Issuu on Google+

setapartgirl

LE SLI E L UDY’ S

MAGAZINE

Dressing with

dignity

p.50

A God-Written Romance a warrior-poet shares his love story p.70

Set-Apart Friendship

exploring God’s pattern p.62

Dabbling in DARKNESS?

a Biblical look at the Twilight trend p.22

MEET CHELSEA

sister of the common life p. 94

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.

NO V / DE C 2 011


letter from leslie BESTSELLING AUTHOR FOUNDER, SET APART GIRL

I’m pretty much in denial about the fact that winter is upon us. The weather in Colorado (except for a short and oddly out-of-place snow storm the last week of October) has been generally warm and sunny - and I’m still pretending that we are at the tail end of summer. I love the long and light-filled days of summer, and I’m not very excited when it starts getting cold and dark even before dinnertime. Yet, I must admit that there is truly beauty in this time of year - when the trees shed their leaves and the flowers fade. Because through this seeming “death,” the stage is being set for new life to awaken. If there were no winter, the wonder and freshness of springtime coming to life wouldn’t exist. The barrenness of winter prepares us for the fruitful, life-giving warmth of spring, much like God’s work in a human soul. If we never allow Christ to bring about a death to our self and flesh, we are unable to experience the new life that He offers. Dying to our own whims, wants, and desires is not pleasant - but it sets the stage for the most glorious heavenly transformation; a transformation in which it is “no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” This magazine issue (true to our setapartgirl form) is filled with challenges to die to yourself; from forsaking the current trends of pop culture to disciplining your life around God’s priorities rather than your own. And though the message may bring a prick of conviction, my prayer is that it will lead to a death of self that ushers in the amazing life that comes when Jesus Christ is given His rightful place as the Ruler of your soul. May everything you read within these pages fill you with Heavenly hope and the promise of new life!

Leslie

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


Annie with Amelework and Tsion at the HLF photoshoot. See all the photos on page 106!

letter from annie CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Over the course of this past month, I have had the desire countless times to hop on a plane, cross the globe, and set up a rescue camp smack-dab on the corner of abandonment and hopelessness. With the arrival of our children from the His Little Feet International Children’s Choir, God has stirred in me new depths of burden and passion for the orphaned and vulnerable children in our world. This has pressed me to ask myself, “Is desire and willingness alone enough to merit leaving everything and simply going?” The resounding answer that meets my soul is God’s gentle whisper back: “You are not your own.” I absolutely love what I do here at setapartgirl and have no desire to move on anytime soon. It is such a privilege and immeasurable delight to offer my pebbles to a mighty God and watch Him transform the lives of women in our generation, producing eternal gems for His glory! But as I have brought my burden for orphans unto the Lord, He has been teaching me that it’s not about being called to orphans or called to setapartgirl magazine. I’m called unto Jesus Christ. As daughters of the King, we’re called unto Jesus! And each day, each task before us, is an opportunity for Him to be glorified, to know Him, and to make Him known. Christ Jesus our Lord is to be our motive, our reason, and our enablement for whatever we do and whatever passions we have. And there is both safety and infinite joy in this reality! Amy Carmichael has often encouraged my soul with the truthful reminder, “It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which He creates.” I encourage you, dear sisters, though winter may be all around us, to be a radiant bloom wherever God has planted you. You are not your own. Trust that He will fulfill the desires He creates and that the truest joy and fulfillment is found in Him alone!

annie

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


set apart femininity Explore God’s Sacred Intent for Your Life Top 10 Time Wasters, Part 7 Dabbling in Darkness

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

10 22

set apart walk

Cultivate Your Daily Romance with Christ Facing the Facts of the Gospel More Than Words

32 40

set apart style

Showcasing the Radiance of Christ Dressing with Dignity

50

set apart relationships

Honoring God in Love and Romance Set-Apart Friendship Warrior Poet Meets God-Written Love Story

6 10

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

62 70

Meet the children of

HIS little feet

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


set apart motherhood

50

Discover God’s Heart for Home and Family Savoring the Precious Moments The Kiddo Spot

84 92

84 32

70

ineveryissue 7

setapartgirl playlist

57

q & a with Leslie

94

sister of the common life

106

photo spread

120

staff book recommendations

122

Leslie’s Blog

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


"Obedience, when it flows out of genuine love for Jesus Christ, is never wasted and never regretted." - Leslie Ludy

about leslie

FOUNDER, SET APART GIRL

Leslie Ludy is a bestselling author and speaker with a passion for reaching her generation with the hope of Christ. She and her husband Eric have been writing and speaking together for the past seventeen years. Widely known for their bestselling classic, When God Writes Your Love Story, Eric and Leslie have become foremost voices on some of the most poignant issues facing the Church today, such as relationships, purity, holiness, and living a fully consecrated life for Christ. Together, they are the authors of eighteen books that have been translated into over a dozen languages around the world. For more about Leslie’s books, click here. Leslie and Eric are the founders and directors of Ellerslie Leadership Training based in Windsor, Colorado – an intensive discipleship training program that prepares future leaders for world-impacting Christian service, and draws men and women of all ages from around the world. Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


setapartgirl playlist songs we love. Leslie’s

PICK:

“Be Thou My Vision by Selah is a beautiful and worshipful remake of one of my favorite hymns.  The lyrics remind me of what truly matters - listening to this song always turns my focus to Jesus Christ!"

ANNIE: What Joy by Susan Ashton MANDY: A Mighty Fortress by Christy Nockels LAUREN: I Will Wait by Jason Upton AMY: Bless the Lord (10,000 Reasons) by Matt Redman TESSA: With One Word by Shane and Shane MARLENE: Great Reward by Shane and Shane MADISON: Desert Song by Hillsong United AMELIA: Jesus, I am Resting by Matthew Smith

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 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.


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, 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 eight-week study includes a 2-Disc DVD set and accompanying study guide, designed for small groups or individuals. Appropriate for young women of all ages.

order now! 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.


take it deeper

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.


10

TOP TIME WASTERS Part 7 By Leslie Ludy

I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

Note from Leslie: In our Jul/Aug 2011 issue, we featured an article in our Time Wasters series called Fear. Now, I’d like to build on the principles I shared with you in that article and offer practical insights on how to overcome fear in your life. To Copyright read 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. rights reserved. part one of this  All article, please 

click here.

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


R A E F

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.


E

ric and I have been in fulltime ministry for nearly sixteen years. I wish I could say that it has always been triumphant and full of victory. But looking back on our first several years of ministry, I remember walking through a season of extreme stress, confusion, and fear. Our marriage was strong, but it seemed that every other area of our lives was weak. Every time we tried to step out and fulfill the call of God upon our lives, a million roadblocks would stand in our way. Things like financial crisis, relational betrayal and backstabbing, exhaustion, stress, and distressing health problems became the norm. And every time we tried to take a step forward into something God was calling us to, one of us would inevitably be hit with some kind of debilitating sickness. Though we saw many lives changed through the message we spoke, behind the scenes we sometimes wondered how much longer we could go on. I read that the Proverbs 31 woman “smiled at

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


the days to come,” but after everything we’d been through, I found myself constantly worrying about the days to come. What else was God going to take me through? How much of this did He think I could handle? I found myself subconsciously pulling away from an intimate relationship with God. For intimacy to flourish, there must be implicit trust. And I found that I no longer really trusted Him with all of my heart. I had always believed Him to be a Father that gave “good and perfect gifts” to His children, but that didn’t really seem true anymore. His Word exhorted me to have faith in His goodness and mercy, but how could I have faith when it seemed He had let me down so many times? How could I trust Him as a loving Father when

I found myself constantly worrying about the days to come.

He’d become a stern, reprimanding authority figure, always sending another miserable trial my way to keep my spirit broken? Scripture beckoned me to “be anxious for nothing.” But could I banish anxiety when I was constantly bracing for the next blow? I spent several months desperately crying out to God for answers. I knew that fear was building a wall between me and Him, and with all my heart I longed for it to be removed. Lord, I prayed, show me what is standing in the way of my ability to walk in the victory, strength, joy, and peace You intended for my life. He answered that cry of my heart – more faithfully and more fully than I ever could have imagined. Gently and lovingly, He opened my eyes to see His face more clearly and understand His nature like never before. And in the process, He armed me with a measure of strength and triumph I never knew He intended me to have.

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.


Today, I truly do have victory over fear. It’s not that fearful thoughts never attempt to knock at the door of my heart, but now I know how to banish them before they have a chance to take root. I’d like to walk you through the journey God took

countless promises in the Bible about the bountiful blessings of God, but we assumed that this incredible abundance and supernatural provision should not be expected in every area of life. After all, there were plenty of Scriptures

me on to overcome fear. If you are struggling with fear, this is a journey that you can take as well - and on the other side awaits victory and strength, no matter how weak and fearful you may be right now.

about God disciplining His children and taking them through trials. So, we figured that all of the difficulty, stress, and chaos in our lives were things He was allowing in order to teach us patience and dependence.

How God Delivered Me From Fear:

But as I prayed about the fierce attacks upon my life, God gently opened my eyes to the fact that the hits were not coming from Him –

they were coming from the enemy of my soul. God did not want me to resign myself to accepting these attacks. Rather, He wanted me to call upon His name and allow Him to come to my rescue. James 4:7 “If anyone fiercely assails you it will says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” I hadn’t been not be from Me.” (Is. 54:15 NASB) resisting the enemy’s blows, beWhen Eric and I were in the midst of cause I had assumed they were those stressful years, it never coming from God – or at least being occurred to us that some of the allowed by God for the purpose of trials we were facing might actually discipline. And yet, when I really be attacks from the enemy. We saw

1. He helped me understand His nature.

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.


thought about it, I had to admit that the result in my spiritual life wasn’t the life-giving victory God’s loving discipline brings. Instead, it was the hopeless despair and discouragement that the enemy brings. I had always thought the most Godpleasing thing I could do when bad things happened was to simply accept them and move on. But God was showing me that when the enemy attacked, He didn’t want me to accept it. He wanted me to stand up and fight by the power of His Spirit. All too often, when the enemy attacks us with darkness and confusion, we assume that our Lord is causing or allowing it. But in reality, we are attributing something to God that is completely contrary to His nature. We have to stop blaming

He wanted me to call upon His name and allow Him to come to my rescue.

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.


God for the enemy’s devices against us. Yes, God disciplines us and refines us, but not in a harsh, cruel way. God’s ways bring light, not darkness, and life, not death.

