity. If you are with a guy who does anything less, then he is not yet truly worthy of your heart. Have Accountability: Share your specific commitments with accountability partners, such as your parents or Godly teammates, and invite them to frequently ask bold questions about how you are doing in protecting the purity of the relationship. Itʼs helpful for each of you to have your own separate accountability partners that you can get together with on a regular basis. Give them permission to ask specific questions, such as, “what kind of physical touch are you allowing into the relationship?” or “are you maintaining the commitments youʼve made before God?” It might seem awkward or uncomfortable at first – but knowing that you have to answer to someone every week about the physical aspect of your relationship is a wonderful way to guard against subtle compromise. In reality, this one of the best and most practical ways that your teammates can serve your relationship – by working with you to carefully protect the things that are most sacred to your King. Limit Alone Time: Set boundaries around “alone time.” Donʼt just assume that because youʼve set specific physical boundaries in your relationship that itʼs safe to spend hours alone together without temptation. Late nights sitting in the car, long hikes alone in the woods, nestling in the back of a dark movie theater, long talks alone in an empty house – all such scenarios give sexual compromise an unfair advantage. It doesnʼt matter how “strong” you feel against temptation, there is never a good reason to purposefully place yourself in a situation that can lead to compromise. Godʼs Word makes it clear that sexual stumbling comes upon even the strongest of men, with disastrous results.
…with her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life. Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth: Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths; For she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:21-27) Giving sway to impurity seems so right in the heat of the moment. Sexual temptation is very much like the above-mentioned harlot in Proverbs – it entices us with sweet-sounding reasons about how harmless and beautiful it is to express our love physically. But with each step down the path of impurity, we venture further away from the perfect design and sacred intent of our King. And soon we end up with only a shell of a Godwritten love story – a relationship that proclaims to honor Christ but in reality only honors self. Thatʼs a shaky and dangerous foundation upon which to build a marriage. This may sound strange, but Eric and I decided not to even kiss until our wedding day. We wanted to go out of our way to keep every form of intimacy sacred. My dad had once told us, “Anything physically that you save for marriage will only be more beautiful and fulfilling as time goes on. Anything that you experience beforehand will eventually loose its luster.” When we put this wisdom into practice, we found it to be true. Even to this very day, whenever we share a kiss it is just as beautiful, thrilling, and satisfying as it was on our wedding day. And as we made it our goal to live without even a hint of impurity in our physical relationship, we discovered that Godʼs are truly beautiful and perfect. Because we saved everything in our physical relationship, it has only grown more and more amazing, fulfilling and exciting with each year of our marriage. Truly, Godʼs ways are perfect.
for your life.
with Eric and Leslie Ludy
Discipleship Conference Fall 2010 September 10-12, 2010 Ellerslie Campus, Windsor, CO
Register at www.ellerslie.com
a pair of jeans
& a Holy Heart
A little while back a friend of mine gave me a pair of really cool jeans. They had fancy little sequin decorations that glittered in the sun, creative embroidered patterns, and were just down right stylish and cute without being overly flashy. If I’d gone and bought them myself, I would have paid over a hundred dollars for them, but since my friend’s cousin owned the company that made them…she got what she wanted for free. What a bargain, and a rare treat for me, since you’d never find me buying such expensive jeans to start with!
by Melodious Echo Besides being really cute, they were so comfortable and I loved wearing them. They were probably the nicest pair of jeans I’d ever owned….ONLY….there was one small problem! Actually, I didn’t notice it right away. But after washing them a time or two, I realized that the inner pocket lining was actually made of dark black fabric and had a faint grey design. The design: A skull with fancy gothic cross bones. Ugh! My thoughts instantly were “Why did they have to spoil a perfectly good pair of jeans by using this fabric inside?” and “How come I never noticed this before?”