Eric and I carefully studied what Scripture said about the difference between God’s nature and Satan’s nature so that we would better understand which trials were coming from the enemy and which To become the valiant women we were coming from God. As we are called to be, we cannot just roll identified the areas of enemy attack over and play dead when the enemy in our lives, we learned how to stand attacks us. We must stand firm and in faithful, wrestling prayer against resist (in the mighty power of those things. Becoming spiritually Christ’s name,) not allowing Satan to offensive, rather than just spiritually hinder God’s purposes for our lives. defensive, annihilated fear and gave As it says in Ephesians 6:10-11: me confidence I never knew was “...be strong in the Lord and in the possible. power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

2. He taught me how to take every thought captive. Note: To explore these truths further, I encourage you to read our book Wrestling Prayer. “...casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought

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.


become spiritually offensive against fear, we must set up a guard station at the entrance of our minds. In my journey to overcome fear, I learned how to aggressively take authority

God’s ways bring light, not darkness, and life, not death.

over every thought entering my mind. At first, it felt tedious and time-consuming, but the more I put this principle into practice, the more it became habitual in my life. Now, it’s something I do without even having to think twice about it.

into captivity to the obedience of Often a fearful suggestion will be Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5) quite persistent in its attempt to occupy our minds. The moment we kick it out, it will be back at the door of our minds, pounding furiously, demanding that we let it come in and stay awhile. When it thoughts from entering our minds, comes to that point, it’s time to pull but we can keep them from staying out the really big guns! in our minds— by kicking them out BIG GUN #1: the moment they arrive! Giving in to those thoughts and allowing them Meditating upon Truth. Lies are to linger only causes them to take destroyed by Truth. When we are root inside our hearts and begin to tempted to start believing lies about control our lives. In order to ourselves, others, or our God, it’s Martin Luther once wrote, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” We may not be able to keep fearful

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


time to fill our mind with so much Truth that the lies will have no desire to come in and make themselves at home. In fact, they will be forced to run the other way! To fill our minds with Truth, we must fill our minds with Scripture. At the moment a fearful thought comes, choose to ignore the lie and instead dwell on the words of your King found in the Bible. It is not always practical to pull out a Bible at any time of the day or night; that’s why memorizing Scripture is a wonderful tool for those intense moments of mental temptation.

The more you consistently fill your mind with Truth, the scarcer lies will become. A great place to start is memorizing some of the Psalms. (Some of my favorites are Psalm 27, 32, 34, and 37.) Whenever you are faced with temptation to fear, those words of Truth can become vital weapons

with which we can chase away those thoughts. The more you consistently fill your mind with Truth, the scarcer lies will become.

BIG GUN #2: Praying offensively. There is nothing Satan hates more than seeing a lost sinner come to know Jesus Christ. When our enemy is attacking us with fear (or anything else), one of the very best ways to hit him where it hurts is to pray specifically that unsaved people in our lives to discover Jesus Christ. One year before Eric and I were married, he and his sister worked together in a ministry position. Eric and Krissy made a powerful team, and it wasn’t long before Satan began to take notice of the impact their unity was making on the lives of those they worked with. Soon they realized that the temptation to become irritated with each other over small issues was becoming a common occurrence. They recognized it as an attack from the enemy. They decided that whenever they were tempted to give in to

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


frustration with each other, instead of yielding to the irritation, they would pray for the salvation of their neighbor, Charlie. Those unified prayers dissolved the tension between them, and it wasn’t long before the attack on their relation-

Instead of assuming that Christ doesn’t desire to answer our prayers when we don’t receive an immediate response, we are to press in with even more persistence, not letting go until our request is granted. Just as Jacob

ship stopped altogether. They had hit their enemy where it hurts by using prayer as an offensive weapon. By the end of that year, Charlie had discovered Jesus Christ, and Eric and Krissy’s relationship was stronger than ever.

wrestled all night with God, saying, “I will not let You go unless You bless me,” we are to wrestle in prayer until the breaking of day (see Gen. 32:26).

If there is a problem in your life that you are worried about, don’t waste Note: To explore these principles your time fretting over it analyzing even deeper, I encourage you to it, or processing it. Take it to God in listen to Eric’s message Reckoning importunate prayer. Wrestle until the breaking of day. with Truth, available here.

3. He taught me how to cast my cares on Him. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6)

In my own life, I’ve found that when fearful thoughts come along, the natural temptation is to worry, fret, and think through all the “what if” scenarios that might possibly happen. But God says we are to “take no thought” for our lives and that we are to instead cast our cares at His feet - and leave them

there! Whenever I’m tempted to “...casting all your care upon Him, worry about something, God shows for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) me how to immediately bring it to Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


Him instead. And once I’ve cried out to my faithful Father, knowing that He hears me and delights to answer my prayers, all my fears suddenly melt away. I’ve seen His faithfulness time and time again. E.M. Bounds wrote, “Paul's direction is very specific, ‘Be careful for nothing.’ Be careful for not one thing. Be careful for not anything, for any condition, chance or happening. Be troubled about not anything which creates one disturbing anxiety. Have a mind freed from all anxieties, all cares, all fretting, and all worries. What boundless possibilities there

When we truly know our God and believe Him to be exactly as His Word says He is, we have no reason and no excuse for fear.

are in prayer to remedy the situation of mind of which Paul is speaking! Prayer over everything can quiet every distraction, hush every anxiety, and lift every care from care-enslaved lives and from care-bewildered hearts. Only prayer in everything can drive dull care away, relieve of unnecessary heart burdens, and save from the besetting sin of worrying over things which we cannot help.” *** When we truly know our God and believe Him to be exactly as His Word says He is, we have no reason and no excuse for fear. No matter how far you might feel from victory right now, if you simply come to Him with a yielded heart and ask Him to deliver you from fear, He will be faithful beyond all your could ask or think. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

*

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.


FAITH “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

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


the danger of taking

Dabbling in

Darkness

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

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


A

evil lightly

By Leslie Ludy Design by Jade Valcarcel

friend of mine was struggling with spiritual attack upon her life; waking up with horrible nightmares and battling fearful, irrational thoughts on a nearly constant basis. One afternoon as we met together for prayer, she casually mentioned that she’d just come from a movie. When she told me which one she’d seen, I was taken aback. It was a horror/ suspense film, and though it was one of the “milder” ones, it still was all about demonic darkness and death. Suddenly it was obvious to me where her nightmares and fearful thoughts were coming from. By filling her mind with darkness, she was leaving herself wide open for the prince of darkness to wreak havoc upon her soul and subconscious. It’s a bit like sitting outside on a muggy Minnesota evening covered in sugar-water instead of bug spray. You might as well hang a sign on your forehead that says, “Mosquitoes welcome here!” And when we bathe our thoughts in evil instead of good, we might as well hang a sign over the door of our minds that says, “Darkness welcome here!”

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


And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and

men loved darkness

rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19

I am no stranger to the battle with fear and anxiety. Earlier in my life, I dealt continually with irrational thoughts about my health and future, often waking up with panic attacks.

But as I studied God’s Word, I realized that the Bible has very clear guidelines for the kind of things we should think about and meditate upon. Paul says, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)

When I shared my struggle with a trusted Godly friend, she told me, “Whenever you imagine all the terrible things that could happen in your future, you are engaging in the sin of witchcraft by participating in ‘evil forebodings’ – in essence, predicting evil and darkness over Dwelling upon evil things that might your future.” happen, such as sickness, death, It seemed a bit extreme to compare and tragedy, was the exact opposite my fearful thoughts with witchcraft. of what God intended for my 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.


thought life. I had literally been meditating upon darkness instead of light. I began to clearly see how my inward habits were allowing the enemy to hound and harass me with fear. I repented of “foretelling my future” with evil forebodings. I asked God to overtake my mind and govern my thought life, granting me the grace to “take every thought captive.” And I made a focused effort to fill my mind with light instead of darkness every moment of the day or night. This meant a purification process of the music I listened to, the movies I watched, the conversations I participated in, and the books I read. Anything that caused my mind to think about evil, darkness, tragedy, or death – no matter how “mild” it seemed – was to be ruthlessly removed from my life. The result of this life change was truly astounding. Very soon, the panic attacks and nightmares were gone. The irrational fears had been replaced with abiding peace. And, like the Proverbs 31 woman, I was truly able to smile at the days to

come rather than continually dread what might happen in my future. I discovered the secret to fearless, peaceful, victorious living when I learned how to meditate upon light rather than darkness.

The irrational fears had been

replaced with abiding peace. ***

Many young women I know are stymied in moving forward with Christ because of the constant badgering of the enemy. Whether it be fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, confusion, insecurity, family problems, health problems, financial problems, or spiritual defeat, the enemy has gone out of his way to keep us completely preoccupied with our problems and unable to live the glorious and radiant set-apart life God has called us to live. We spend most of our time stumbling

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.


through the darkness instead of being the light of the world. Christ said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19) So why are we living like helpless victims to Satan’s schemes?

jarring. It’s normal and accepted. In fact, we go out of our way to enjoy and participate in it. We spend a huge amount of our time and money on it. We allow it to capture our minds, emotions, and attention; then we wonder why our lives are filled with fear, anxiety, defeat, and depression. Take, for instance, the wildly popular Twilight book and movie series. Countless Christian young women have claimed this

I believe the majority of American Christians today are far too careless toward darkness and evil. The following quote by Tauler captures it well: “A pure heart is one to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring.” I believe the majority of American Christians today are far too careless toward darkness and evil. 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

series as a healthy, God-honoring form of entertainment. “It’s a romantic and pure love story!” proclaim the throngs of Christprofessing girls who flock to each n e w Tw i l i g h t m o v i e t h a t h i t s theaters.”  Loads of Christian movie reviewers praise the Twilight series as a wholesome love story.  Many Christian leaders label it a harmless and even edifying thing to participate in.  I was recently speaking at a church where the youth pastor’s wife announced that she was

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


completely addicted to the Twilight books.  A conservative homeschooling mom I know told me that she was allowing her twelve-yearold daughter to read the series.  Because the main characters in the series seem to keep their relationship relatively pure (at least in the physical sense), too many Christians assume the story is God-honoring.  But here is the question no one seems to be asking:  Is there really such a thing as a pure, wholesome, and God-honoring vampire movie?

?

Pop culture has been obsessed with vampire movies for the past decade or so. Some are bloody and gory; some, like Twilight, are far more subtle. Movies like  Twilight and Breaking Dawn attempt to make vampires seem hip and even heroic. But are vampire movies really harmless?

Is there really such a thing as a pure, wholesome, and God-honoring vampire movie? Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


The bottom line is that vampire stories glorify evil and darkness. I recently got a little history lesson modern Romanian and the suffix “on the origin of vampires. What I lea” can be translated as “son of.” found out was nothing short of In other words, Vlad, the original utterly repulsive. vampire, in name and in deed, was The very first vampire story (Dracula) “the son of the Devil.” was originally inspired by the reallife demonic antics of a man named Fiction writers and Hollywood have Vlad the Impaler – a Romanian ruler morphed and modified vampire stories to include all kinds of in the 1400s. variations from the original Dracula. Wikipedia says, But the bottom line is that vampire stories glorify evil and darkness. “He caused so much pain and They originated from something suffering that even the most horribly perverse and demonic. And bloodthirstiest persecutors of no matter how a movie like Twilight Christianity like Herodes, Nero, might try to gloss over the demonic Diocletian and all other pagans side, it’s still there. No matter how combined hadn’t even thought of.” seemingly “pure” the love story may be (which is actually just an illusion if The article goes on to describe you understand true purity), a Vlad’s preferred means of torture vampire movie cannot be Godand execution (impalement) in honoring. shocking and deeply disturbing detail. Vlad’s Romanian surname Focus on the Family’s Plugged In “Drăculea” means “Son of the described the Twilight series this Dragon” and is derived from his w a y : “ O c c u l t re f e re n c e s a n d father’s title, Vlad the Devil. The violence build throughout the word “Dracul” means “the Devil” in Twilight books, beginning with the Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


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.”

be no fellowship between light and darkness (see 2 Cor. 6:14). In the book of Acts when the Gospel of Christ was preached, those who believed “came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.” (Acts 19:18-19 NIV)

If there is any object or activity in our lives that is associated with Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says, darkness, the appropriate way to deal with it is to destroy it com“There shall not be found among pletely, as they did in Acts. Here’s y o u a n y o n e w h o … p r a c t i c e s the rule of thumb that works best for witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one me: “When in doubt, don’t mess who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, with it.” or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who I would encourage you to ask God calls up the dead. For all who do to reveal to you anything in your life these things are an abomination to (past or present) that is associated the LORD...” with Satanic activity. In addition to seemingly “harmless” vampire Most of us who have grown up in movies like Twilight, here is a brief church don’t consider ourselves list of some other things that fall into vulnerable to witchcraft or Satan- that category: worship. But sometimes we overlook things that seem “harm- Horoscopes, hypnosis, palmless” but are, in reality, associated reading, tarot cards, ouija boards, with the kingdom of darkness. The zodiac charms, fortune-telling, Bible makes it clear that there can pagan paraphernalia (like Buddha 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.


When we allow Him to remove everything carnal, dark, sinful, and selfish that stands in the way, that’s when He enables us to live a strong, fortified, victorious life...

darkness and ungodly spiritual powers. Once these breaches are identified in your life, they must be removed and destroyed. Ask God to forgive you for allowing these things into your life, and to reclaim any territory that was given to the enemy as a result. God’s Word says:

“He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. . . who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he statues), clothes or jewelry with will dwell on high; his place of skeletons, skulls, monsters, etc., defense will be the fortress of rocks; and anything that promotes super- bread will be given him, his water stition, witchcraft, séances, and the will be sure.” (Is. 33:15-16) like. Don’t exclude “funny” movies, God provides amazing strength, music, and books from this list. blessings, and freedom for each of Even if the movies are seemingly us. But in order for us to walk in His lighthearted (like the Will Ferrell light, He requires His sons and remake of Bewitched) anything that daughters to live by a sacred tinkers with spiritual power (outside decorum; to come out from the of the power of God) falls into this world and be separate, and touch dangerous category. This would not the unclean thing. We are to also include TV shows (Charmed, ruthlessly remove all uncleanness, Buffy, Angel, The X-Files, etc.). The all darkness (no matter how small) shows might be ridiculous and you from our lives. As set-apart young might not take them seriously, but women, there is not even to be a they still display messages of

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.


hint of these things in our daily existence. How do we live this kind of holy, upright, God-honoring life? Not by instigating rules and formulas for ourselves. Not by joining a nunnery or becoming a back-woods hermit. Rather, by yielding to the transforming, supernaturally enabling power of Christ in us. By allowing Him to completely remake us from the inside out. By submitting ourselves fully and completely to His transforming work. By taking every thought captive and meditating upon the things of light rather than the things of darkness. When we yield our bodies to become the holy, undefiled dwelling place of the Most High God, He comes and makes His home within us. When we allow Him to remove everything carnal, dark, sinful, and selfish that stands in the way, that’s when He enables us to live a strong, fortified, victorious life; unharmed and unhampered by the enemy.

Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

*

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


Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

By Tessa Hershberger

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


Facing the

facts

of the Gospel Part One: Freed From the Fear of Defeat

A

nother Sunday night had arrived, and as I thought about the approaching week, I suddenly felt a desperate need to get on my knees and plead for God’s help. While I prayed, an awful anxiety came over me as I considered the workload I would face the next morning. Would I have enough time to get everything done? What if an unexpected interruption came up and my schedule was thrown off? That last question brought on a fresh wave of fear as I imagined the probable outcome of such interruptions, afraid it would be as ugly as it had been a few days before…

It was a Thursday evening and all I wanted to do was drive home from class and continue working. I was on a rigorous schedule trying to complete my school work, and time was precious. However, my roommate needed to take care of something first, and we wouldn’t be able to leave campus until the matter was dealt with. As the minutes passed, I began to grow restless and uptight. My tone became short and agitated, and all I could think about was my agenda. When it came time to leave, a black cloud of conviction was hovering over me. How could I have so easily given in

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


there was something missing in my understanding

of the

Gospel... to my flesh? Why am I unable to rid myself of such selfishness? As I knelt before God and recalled that fleshly disaster of the previous week, I was overwhelmed with worry that it would happen again, feeling it literally impossible to react the way I knew I should in such situations. I didn’t know it at that point, but there was something missing in my understanding of the Gospel, and its absence had left me greatly lacking. In my mind, past experiences gave me a perfectly legitimate reason to foresee myself once again falling prey to bad attitudes, selfish motives, or cold words. I knew the indwelling life of Christ was supposed to be at work in my soul, allowing me to increasingly reflect His nature, but it seemed there was an unseen force prohibiting me to

consent to His enabling power. The result was a seemingly inescapable defeat. To my dismay, I could only echo the desperate cry of Paul: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24) “This body of death” - of sin - was causing one distress after another. And yet, I’d read over and over again, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Rom. 6:6-7 KJV) Freed from sin? The body of sin destroyed? Well, mine certainly doesn’t seem to be! Therein was my misunderstanding. The body controlled by sin, that constantly ordered me around, certainly didn’t seem to be powerless. In fact, many days it deceptively boasted of having all the authority in the world. As a result, I listened to its demands as though it had every right to tell me how to speak, think, and act - “You ought to be offended at what she said! Don’t let that comment go! Look out for your own needs first! Act

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


Our old man is crucified with Him that the

body of sin

might be

destroyed

that

henceforth

we should

not serve sin...

in a way that will make that person commands. I was not simply want to apologize!” permitted to ignore a bothersome ruler; rather, I was authorized to What I didn’t realize, however, was boldly call him out as an imposter, that I was foolishly submitting to a and instead obey the rightful Lord of counterfeit authority - an authority my body - Jesus Christ. that did not actually possess the power it professed to have. But then As I was down on my knees that God opened my eyes, and for the distressing Sunday night, I had been first time, I understood that I did not paralyzed in the same mind-set that have to comply with its constant causes all too many of us as 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.


Christians to accept a life of continuous defeat; a life in which the “old man”, the body ruled by sin, is given unwarranted rule. I hadn’t recognized the fact that “Old Tessa,” the pitiful version of myself who hopelessly gave into every command to be irritable, selfish, and prideful, no longer had a rightful say as to how I ought to live my life. Paul made it clear more than once:

entirely free to refute her every attempt to convince me otherwise. To say it another way - “Old Tessa” lost her job. A few years ago, I worked in a big receiving warehouse. One day, to e v e r y o n e ’s g re a t s u r p r i s e , o u r supervisor was fired. Suddenly, this man I had been taking orders from each morning no longer held a

the key word is FACT. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3, emphasis mine) “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed…For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Rom. 6:6-7 KJV, emphasis mine) “ I h a v e b e e n c r u c i fi e d w i t h Christ…” (Gal. 2:20) It didn’t feel like my “old man” was dead - but according to Paul, “Old Tessa” was actually crucified 2000 years ago when Christ Himself was crucified. In that death, she was stripped of her sway, and I am now

position of authority in which I was required to obey him. Now, imagine how foolish I would have been to come to work the next day, call him up, and ask him what the agenda was for the day’s work! And yet, that is exactly what we do in our spiritual lives. When the “old boss” sneaks back to the work site and starts gently giving orders, we mindlessly drop everything and say, “Yes, ma‘am!” despite the fact that we are under no obligation whatsoever to carry out her agenda. They key word is fact. We may not feel like we no longer have to sin, but, thankfully, Paul does not allow us to dawdle around in our feelings:

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.


“Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto G o d t h ro u g h J e s u s C h r i s t o u r Lord.” (Rom. 6:11)

I have been crucified with Christ.

Paul tells us to reckon the truth that sin has “lost its job” and is no longer the supervisor of our souls. The word reckon is an accounting term meaning “to put to one’s account.” When you reckon something, it’s as though you make a definite calculation. We don’t make calculations based on feelings and emotions, but on facts. We would get into a lot of trouble if we wrote checks based on what we “felt” was in our bank account! Since God showed me what it truly means to reckon myself dead to sin (whether I feel dead or not) and freed from its power in my life, everything has changed. Many times, “Old Tessa” tries to come back to life and convince me that my only choice is to give in to a self-centered attitude or to speak a harsh word. But now I know the facts, and rather than bringing me to a state of hopeless expectation of future defeat, the facts have allowed me to actually anticipate triumph. I remember one night in particular, not long after I discovered the true fate of “Old Tessa.” It was late and I was tired, yet

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.