setapartgirl Then, I was faced with a dilemma. It’s a dilemma we all come up against when no one knows what’s happening except for us and God. “Do I ignore the design and keep wearing the jeans? No one else will know, it’s not like they see inside my pockets or anything, so I’m not gonna offend anyone. And of course God knows I don’t subscribe to whatever these emblems represent!” or “Do I give them up because the emblems they embrace are contrary to my prince and King of Eternal life? I don’t want to do ANYTHING to dishonor my king, even if no one is looking!” For those of us seeking to honor God in all areas of our life, the decision seems like an easy one – it’s obvious right? Why even question? But how many professing to be surrendered and devoted Christians come to these type of scenarios over and over again, day in and day out and decide, “It’s really not that big a deal, God knows my heart… no one else will know, so why be so paranoid?” Or they think, “Well…we do live in the real world after all, and we can’t avoid everything! I’m already seeking to steer clear as much as possible of the worldly lifestyle, but I don’t have time to sweat the small stuff? God knows…I am seeking to live for Him!” Yes, we do live in the real world…and the dilemmas aren’t getting easier!
Is it just me, or have you noticed that the stores with the really loud heavy metal music, or the worldly pop songs with strong aggressive beats are usually the very stores sporting the worldliest fashions, tightest tops, most provocative coverlets, and the most ridiculous worldly wear? Just think about it…you don’t find Coldwater Creek or Eddie Bauer playing that kind of music! Nor do you find them sporting the same style of ungodly provocative fashions. I have come to realize more and more that if something is wrong or intended for evil, the devil has more than one way of marking his ground, and we need to be on the watch and observant. As such, if I see one “mark” of the enemy (like hearing his music, OR…seeing the skull & cross bones emblem), I am learning to assume that I am not on safe ground and not even to go browsing through his territory. Some of my friend’s say that’s a bit “over-board” – but think about it?. Would you want to go in a store that is spending at least 90% of it’s time defaming and dishonoring your true Lover and King? Yeah, there are some cute innocent enough looking clothes in those places, but is that where we as set apart, God-honoring, Christ-fearing women should be?
So, my blue jeans have a problem, but again, what’s the big deal? 43
setapartgirl The big deal is that our heart hangs in the balance. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Prov 4:23) Holiness of heart is what God is after. We can put on a great “act.” We can make a profession of living a godly lifestyle. We can do the right thing. But if God doesn’t have our heart, if we are doing the right thing even for the wrong reason or motive… then it’s really not the right thing after all…for He knows our heart. Now if any of you are like me, “holiness” is not really an adjective that you would think of using to describe yourself, your life, or your heart. That’s a God word…that really seems to fit God alone. “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Ex 15:11 But for some reason, God seems to think that it should fit “us” too…because it’s quite plain in Scripture that we are to be holy like Him! “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.” Lev 20:7 But what does it mean to be “holy”? Well, one thing I can say with all certainty is that it means a whole lot more than I could begin to expound
upon here. But while doing a study on the topic awhile back, I did come across some inspiring thoughts. If you look up this word in the Hebrew, it means not only to be the “Holy One” – as referring to God, but it means to be “sacred, to be separate, to be set apart.” When I saw that the first time, I thought, “Wow! Now that is language I can understand. And that is something I want to be…for in God’s call for us to be Holy and like him…it’s very simple.” It simply starts with His call to set apart hearts for Him alone…from every thought, to every motive, to every desire, these are to be sanctified and separate from the world – only for Him! Are the little things really that important? I mean, do I really have to be “set apart from the world” in how I speak to my mother? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in how I respect my father? Do I really have to be set-apart from the world in how I dress, or what kind of jeans I wear? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in what kind of stores I allow myself to browse in? Do I really have to be set-apart from the world in how I think about that good looking guy in class? Do I really have to be set apart from the world in how I spend every single moment of my time? While some may say, this is “overboard” and just being “legalistic.” I counter that it’s really not. For again, if
setapartgirl you really loved someone, and yet you were participating in something that hurt them, 90% of the time….or even 10% of the time. Would you keep doing that? No, of course not, because that’s not LOVE. “According as He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Eph 1:4
I guess by now you know that I got rid of the jeans, right? Because I don’t want to do anything to hurt my King! And after all, God’s has made His desires quite plain… “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy.” Lev 11:44 But thankfully, He doesn’t just give us His desires, or give us his commands….He also gives us the provisions to get there! “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” II Pet 1:4 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Cor 7:1 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” I Thes 4:7
Faith that Laughs By Tessa Hershberger
“We are not here to be overcome, but to rise unvanquished after every knockout blow, and laugh the laugh of faith, not fear.” -Amy Carmichael
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” -Proverbs 31:25 The Ellerslie campus is bursting with new life and activity, as fifty-five like-minded followers of Christ have gathered together
from around the world to seek out one common goal: a set-apart life in the spiritual Promised Land for the glory of Jesus Christ and His kingdom. The students have only been together for three weeks and yet a warm and unified family has already formed. We eat together. We pray together. We sit still together. We learn together. We worship together. We serve together. We do laundry together.
And we laugh together. Actually, we laugh
that they are able to overcome Him. He is
a lot together. Whether it be from Eric’s embarrassing moment stories or the
laughing at the fact that they think they stand a chance against the muscle of the
highly entertaining donkeys across the street, laughter comes quite easily here at
Ellerslie. We love the fact that God has a sense of humor and take great delight in
God knows who He is.
the fact that He created us to reflect it. Yes, indeed, our God laughs! Just go to
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords does not pay deference to the power of man.
the zoo- I can’t imagine God keeping a straight face while creating some of the
He has no identity crises. He knows that He is the Alpha and Omega and the First
animals He did.
and the Last. He knows that His crown is eternal and His thrown fixed.
However, God laughs at a lot more than His unique creation and the way it works.
And, therefore, He laughs.
There is a laughter of God that is much more profound, one that exhibits His
In the course of Ellerslie Training, we
preeminent power and sovereign authority over the earth. Psalm 2:4 says, “He that
students are too learning to laugh like this. It is a laugh that defies the wisdom of man
sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.” What is He laughing at? Why exactly is He
and esteems the boundless ability of God. It is a laugh that marches daily to battle
amused? It is because, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take
with unshakable confidence in a God who always acts like God. It is a laugh that
counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed.” (Ps. 2:2, KJV)
fears neither the danger of the present moment nor the threat of tomorrow’s
Well, that’s not very funny. Yes, yes it is! It
unknown. It is a laugh that believes God is who He says He is and can do what He
is actually quite hilarious considering the One who is doing the laughing. No, God is not light-hearted about the fact that the kings and rulers conspire against Him and His Son, the Anointed Messiah- as Creator and Redeemer He weeps for their souls. But God is laughing at the fact that these mere mortals think for one second
says He can do.
It is a laugh that defies the wisdom of man and esteems the boundless ability of God. 47
It is the laugh of faith.
life of Christ.
In the midst of a generation of Christianity
To human reason and dare I say, Modern
in which “Promised Land living” is viewed as nothing short of wishful thinking, fifty-
church reason, it sounds ridiculous! If I may speak for the majority (or perhaps the
five warriors-in-training have been challenged to take God at His Word, claim
entirety), we are captivated and yet overwhelmed by such a grand vision.
His every promise, and believe Him for the seemingly impossible. They have been
Most of us grew up in churches, school, families, and communities in which such a
dared to seek out the fullness of God’s promises and blessing, even when the
life was hardly spoken of and a secondrate version of Christianity was accepted
odds appear to be entirely against them in the natural realm. Praise be to God that
as “radical” and “on fire”. I presume that at least one of us students has at one time
the supernatural realm trumps the natural realm- always!
left class thinking, Is this for real, or does Eric have his head in the clouds?
The great man of faith, C.T. Studd, said,
Eric has not had his head in the clouds.