God had laid a task before me in which obedience would require meeting someone else’s needs before letting my head hit the pillow. Immediately, that cunning voice from the grave told me my only choice was to carry out the task with great annoyance. My mind paused. Now, wait a second - who is in charge here? Not sin! I counted it as fact that

sin’s ability to conquer and control is make-believe. The indwelling power to instead obey Christ is ours for the taking, and regardless of past experience, feeling, or whatever anyone else says, the Word of God makes it clear that we do not have to live a life of daily defeat. If the power of the “old boss” is indeed buried and powerless in the grave, we must

The facts have allowed me to

actually anticipate triumph!

selfishness did not have a say, and my irritation turned into deep joy. We do not have to wait until it “feels” like the “old boss” has been fired to come out from under its authority. God asks us to believe and act upon fact, and according to the unchanging facts of God’s Word, the new life we have in Jesus Christ is one in which

boldly declare it to be so and cease fretting over its threats. Until we face this glorious fact of the Gospel, we will be like an unfortunate slave who continues taking cruel orders from his master, simply because he is unaware of the fact that freedom has been declared, and his master’s authority is but shadows and smoke.

*

In our Jan/Feb 2012 issue, we will be taking a further look at these truths and how to apply them to the daily Christian life. Until then, if you wish to take this message deeper in your life, I greatly encourage you to download Eric Ludy’s sermon Reckoning With Truth by clicking here.

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


the new life we have in Jesus Christ is one in which sin’s ability to conquer and control is make-believe...

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.


More than words. By Amy Meyers

Photos by Lauren Torres

t a h W sLaayt dion?glis is th t y h e a s w n y e k words saying a e e shp ing Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

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


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


I will

was homeschooled and without a sign teacher, I was unable to effectively learn the grammar structure and flow of ASL, and I never forget the first could only study the signs for time I beheld an epic tale expressed individual words. entirely in American Sign Language (ASL). With wide eyes, I saw a Last summer, after several years policeman chasing a thief, who then without actively pursuing or using slipped around the corner at- sign language, God placed a deaf tempting to lose his pursuer, only to person in my life who quickly be shocked by the officer seizing became a dear friend. Through him from behind a split second later. hilariously choppy conversations, It was a thrilling story, and I was on several tutors, and a lot of help from the edge of my seat watching what the internet, I was able to bring seemed to be a movie-worthy most of the signs I once knew back drama unfold before my eyes. That to the surface of my mind and use day awakened a new hunger in me to learn more sign language, and discover equally engaging ways of using such beautiful language to share the Gospel of Christ with the deaf around the world.

such a beautiful language to share the Gospel of Christ with the deaf around the world.

From a young age, God planted a sensitivity for the deaf in my heart, and I was absolutely captivated by them to serve my friend through sign language. In high school, I interpreting. She used Signing Exact began to put effort into learning English (SEE), which is a method of sign, and I was able to develop signing exactly as you would speak quite a vocabulary. But because I Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


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


a sentence in English, rather than ASL, which uses a completely different grammar structure. It worked perfectly for the very limited knowledge I had of anything beyond individual signs. But once I had gotten a taste of ASL and its

realized that although many of the signs were the same, it was as different from SEE as a desert is from a swimming pool. SEE is simply a string of signs placed in the order you would speak them; its appearance greatly resembles

incredible visual beauty, I found an words on the page of a book. ASL,

insatiable desire for more constantly gnawing at my heart. God faithfully provided the perfect people at the perfect seasons of my life to tutor me in ASL, and encourage the everincreasing passion in my heart for the deaf.

on the other hand, goes far beyond the words, to paint vivid word pictures through movement, expression, and combining signs. In doing so, the signer relates not just the words themselves, but the meaning and emotion behind them.

As I really began to dive in and Around the same time I was told the discover more about ASL, I quickly story of the cop and robber, God 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.


began pressing upon my heart that I and allow Him to paint me a picture needed to dig deeper into Biblical of His might and majesty as I read study. He showed me that instead of His Word. It was very stretching at

I was...seeing the words on the page, but neglecting to truly behold the meaning, beauty, and depth behind them.

approaching His holy Word to look upon Him in all His glory, I had merely been reading the words, taking them at face value. I was viewing the Bible through a SEE lens, seeing the words on the page, but neglecting to truly behold the

first, (very similar to the growing pains I experienced as I began learning ASL) but over time, it became a very natural way of relating to the Word of God. Delving into the bright world of ASL was an eye-opening experience to

meaning, beauty, and depth behind them. God desired to train me to say the least. Since my previous bring an ASL mind to the Scriptures, experience and exposure had been 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.


almost completely restricted to SEE, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was so much more than I had ever known about sign language. But this delightful finding did not come without a price. It took tremendous effort and time to

municating in sign. Similarly, in my study of God’s Word, the hours of sleep I lost, or the things I might have had to give up become utterly unimportant when I am feasting upon rich, sweet communion with the King of all kings, glimpsing His

g r a s p a l l t h e i n t r i c a c i e s a n d glorious frame through the pages of subtleties of this new language, but the Bible. Yes, it’s costly, but nothing the hours always seem to fade away could be more worth the price. when I am effectively comPhillips Brooks once said:

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


“The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but

is very much alive, but we can only experience the life abounding within it when we stop gaping at the top layer, and truly search out the oceans of Truth beyond. God will be found by those who seek Him with all of their hearts (Jer. 29:13), the

most people only look at it; and so dedicated ones who spend their they see only a dead letter.” time, effort, and energy uncovering the depths of who He is. And those While I was technically “reading my who have found Him and gazed Bible” as I stared at its pages upon His beauties are satisfied to everyday, I was missing the pure the uttermost, stuffed full of His very gold lying beneath the surface, person. which could only be found by looking past the text. It is possible to In reading the Bible, it is tempting to know verses, even have them skim over familiar stories, (those memorized, and still lack any real we’ve heard or read a hundred understanding of their intended meaning. We cannot merely read, we must study Scripture and allow the Spirit to bring it to life before our eyes. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow,

times) and fail to really grasp the plot. As I allowed God to reshape my vision with which I viewed His Word, He began to enliven those tales that I had previously brushed past. One story in particular that He displayed before my eyes afresh is comprised of a few little verses in 2 Samuel, recounting a grand exploit undertaken by three of David’s mighty

men. The entire scene is summed up and is a discerner of the thoughts in very few words, thusly it is all too and intents of the heart.” The Bible 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.


easy to glance through it without truly beholding what is taking place. David asks for a drink of water and his mighty men set out to fulfill the need of their king. Here is what it says in 2 Samuel 23:16: “So the three mighty men broke

soldiers on every side, and then they somehow make it back to their master, bloodied and spent with their little offering. These men took on an army for a cup of water. Not only is it an amazing illustration of courage, but it is a vivid picture of

the devotion we ought to have for through the camp of the Philistines, our King. The three mighties heard d re w w a t e r f ro m t h e w e l l o f David’s need and they were willing Bethlehem that was by the gate, and to do anything in their power to meet took it and brought it to David.” it. That’s it. Sounds rather boring. Who cares if a couple of guys got some water? But if you look beyond the handful of words, you’ll see what

If we simply skim over the phrasing, the profound tenor beneath will be lost on us. But when we invite the Spirit to awaken our minds and

Every sentence whispers His name. really happened. This wasn’t just a few buddies out for a stroll to a nice well on a bright sunny day with robins chirping in the trees. Rather, it was three loyal men on a lovemission, busting their way through an entire army, drawing a little cup of

animate our hearts to receive the substance and beauty of Scripture, He will allow us to take in the full p i c t u re o f t h e G o s p e l . E v e r y sentence whispers His name. Every page reveals His face. But we must have eyes to see beyond the words.

water out of the well as they fight off

*

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.


2011signers: The ChurchAMY, at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved. OurCopyright set-apart TESSA, MANDY, &  CORTNEY No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


dressing

Dignity with

By Leslie Ludy Excerpt taken from Answering the Guy Questions

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

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


a

few months ago, I went to the mall hoping to find a couple of summer tops. After visiting ten stores and trying on countless possibilities, I walked away emptyhanded. Much to my frustration, the only shirts available were tight, low-cut and see-through – and unless I wanted to shop in the grandma section, there seemed to be no modest options. As fashion trends become more and more sensual, most Christian girls feel they have no choice but to comply with culture. Dressing modestly (and fashionably) these days is an art form. Most of us aren’t willing to go to the effort it takes to overcome the challenges and dress with grace, mystique, and dignity. Add to that our desire to be found appealing to the opposite sex, and we end up with dismally low standards for the way we dress. We know that we’ll get more attention from guys in form-fitting tops, tight pants, and short skirts. And it’s all too tempting to rationalize immodesty because “at

least this outfit isn’t as bad as a lot of things I could wear.” We think that as long as we aren’t going topless on the beach, we have an element of modesty. But what is God’s standard?

what is God’s standard? “...I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly.” (1 Tim. 2:9 NASB) The word modestly here literally means “with shame and bashfulness.” In other words, not shamelessly flaunting our bodies, but exuding a sense of careful dignity and guardedness even in the way we dress. The word discreetly means “to keep hidden.” Our body is for the enjoyment of

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


one man alone – our husband. God asks us not to give other men the privilege of viewing what belongs only to the man we will spend the rest of our life with.

own selfish desires above the desire of Christ. So what does this look like practically? Here is the rule of thumb that works for me on where to draw the line when it comes to showing skin: Any area of my body that can be associated with sensuality is not to be touched or seen by anyone other than my husband. For example, if someone touches me on the elbow, there isn’t anything sensual about it. In fact, often at weddings or fancy restaurants, an usher or waiter will take me by the arm and lead me to my seat. Eric has no reason to be concerned about this kind of interaction, because there’s nothing sexual about it. But if a guy came up and touched me on the thigh, it would be a completely different story. Eric would have every reason to be jealous, angry, and hurt, because touching someone on the thigh is definitely associated with sensuality. The areas of my body that would be awkward or uncomfortable for

God’s pattern.. brings liberty and beauty. It’s easy to assume that true modesty means drab, shapeless, unfeminine clothes that make us extremely unattractive. But God’s pattern doesn’t bring oppression and ugliness – it brings liberty and beauty. Contrary to popular belief, feminine beauty doesn’t have to mean sensuality. It is more than possible to exude the kind of dignity, grace, and true feminine beauty that will captivate a man’s heart – without using sex appeal in the process. Living to honor Jesus Christ and our future husband must be our core motivation when it comes to dressing modestly. If we are asking the question “How much can I get away with?” we are considering our

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.


Honor

Living to honor Jesus Christ and our future husband must be our core motivation..