“To human reason it sounds ridiculous, but faith laughs at impossibilities and cries, It shall be done.” Just in the past three weeks of teaching, Eric has given us a vision for living in the fullness of the work that Christ did on the cross and in the grave. It is a life marked by triumphant victory over sin, honorable and holy conduct, supernatural strength and endurance, valiant fortification against the enemy, and persistent claim upon and receiving of the promises of God- all through the supernatural indwelling of the
Eric has had his head in the Word of God. It is there that he has found truths upon which he builds his faith, vision, and daily life, while declaring with confidence, “It shall be done!” Despite the glares of the modern Church surrounding him, he has rightly chosen to regard the Word of God as fact- authoritative, infallible, and wholly reliable fact. It is only when the Word of God is held with such high esteem that one is able to live the fullness of the Christian life and laugh in the face of opposition, because the laugh of faith is built on fact- the Word of God. One can not build his faith on mere experience, because past experiences do not always reflect the
setapartgirl facts. But when God is taken at His word, there is freedom to disregard the wisdom of man, the fear of man, and the threat of man and look to God with laughter on the tongue and peace in the heart. But it doesnâ€™t stop with laughter. Through
much patience, perseverance, and supernatural strength, we as a class are also learning that where the laugh of faith is, the prayer of faith is. The laugh of faith acknowledges the reality of who God is, but it must be followed by the prayer of faith that begs God to come and prove that reality once again through a work of His sovereignty and faithfulness. This past week we came face to face with the seemingly impossible right in our midst, and the resolute laugh of faith drove us right to our knees. The result was a series of sweet victories unlike anything most of us had ever witnessed! And thus we shall go on laughing. Holy God, let us laugh the laugh of faith because we know the facts and believe they are just that- fact. And let us pray the prayers of faith because we know the One who has defined those facts to be so! *
Ellerslie 2010 Fall Semester!
For those of you who have not heard, Ellerslie has opened up a Fall Training program, October 11 - December 17, and a Winter/Spring Training Program, February 14 - April 17, 2011. Our Summer program is going beautifully and it is truly amazing to watch God work in the lives of so many future world-changers. If you are interested to spending a season apart to deepen your relationship with Christ and become grounded in the Word of God – as well as develop deep friendships with like-minded men and women – consider joining us this fall or coming new year. We are also now accepting applications for summer 2011. Hurry, spots are filling quickly! Visit ellerslie.com for more details!
2010 Discipleship Training Conference: If you don’t have 10 weeks to spend at Ellerslie Training, we would love for you to join us for our upcoming weekend discipleship conference – which is a powerful “a taste of Ellerslie training.” This weekend will inspire you to catch a God-sized vision for your life and cause you to fall deeply in love with the Word of God. All ages welcome. For more details, click here.
Winter Set Apart Girl Conference! If you weren’t able to get into our May 2010 Set Apart Girl Conference, we will be offering another Set Apart Girl Conference at our Ellerslie Campus, Jan 7-9, 2011. This is a powerful weekend connecting with like-minded young women and deepening your relationship with Christ. Hurry – limited space available. Visit here for more information.
go. read. listen. see. buy. share. His Little Feet (Ellerslie’s orphan outreach partner) has some exciting things happening! Mike and Christa Hahn (HLF Directors, and our close friends) are working to bring a Haitian orphan choir to the states for intensive discipleship as well as a multi-church choir tour to awaken American Christians to the need of orphans around the world. His Little Feet publishes a free online magazine called FootSteps. If you are passionate about orphans or adoption, please visit HLF today and join their mailing list. You will automatically be sent a copy of their FootSteps magazine via email – and I believe it will inspire you deeply and give you a peek into God’s heart for orphans around the world.
Jewelry with a Purpose His Little Feet has a beautiful sterling silver necklace available for sale. I love the verse on this necklace: He who receives a child in my name receives Me. Ordering this His Little Feet necklace is a great way to support their work with orphans – 20% of proceeds go to support their work with orphan children around the world. Order Now! Also - view the HIS LITTLE FEET Magazine! Click Here!
Weekly Spiritual Fire Eric’s soul-stirring Sunday sermons are now available for audio download each week – and if you sign up for his sermon RSS feed, you can have them delivered to your Inbox each week. This is a great way to super-charge your spiritual walk and go deeper with Christ – I never leave his messages without being deeply moved and challenged down the narrow way of the Cross. To subscribe, click here.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. - Corrie ten Boom