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.


another guy to touch are areas that I keep hidden for my husband’s eyes alone. When you keep your husband’s feelings at the forefront of your mind when deciding what to wear, the issue of how much skin to show becomes far less complicated. What about form-fitting clothes? Lots of young women I know frequently wear clothes that conceal almost every bit of skin on their body, and yet their outfits are anything but modest. Tight clothes can be just as sensual (if not more so) as clothes that reveal a lot of skin. It’s really the same rule of thumb that applies in this situation. Any area of your body that can be associated with sensuality shouldn’t be viewed by other men – whether in showing skin or in showing form. A turtleneck might not show any skin whatsoever, but if it is super-tight, then you are leaving very little to the imagination for any guy who happens to look your way. The same goes with pants and skirts. They might cover every

square inch of skin, but if they cling tightly to your figure, you are giving guys the pleasure of viewing what was meant for only your husband’s enjoyment. This is not to say that wearing tentlike dresses or baggy clown pants are your only option. There are many stylish and looser-fitting pants that are feminine and flattering without “giving away the farm.” They may be hard to find in the teeny-bopper stores at the mall where every pair of jeans is labeled “ultra-low-cut-stretch,” but I’ve found that some of the “young professional” stores have some pretty good options. You may have to pay a bit more for them, but it’s better to have one or two pairs of

A true warrior-poet is longing for a woman who showcases the true beauty of Christ rather than the cheap counterfeit of the culture.

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


classy, feminine jeans or pants, than distracted by the outline of your a whole closet full of super-tight body. ones that only get tighter every time Don’t think of modest dressing as a you wash them! dour duty that leads to restriction Remember, even though you may and misery. Rather, look at it as it a get male attention by wearing form- wonderful opportunity to showcase fitting or skin-revealing clothes, a the stunning beauty of Christ, and true warrior-poet is longing for a not the cheap counterfeit of woman who showcases the true feminine beauty espoused by the beauty of Christ rather than the culture. It’s the ability to capture cheap counterfeit of the culture. If the heart of a Christ-built warrioryou dress to honor Jesus Christ and poet by a feminine grace unseen in your future husband, a Godly man today’s world. It restores the value won’t have to avert his eyes when and honor to femininity that every you walk into the room. Rather, woman desires. And it challenges you’ll be like a breath of fresh air to young men to treat women with true his soul. He’ll notice the light of respect and decorum instead of Christ in your eyes and the radiance seeing them as cheap sex objects. of your smile rather than being

*

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.


take it deeper

The Lost Art of True Beauty

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 become a woman of feminine loveliness, inner radiance, and timeless grace! Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie."


Q&A with leslie

Q: A:

I have been reading some Christian books that say a woman who is called to be married will never truly be content or happy until she finds her husband, because humans were designed for companionship. Do you agree with that idea?

No matter how intelligent or spiritual the error sounds, here is the reality of God’s Word - Jesus is enough! He is our All in all, whether we are married or single. The fact that God created marriage, and that we are to esteem it as a holy institution, is evident throughout Scripture. Yes, it was not good for Adam to be alone. But was that because God Himself was not enough to fulfill Adam’s needs? Certainly not! As the Bible explains, God created Eve because Adam needed a helper, a companion to do the work on earth God had called him to do. Yes, there were many blessing and benefits that came to both Adam and Eve through their companionship with each other – but their marriage was never to take the place of God. He was still God, and He was still meant to be their first and primary object of love and worship. Psalm 73:35 says, “Whom have I in heaven but You? none upon earth that I desire besides You.”

And there is

Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 107:9 says, “For He satisfies the longing soul.”

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."


David the Psalmist had plenty of female companionship in his life. But it is David’s intimate relationship with God that brings him the perfect satisfaction these verses portray. All throughout the Bible, Jesus Christ is shown as the perfect fulfillment of our hearts, the sweetest satisfaction for the human soul. He is called the One who fills us all in all, not the One who fill us halfway so our spouse can fill us the rest of the way. Marriage was not designed to make up for what God lacked. It was not that God was unable to meet the longings of Adam’s heart, so He had to create Eve. Rather, He created marriage to be a reflection of the perfect union and fellowship that we have with Him. The entire Bible is a love story – a romance between Jesus Christ and His Bride. God is a God of romance. Our earthly marriages are meant to showcase the ultimate marriage that we will one day share with Him – just as Song of Solomon so beautifully portrays. But even if we never experience earthly marriage, we can be completely fulfilled by an intimate romance with our Beloved Prince, Jesus Christ, the Lover of our soul. He and He alone is the One that fills all in all. (For more about this issue, I suggest reading Sacred Singleness.) *

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."


stay connected with us through facebook & our mailing list Follow us on Facebook! And share setapartgirl with your friends!

Join our mailing list. Stay posted on our progress in taking setapartgirl to print! Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie."


the cure for

insecurity. 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."


setapartdevotionals

@

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

(43) The Cure for Insecurity Today’s women are desperately insecure. There is no question that our lives are teetering on the edge of disaster; that self-hatred, self-abuse, and self-destruction have become the norm among the female camp. And sadly, women in the church are struggling just as much as their non-Christian counterparts. But the modern solution – the self-esteem message – doesn’t provide lasting results against female insecurity. Why? Because the solution presented is all about self. Selflove, self-acceptance, and self-promotion.

Love yourself.

Be true to yourself.

Live to

yourself. Some of these messages even go as far as to say that by living this way, we will bring glory to God. But what is the pattern of Scripture? Christ said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34 NKJV) The word “deny” here literally translates “to forget one's self, lose sight of one's self and one's own interests.”

We are meant to let all

thoughts of self become swallowed up in Him... Click here to sign up and read the rest of this devotional.

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


Set-Apart Friendship part one Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

set

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


apart Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

By Tessa Hershberger and Amy Meyers

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


w

hen your girlfriend is stuck at home on the couch not feeling well, it seems like the perfect opportunity to keep her company with a heartwarming chick flick and a pint of cookie dough ice cream. After all, what better cure could there possibly be than vegging out for a couple of hours in your pj’s with your best pal and a box of Kleenex? Last year, the two of us were faced with a very similar situation. There was a sick friend. There was a couch. There was ice cream. There were pj’s. But there was also a heavenly agenda - and it didn’t include a sappy romantic comedy or a discussion about who would be a perfect match for so-and-so. We didn’t pre-plan the night (because we didn’t plan on the sickness), however, when it came time to go to bed, it was clear to us that God had beautifully designed that evening to leave us dwelling on His flawless character rather than the play-acted perfections of a Hollywood celebrity. That night on the couch became a two-hour reflection on God’s faithfulness. And that night is one of the many incidents He has used to show us that when God is the Creator of a friendship, it will be altogether different.

A Different Pattern Back when we realized there was a heavenly model for love and romance, we felt as though we had made an epic discovery. But just as God revealed a completely new approach to romantic relationships, since then He has shown us that He also has a blueprint for our close friendships with other women. When God opened our eyes to this, He showed us that friendships were just as important to Him as any love story He could ever write, and that mindlessly following the world’s pattern is just as much of a mediocre witness as a romance tainted with human fingerprints. Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2:15 to live as “children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world.” We are still living in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation” that is in desperate need to see the stunning pattern of heaven, not only in romantic relationships, but every area of daily life.

A Different foundation At the beginning of our friendship, we discovered that we had many sim-

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."


when God is the Creator of a friendship, it will be altogether different.

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."


God does not intend for us to take time off from being a Christian when we spend time with our friends. ilarities, such as a love for words, an affinity for the color green, and a fondness for ruffles and flower pins. As time went on, our vast differences began to emerge (always accompanied by much laughter), like the time Tessa oh-so-lovingly killed a spider for Amy (Amy does not do bugs), and then proceeded to scare her with the tiny crushed corpse. And then there was the time we were making BBQ chicken wings and Amy had to intervene three separate times in five minutes, just before Tessa was about to crosscontaminate (Tessa does not do kitchen safety). Even in the midst of laughter over a new discovery or excitement over the perfect synonym, the bedrock of our friendship is clear. God has built it on much more than any trivial commonality or humorous incident - it’s rooted in a passion for Truth, a zeal for Biblical femininity, and

a hunger to see the kingdom of heaven come to earth through powerful prayer.

While it may not be our intention, it is easy for many of our friendships to reflect the shallow ways of the world, and be built upon the shaky foundations of worldly pleasures, emotions, and mutual pursuits. But when two people are individually following hard after Christ, the substance of their friendship will flow out of that relationship; and as all things founded on the Rock, friendships established on Him alone will not be shaken because their foundation is solid and unwavering.

A Different enjoyment For most of us as women, it isn’t too difficult to spend an hour in prayer, pour over a great sermon of old, or read an inspiring biography of a great Christian when we are alone. But when we get together with our girlfriends, for some reason we often tend to choose activities that reflect worldly obsessions, rather than the affections of heavenly royalty. While we were made for relationships and for truly enjoying each other’s company, God does not intend for us to take time off from

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."


being a Christian when we spend time with our friends. Rather than spending every Friday night at the mall, eating out, or watching a favorite reality show, we can choose to do things with our girlfriends that will draw us closer to Christ, further His kingdom, and display His character and nature to those around us. Everything we do, alone or with others, ought to lift high the person of Jesus Christ, that He alone might be seen and glorified. Throughout the past year and a half of friendship, we have both loved spending much sweet time in prayer together, and getting on our knees before God continues to be one of the most enjoyable ways we build our friendship. But, while we certainly have loved experiencing a friendship in which our “weekend fun” often consists of prayer or serving others together, God has also used this friendship to show us that there is also a way to have simple fun together while still keeping the focus on Christ. There is a time for shopping, a competitive game of Scrabble, or a rainy day coffee date, but they are not times in which we simply “let loose.” The posture we have when doing something more “spiritual” is the same one we carry when we do anything else.

A Different conversation

set

When we come away from a coffee house chat with our best friend, what are we 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."


thinking about? The latest pop culture news? So-and-so’s budding romance? Do we even remember anything we talked about? Or do we head home dwelling upon the greatness of our God and the burdens of His heart? The hours the two of us spent recalling God’s faithfulness is a treasured memory in our friendship. However, when we remember that night, it isn’t the ice cream or the comfy pink couch that comes to mind. Rather, it is the meaningful words spoken that we consider a treasure, because they left us meditating on the One whom we had seen work so beautifully in our lives.

marks; it is the presence of carefully chosen, life-giving words and a deliberate guardedness against excessive silliness that would hinder the relationship from being more than skin deep. If a friendship is truly Christ-built and Christ-sustained, He will be the main topic of conversation and it will not be awkward or strange to ask your friend, “What has God been teaching you lately?” Leave the door open for God to take your friendships to a deeper level, that they might draw all eyes (and ears) to Him alone.

Chatting for hours on end comes fairly easy for most women, but it is for that very reason we must be just as intentional in our words spoken as we are in the activities we engage in. It is not that you can’t enjoy a good laugh with your friend or that every word has to be a direct quote from Scripture, but everything you say ought to carry with it the dignity of heaven. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” This “necessary edification” is more than an absence of gossip and cutting re-

As in all things, God’s way is not going to resemble the world’s, and by the same token, God’s way is incomparable to anything the world has to offer. His path is markedly richer, sweeter, and more enduring than the indifferent, shallow alternative. When we are committed to walking the narrow way in this area of our lives, our friendships will become a stage upon which the drama of heaven can unfold and the glory of God displayed.

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

A Different path

*

apart

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


questions to consider: What are some of my favorite things to do with my closest friend? Are those things drawing us both closer to Christ, or are they causing us to become more fascinated with the world? What are some new things I could do with that friend that would serve to more intentionally promote a Christ-centered relationship? Is it weird to discuss spiritual things with my best girlfriend? If so, how can I purposefully seek to bring Christ into our conversations? What (or who) am I left dwelling on after a coffee date with a kindred spirit? God? If not, what are we talking about instead? Does it have eternal value? What is the normal tone of the conversations I have with friends? Is it made up mostly of sarcastic comments, silly remarks, and shallow chatter? Or is there a heavenly substance and honorable attitude?

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


A Warrior-Poet INTERVIEW

n e t t i r W d o AG

e c n a Rom

t e o P r io A Warr love story his s e r a sh

e v a h t o n n a c you t u o h t i w y o j e t e l p om . r e d n e r r u s e t e pl copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

70


Ben Zornes is our Dean of Men and worship leader here at Ellerslie Training.  He and Elsje will be married in January 2012 on the Ellerslie campus.  Their testimony proves once more that God indeed is in the business of scripting amazing love stories, when we are willing to leave the pen completely in His hands.  May you be richly encouraged in reading about what God has done in Ben's life this past year.

1. You recently became engaged. Can you tell us a little bit about how God brought you together? Ironically, the way God brought us together goes completely against the grain of the modern model of instant indulgence. Most of the time, if a guy sees a girl he likes, he does backflips to try to get her attention. God would allow no such behavior from me as this relationship began to form. In my situation, you could almost say that rather than bring us together, God led us to avoid each other for a season. When Elsje and I first met it was in the context of the Ellerslie training (she as a student, myself as a staff member). As my heart was drawn to her, I realized that I needed to limit interaction with her and do absolutely nothing to pursue her in order to protect the sacredness of the Ellerslie environment, and to guard her from being distracted by me. A guy showing and expressing interest, whether the girl desires it or not, has the potent capacity to be a massive distraction. When she returned home, I had no clue of any interest on her end, and I came to find out that she had no inkling of my desires or intentions. One other thing I should probably mention, the fact that she returned home added a huge layer of impossibility because she is from South Africa. Thus, for the first six to eight months of our acquaintance - unknown to the other - God led us both to die to the desire and the hope of anything taking place between us, and to simply trust Him with our most intimate longings. copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

71


After months of silence, the only way open to me was to petition God to open the door. I knew that the risk in a relationship should fall upon the shoulders of the man, and God had clearly hallmarked her as the one He had designed for me, yet there was no clear way to begin initiating interaction without making her feel rather awkward. Thus, I invited my family to join me in praying that God would open a door of honorable communication. At the time it seemed like a massive long shot, but I knew God had given me the confidence to hope only in Him. I had no clue of her interest, we had spent such a ridiculously small amount of time in any sort of interaction, she lived half way around the world, and I had no idea if some swanky, South African hunk had already swept her off her feet. But, as I and my family began praying, God literally opened a miraculous door. For the first time ever, she responded to one of the weekly Alumni emails that I sent out to all the Ellerslie alumni. Before I began pouring forth my heart to her, I waited and didn’t respond to her immediately, even though the door had opened. Instead, I consulted with my friend and mentor, Eric, and with his wisdom and my parents’ counsel and oversight, I began corresponding with her. Over the following weeks, it became evident that God had stirred both of our copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

72


hearts for the other. Once I obtained the blessing of her father to pursue, woo, and win her heart, God led us through a rather peculiar longdistance relationship overseen by our parents; it culminated in the most beautiful night on earth, which found me alone with a girl for the first time in my life, getting down on one knee, uttering words I’d never spoken to any other girl, “I love you (in both English and Afrikaans), will you marry me?” And with incandescent happiness she said, “Yes.”

I love you. Will you marry me? 2. What were the specific Christ-like attributes that drew you to Elsje? Several people have asked me this question, and I love pondering it. Over the few weeks that we first became acquainted with each other, we purposefully had limited interaction. We both felt drawn to the other, but we intentionally avoided each other. Thus, I had a limited perspective on her, but it was as if God gave me peeks into the purity and sincerity of her heart. Ironically, it was not by me seeking it out, but it was by entrusting my heart to God and allowing Him to open my eyes to what He wanted me to see. So, I got a nine week glimpse into her virtue and excellence, and once she returned home, God sort of posed me a question, “I have you shown you all you need to know of this girl. I know it seems like a long shot, but will you trust me?” The first glimpse of her character I was given was that, while she was a very sweet and friendly young lady, she flew under everyone’s radar and

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

73


limited her social interaction in order to pursue Jesus wholly during her time at Ellerslie. While there was plenty of time for fellowship and making friends, I observed her intentionally withdraw from fellowship in order to spend time alone with Jesus. Second, in the few conversations I had with her, I was struck with the richness, depth, insight, and hunger for Christ that she constantly exuded. She had the keen ability to articulate and enunciate Gospel truth, and when she spoke, her words had a weight and gravity to them. Her conversation was always dripping with the unction of a girl who had first lived what she believed and proclaimed. And it was clear that she loved Christian biography! Third, it was the testimony others had to share about her that really showed me that she was a young woman of excellence. People spoke highly of her

I observed her intentionally withdraw from fellowship in order to spend time alone with Jesus.

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

74


she maintained a mystique, and didn’t openly proffer information or details about herself. and they would often comment on her tender heart, her compassion, her insight into Scripture, her sweetness, and her elegant manner of life. She gave a devotion one morning at Ellerslie, and it left quite a mark on the entire student body. Even weeks and months later, people would comment on how impacting her words had been to them. While I could go on and on, (and I have come to admire her even more than I did back then), I’ll simply conclude by saying that her manner of life “frustrated,” yet also attracted me. She was a “garden enclosed.” She maintained a mystique, and didn’t openly proffer information or details about herself. There was a restraint upon her interactions, especially with myself and other guys; she was not “on the market.” Instead, she was fully given to Jesus. If you wanted to get to know her, you would have to get her through Him! I’ve always said that what a true man of God is looking for is a woman who is fully given to Jesus, no matter how odd it may look to the world. That’s certainly what I beheld in her, and still do!

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

75


3. How did you respond when you began to feel drawn to her? Respond? Well, I took a bold step forward, and did absolutely nothing! Whether you are a guy or a girl, it is vital that you guard and protect the first feelings of attraction. I was very quickly drawn to this charming young lady, but true virtue is proven in what it does with the desires of the heart. I could have just rolled over to my desires and gone rogue trying to get her attention. Instead, I quietly laid to rest the tender desires she had awakened within me.

true virtue is proven in what it does with the desires of the heart. I have found it helpful to picture this like a seed. In the most intimate and sacred part of my soul, which had ever been a solitary place that only myself and the Lord inhabited, He gave me a seed. There, in the moistened soil of that place, a most tender and fragile seed was placed into the ground. That seed was all my hopes, longings, desires, and curiosity about this lovely lady with an enchanting South African accent. The seed had to die before it would bring forth any fruit. For the cold, hard winter, there was nothing to be seen, no apparent growth, only death to a dream and a desire. For months, I only stared at the ground where the seed had been planted, and I tenderly gave it the Living Water. When God opened the door to begin pursuing Elsje, it was as if I went once more into that most solitary place of sanctuary, and there in the soil where nothing had ever been before, except my and the Savior’s footprints, peeking up from the earth - with the slightest glimpse of life was a tiny little shoot known as “hope.� It is pure sweetness to taste the

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

76


fruit of the death that marked the first several months of our acquaintance. How many times my heart desired to know and talk to her the way I do now. But every time that longing would arise, or when the curiosity would stir within me, I immediately placed that seed back in the earth where it belonged. It had to die. It had to perish. It had to go into the darkness of the soil. All promise of life had to be removed, and I had to simply trust in the Divine Gardener's ability to bring it to life.  However, death after death was the theme of the first season of interaction with Elsje. I think it is imperative for set-apart girls to realize that they really can trust God. Whatever the situation, whatever the need - He is always worthy of trust. Waiting on God never results in disappointment. The Psalmist says, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.� (Psalm 34:5 ESV). Even as God opened my eyes to see the remarkable woman He had crafted to be my bride, He asked me to simply wait upon Him and entrust Him with this most sacred desire. He challenged me to live to prove the worth of trusting God, not just in this area, but in every area of my existence.

I think it is imperative for set-apart girls to realize that they really can trust God. copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

77


4. As the man in the relationship, what intentional actions did you take to honor Elsje during the formation of the relationship? In every stage of this relationship, I have sought to regard her with the highest level of respect, honor, decorum, nobility, and gentility. It has looked slightly different at each stage, but even as it deepens, I find myself seeking new ways to honor and show her how highly I regard her. In the beginning, I honored her by treating her with the same amount of deference and respect as all the other ladies at Ellerslie. In fact, I probably had less interaction with her than I had with other girls. I guarded my eyes, and endeavored to ensure that she would never have an inkling as to my interest. I wouldn’t look her way, neither would I go out of my way to interact with her. There was one situation when we found ourselves alone and could have spent several moments in isolated conversation, but rather than indulge in that seemingly harmless opportunity, I removed myself with graciousness in order to defend my honor and preserve her dignity. Once we began corresponding, I continued to leave my feelings unexpressed and did not disclose my interest to her until I had obtained her father’s permission to pursue her. Once he had given his consent, I laid a foundation of several principles. First, this relationship had to show the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things; essentially, this relationship had to be a stage to demonstrate the nature of Jesus to the world. Second, we are both called to live all out for Jesus, and therefore we must continue to live surrendered lives, no matter the cost. Third, I endeavored to exhibit to her a constant deference to her level of security. I made sure that she always knew that she never needed to disclose anything she was uncomfortable sharing.

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

78


I also refrained from expressing the depth of love or affection that God had stirred in me toward her. I deferred to her father’s discretion as to how much interaction he felt was healthy, and we had two to three phone calls per week which lasted about an hour or two each. Additionally, we began the discipline of writing a daily letter and sending it via email. We avoided “chatting” on social interaction websites, and though we could text internationally, we decided to maintain a loftier and more ennobled form of communication. Furthermore, we didn’t tell anyone, outside of our families and Eric, that this love story was being scripted. For a few months, we quietly allowed God to form and shape this story. This resulted in Elsje feeling a greater degree of safety and

First, this relationship had to show the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things... security in the formation of the affection and love that God was stirring between us. I also made it clear that what she shared with me would be protected, guarded, and kept sacred. I never told her I loved her until the next breath contained the words, “Will you marry me?” I always asked her father permission before discussing matters of a more intimate or sensitive nature.

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

79


While I was in South Africa, we were never alone and our only physical interaction was when I took her by the hand and placed an engagement ring upon her finger. Even after our engagement, we have not had even the slightest display of physical affection - and we won’t until our wedding day.

5. What would you say to a young lady who is interested in allowing God to write her love story? I would ask a question: “Is God trustworthy?” In essence, our biggest issue is that we aren’t acquainted with the exceedingly grand worthiness of God Almighty. He is so profoundly worthy to be trusted with our lives, not because of what He can do for us, but because of who He is. When the Apostle John says “God is love,” we must remember that every drop of love - true love - flows from God, back to God, for the glory of God. If you long for an exquisitely beautiful love

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

80


story, you must become a yielded vessel. God is worthy of trust irregardless of whether He writes a love story for us or not. If He calls you to live a life of singleness, you must trust that your life will be filled with rich joy and delight. Further, if He does have a love story for you, can you trust that He knows the script the best? He knows when the right actors need to enter the stage.

I never told her I loved her until the next breath contained the words, “Will you marry me?” Oh, and speaking of stages, Elsje and I have used this sort of language to articulate our desire for this relationship. We don’t want to be actors in this drama of our love story, we would rather be the stage upon which the drama is performed. In essence, Jesus is the main character of this love story, and we simply become the stage whereby He shows off all of His trustworthiness, glory, goodness, and majesty! One of the defining quotes that shaped us at the very inception of this romance is by Jim Elliot: “Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” Thus, we call it being a “Decision Man.” We want every stage of our eversweetening love story to be a fork in the road for those we come into contact with. May our lives compel souls to surrender to the Lord Jesus. That is the secret, not just to a great love story, but to an extraordinary life! Each God-written love story is unique, but it must follow one very specific guideline: prove that God is worthy of trust! You can trust Him to lead the right young man to pursue you, at the right time, and in the

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

81


most God-honoring fashion. You must remain patient, waiting upon God to provide, and believe me, waiting upon God is its own most glorious reward of deepest joy. As Elsje would say, “You cannot have complete joy without complete surrender.�

*

Ben & Elsje 2011

y jo e t e l p m o c e v You cannot ha . r e d n e r r u s e t e l p without com copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

82


take it deeper

When God Writes Your Love Story

Order Now!!

When God Writes Your Love Story has provided the foundation for a whole new way of thinking about relationships among today’s younger generation. Rather than building a love story the way the world does (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 building 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 your love story 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

83


Savoring the

PreciousMoments

By Leslie Ludy Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellersli


Every Night as Eric and I

are drifting off to sleep, we have a little tradition. He says, “Remember the kiddos?” which prompts me to recount several funny and/or adorable things our little “pumpkin doodles” did that day. Things like Dubber telling me that he had the “peacocks” – which meant he had the hiccups. He also told Miss Annie that he had a “mustache” on his arm – which meant he had a rash. (We are still working on his vocabulary skills, but for now it’s very entertaining to hear what he comes up with.) Or Hudson setting up “Hudson’s Toy Store” in his bedroom and doing a high-pressure sales job on every unsuspecting person who enters our house – selling random articles from around the house at a premium price. There was a great sale going on

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


putting my “to do list” on hold while I listen to their little speeches, show enthusiasm for their new discoveries and accomplishments, take time to carefully examine and admire a ladybug with them, or chase them around the backyard while they giggle hysterically. Training, discipline, schedule, and structure are certainly important, but these things are merely tools that enable me to focus on what truly matters in motherhood - building Godly relationships with my children and leading them to Jesus Christ. As women, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the logistics of managing a home and disciplining children, and forget to really enjoy our relationship with our children and treasure the time we have with them. Everyone is always telling me how fast children grow up. But I believe that if we as mothers slow down enough to savor the precious

“I have a mustache!” today though; I got a pair of swim trunks, a baby hair bow and a wellused book, all for seventy-five cents. Such anecdotes are truly precious to Mommy and Daddy’s hearts. But in the bustle of daily life, we so quickly forget these priceless moments unless we take the time to savor and enjoy them. Taking time to meditate upon the nuances of our little ones every night cultivates a deeper tenderness and appreciation for the children God has given us, and it refreshes our perspective as parents. Instead of just focusing on the problems or “discipline issue,” it helps us remember that these munchkins truly are a blessing from the hand of God, not just a duty or responsibility.

I’ve discovered that the best way to truly savor the joy and beauty of motherhood is by taking the time to cultivate relationship moments in every day and build with my children throughout the lasting relationships with our day. This sometimes requires children, we will not one day feel

“I have the peacocks!”

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."


like the years with our kids passed us by – because we took time to treasure and enjoy them. I recently listened to a timemanagement teaching from a homeschool mother of seven. It was filled with helpful information, from how to manage the laundry to keeping kids on track with their schoolwork throughout the day. This particular mom was very diligent about rising early in the morning, structuring the flow of her children’s day, having regular mealtimes with the family, and making sure all household chores were accomplished. She shared the wisdom and practical tips she’d learned throughout the years, and for the most part her home seemed to run pretty much like clockwork. But when asked if she ever spent one-on-one time building relationships with her children, the woman replied, “Very little. I just don’t have time for that with everything else I’m doing.” It made me sad to hear that response. While I’m a big fan of order, structure, and discipline in the home, I believe those things should never become the end goal

I’ve discovered that the best way to truly savor the joy and beauty of motherhood is by taking the time to cultivate relationship with my children throughout the day.

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


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


of Godly womanhood. Rather, they simply help enable a wife and mother to spend time on what truly matters - cultivating an intimate relationship with God, and with her husband and children. Titus 2:4-5 says, …that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers… Becoming an excellent homemaker is certainly of great importance in God’s eyes, but it’s not at the top of the list - loving our husbands, loving our children, and cultivating Godly character come first. We must not overlook God’s priorities through our well-meaning efforts to become an effective “keeper of the

trusted depository for their hopes, dreams, and struggles, sharing precious moments and enjoying time in their presence. This is not an easy balance to find. Managing a home well and also spending purposeful time with my children is probably my biggest challenge in life. I’m constantly asking God for wisdom in how to be excellent in both areas. By nature, I’m far more of a “Martha” than a “Mary”. And when it comes to motherhood, it would be easy for me to spend all my time organizing, planning, scheduling, and cleaning rather than playing, laughing, and making memories with my kids. But I don’t want to look back in 20 years and

I try to be intentional about making memories with my kids. home.” Sure, we can show love to our spouse and kids by tending to their practical needs like laundry and meals, but we must also show love to them by spending purposeful time with them, becoming a

remember an organized home devoid of meaningful family relationships. I don’t want my kids to remember me as a mom who kept an orderly household but never had time for them. So nearly

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."


every day, I try to be intentional made together will (hopefully) last about making memories with my for many years to come. kids. Today the crisp fall weather was For instance, yesterday was particularly beautiful, so I decided “bubble day.” I filled up our water to load all four kids in the car and table with bubble solution and let take them to the local pumpkin the kids use straws and bubble patch. We jumped on hay bales, wands to make all shapes and took an inordinately long and sizes of bubbles. I made chocolate bumpy hay-ride, fed some sheep and a fat pig, and collected a variety of pumpkins and gourds to decorate and bake with. It took only a couple of hours out of my busy day, and it was a well-spent investment of time and effort. Herding four little kids around a busy pumpkin farm all by myself was not the easiest of endeavors, but I felt the grace of God enabling me to “go the extra mile” in milk and let them blow bubbles in it spending that purposeful time with (a special one-time privilege). We my children.

Just a few simple activities - but the memories we made together will last for many years to come.

read a very interesting book about the science of bubbles. We did a bubble art project involving bubble solution and colored tempura paint – yes it was a mess, but it was worth it for the fun we had. And then I put bubble wrap on the floor and let them jump on it and pop the bubbles. Just a few simple activities – but the memories we

I certainly do not feel that I “have it all figured out” when it comes to making memories or building relational time with my kids into every day. Like most moms, I often struggle with the feeling that I should be doing even more than I am. But I know that God has placed this burden upon my heart

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


for a very important reason, and as Elisabeth Elliot reminds us, “God never issued instructions which He was not prepared to enable us to obey.” So, by His grace, I intend to make the most of every moment that I can during these precious

years of my children’s lives. Not an easy undertaking, but one that can reap divine rewards for the rest of our lives, and Lord willing, for eternity.

*

“God never issued instructions which He was not prepared to enable us to obey.” - Elisabeth Elliot

PreciousMoments

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."


C uteSt uf f

the ludy kids are “saying & doing”

HARPER, age 4 Harper has a “secret hiding place” in one of the lower cabinets in our kitchen island. She puts all of her treasures in there so that none of her siblings can “steal” them. Whenever we open the cabinet to retrieve the bread machine, we typically find an odd assortment of items. Recently, her collection included two plastic dinosaurs, several “Mardi-Gras-style” necklaces in a variety of colors, a halfeaten bag of cheese puffs, and several different sizes of rocks from the backyard.

She

rotates her treasures every few days, so it’s always a new and interesting discovery.

Copyright 2011 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."


HUDSON, age 6 Hudson is attempting to turn our home into “Christmasland”.

This consists of

hanging scribbled drawings of snowmen and Christmas trees at random locations around the house, and dressing up like a clown to give guided tours of the backyard.

I still haven’t completely figured out what the clown costume or

tours of the bushes, grass, and swing-set have to do with Christmas, but I suppose when you are six it makes perfect sense.

AVONLEA, age 2 Avy is convinced that she can do anything that her big brother Hudson can do. She climbs super-high ladders and scales monkey bars meant for much older kids, her little legs dangling in the air a good ten feet off the ground. She giggles the entire time and drops without warning – usually we catch her, but we have to be very quick on our feet. At an indoor pool we went to last week, she immediately found the highest, fastest, twirly water slide and took off at full speed before we could get to her. She ended up flying through the air and landing with a huge splash in a pool of water that was way over her head, and we had to rush over and pull her out. She was sputtering and gasping for air. But then she laughed and said, “Do again!”

KIPLING, age 3 On a recent trip to the zoo, Kipling (a.k.a. Dubber) kept asking if he could see the “cow bells.”

It took quite a while before it was discovered that

he actually meant “koala bears.”

He is taking great strides in overcoming

fear and, for the first time in his life, seems to enjoy swinging (weally high!) at the park and riding the carousel all by himself (with a big person holding him around the waist).

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."


NOTE FROM LESLIE: Chelsea Gooch is an Ellerslie graduate and has been a great blessing to all who have encountered her sweet, servanthearted life.  She lives an outward-focused life and has a beautiful heart for missions.   I know you will be encouraged as you read about the journey God has led her on this year. 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."


Meet Chelsea

common life SISTER OF THE

Q: When did you come to Christ and choose to live fully setapart for Him? A: Although I grew up in a Christian home and prayed to ask Jesus into my heart at a young age, it wasn't until I was about 15 or 16 that I truly understood what it means to live a life set-apart for Christ. Growing up, I knew about Jesus, but sometime during my preteen years I began to awaken to the pull of culture. I became increasingly involved in my group of friends, and soon my life revolved around my little social world. I gradually became better and better at saying the right thing at just the right time, turning awkward situations into opportunities, and slyly drawing all eyes to myself. As the months passed, however, deep within I realized that these things were not fulfilling me. It was the darkest period of my life, as I simply existed from day to day; everything was meaningless and I was becoming hard and bitter inside, yet at the same time craving something more. I can remember knowing that I was 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."


things that were not right, but I no longer cared. Why did it even matter? What was the point of life anyway? Little did I know it then, but God was preparing me for what He was about to do. The Christmas right before I turned 16, my parents gave me Leslie’s book, Authentic Beauty, and God used it to radically change my life. The solution to the longings of my heart was Jesus! I learned that true Christianity is not merely Christ forgiving my sins and getting me into heaven someday, but it is an intimate relationship with the King of all kings. It is a life of surrender and joy following my Lord wherever He leads. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (KJV) This became a beautifully precious promise to me as I sought Him like I never had before. I discovered that He was not just a distant Being in heaven, but the One who loved me more than His very life. The next season of my life was incredibly difficult, but also amazingly sweet. My life began to look completely different from those around me as I began to seek Him and not the pleasures of this world. The journey has certainly not been easy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. His ways are perfect!

Q: What have been some of the greatest challenges and joys in living as a set-apart young woman? A: When God first got a hold of my life, one of the challenges I experienced was the lack of like-minded people around me who could encourage me down the narrow way. I stepped away from almost all of the friendships that were in my life at that time because, although they were “Christian” friends, they were drawing me away from Christ, rather than pushing me toward Him. The years that followed were very lonely at times, but I learned the precious truth that He is the One who is my forever faithful Friend. One of the other things that has been challenging for me is obeying the leading of God even when it was not supported by people around

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."


me. I knew what others wanted me to do, but I also knew what God was asking me to do. As I have chosen to obey Him, by His grace, no matter what others said or even how ridiculous it may have seemed to me, I have seen His faithfulness in my life. He will never leave us nor forsake us and His ways are always, always best. Even though at times I've only been able to see the next step, I have seen in every new step of obedience that His plans for my life are far greater than I could ever have imagined! Some of the greatest joys? First, there is just the joy of traveling the narrow road! It's not that the path is easy, but the presence of our King makes it the most enjoyable place to be. It is an adventure to live this life with Him! There's also the joy of seeing His faithfulness displayed in my own life, not just hearing about it from other people. Another thing that brings joy to my life is reflecting on what Jesus has done in my life. It is a beautiful thing to behold the love of our God by remembering and treasuring the ways He has worked in our lives. Reflecting on the character and faithfulness of my God often brings tears of wonder to my eyes. His mercies truly are new every morning!

Q: What is one thing you desire the women of your generation to know? A: We must know Jesus Christ as our All in all. Nothing that this world has to offer will fill the God-shaped hole in each of our hearts. In America, it is so easy for us to get caught up in the ways of culture – whether it is relationships with the opposite sex, the draw of materialism, or the pursuit of other pleasures – and we can so easily start seeking after those things as the means to our happiness. As strange as it may seem to the world, it is truly in losing our lives that we find them. “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will

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."


lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:24-25 KJV) Following Jesus is not dull and lifeless; on the contrary, it is only in Him that we find the source of true life and fulfillment. Though the world around us may look on in scorn and all the forces of evil wage war against us, those who take up their cross and follow Him truly have the most beautiful, satisfying lives on planet earth!

Q: You recently spent some time in the Philippines and China. Tell us about what sort of ministry you did there and how that trip impacted your life. The ministry our team worked with in the Philippines has a vision to plant a church within walking distance of every Filipino. As the American team, our part involved joining up with a team of Filipino missionaries and holding crusades in the villages every night. At the crusades we had worship, drama presentations, a Gospel message, an opportunity for the people to respond, and prayer for the people's various needs. It was so neat to see the faith of the people during the prayer times at the end of each night. We saw many people healed of illnesses and aches that had hindered them for years; they

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."


simply believe that God is able to do what He says He will! The next day we did follow-up with those who had responded to the invitation to follow Christ. During the follow-up time we handed out Bibles and helped them form Bible studies or churches in which they could continue to grow under the leadership of a local pastor. We also were able to share the Gospel in schools. At the schools we either gathered all the students together and held a general assembly or went from room to room and shared using an Evangecube. Throughout the whole trip we saw a great openness to the Gospel and many people eagerly responded to the call to follow Jesus. I was so blessed to be a part of the work that God is doing in the Philippines. Lord willing, I will be going back in November for a few weeks to share the Gospel on another island! After a week and a half in the Philippines, we went to China for about four days. In China, we did ministry with college-age students and visited two orphanages. Although it was a short visit, it was a lifechanging experience for me. What a privilege it is to be a part of what God is doing around the world!

Q: What was one of the most memorable moments during your time there? I would have to say that one of my most memorable moments during our trip was visiting one of the orphanages in China. We got to sit and play with those precious babies in the beautiful building that was

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


their home. I loved holding them and feeling their little hands grab onto my shirt. I loved watching them giggle as the other members of the team energetically engaged with them. I loved seeing their sweet smiles. My heart aches as I think of those precious kiddos halfway across the world, but how much more our Heavenly Father must ache for them. I have tasted a little bit of His love in my heart for the few sweet children I have seen out of the millions all over the world, but I know that it cannot even compare to the depths of our Father's love for them. Sometimes I think of them wistfully as I go about my day; how much more our Father, who sees every sparrow that falls, must feel for each of their hurts. Sometimes I wish I could go to them and adopt them as my own; how much more the Father, who sent His Son to save them, must long for each of them to be adopted into His family! What an honor it is to share even a little piece of our Father's heart for His children all around the world. He is the Father to the fatherless; may we be His hands and feet to the least of these!

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


Q: Tell us about your time serving as an intern at Ellerslie and what God taught you through it. A: After graduating from the Ellerslie Advanced Leadership Training, I served as the Housekeeping Intern for the summer 2011 semester. Being the “Housekeeping Intern” doesn't sound like a glamorous or exciting job, but I loved it! One of the principles of the Christian life is that the presence of God makes even the most difficult things wonderful. How did the early believers (and even the martyrs around the world today) joyfully endure horrific persecution? They knew their Lord and loved Him with everything, and as a result it was their joy to suffer for His sake. I sought to take that same mindset (in a small way) into my work at Ellerslie. I was not just cleaning toilets, washing mattress pads, clearing month-old food out of refrigerators, dealing with random lost and found items, or searching for the eight mattresses that we somehow misplaced. As I looked at these tasks from the perspective that I was working for and serving my King, it became a privilege and delight to do things that may seem insignificant, gross, or mundane. No, I wasn't sharing the Gospel with unreached tribes in the middle of Africa, but I was serving Jesus by helping to create (and maintain) an environment where men and women from around the world could deepen their relationship with Him and be prepared to take His Truth to the ends of the earth. I knew it was where God had me for that season and I rejoiced in the opportunity to serve Him there.

Q: When your time as an intern came to an end, how did you continue to live a poured-out life at home? A: Since moving back home with my family, one of the things that God has been reminding me of is the fact that I am not called to live a “normal” life. Yes, I may not be working for a ministry full-time, but that does not mean I can make this life about me. I know that I have been called to live a life that is poured-out for Him in whatever situation I may be in – whether it be in full-time ministry, at home,

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."


or as a missionary overseas. I also know that whatever God calls me to, He will give me the grace to do it. I am still learning, but keeping that selfless attitude helps me to approach even the little things with a generous, open heart, available for God to use. One of the specific ways I am seeking to live a poured-out life during this season at home is by allowing God to train me and prepare me here for what He has for me in the future. This time at home is so valuable in that I have the opportunity to learn how to love and serve my family well. Those closest to us can often be the most difficult for us to display Christ-likeness to and I know that as God stretches and grows me to showcase Him here, I am being prepared to do it elsewhere as well. Also, another little thing that I have been doing is writing to my sisters in Christ around the country. Just a little encouraging note to say that I am thinking of them and praying for them. That also helps me to focus outward in a small way and not just on what's happening in my own life.

Q: What advice would you give to girls who are in a time of waiting on the Lord to lead them in their next step? A: Over the past ten months, I have had many seasons of waiting on the Lord. Although it hasn't been easy, I have learned to treasure the times of waiting – they can be some of the sweetest seasons in our walk with the Lord. As I prepared to graduate from the Ellerslie Advanced Leadership Training, I had no idea what I would be doing aside from going to the Philippines and China for two weeks. That was it. I had nothing else on my calendar. At all. I cried out to the Lord to show me where He wanted me to be, to open some door, any door, to just show me something. I thought that three weeks before graduation would be a good time for God to show me the next step (I mean, that was cutting it close enough, don't you think?). The three week line came and went and

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


I still had no open doors. So I waited. And waited.... And waited.... Meanwhile, I obeyed in the little steps that God was leading me to take. The day before I was scheduled to get on a plane and fly home, I was asked to stay on at Ellerslie as an intern. So, in the middle of half-packed suitcases and “last” dinners with friends, I changed all my plans and stayed. My idea of how and when God should lead me didn't quite happen, but when I look back at that season of agonizing waiting I see it as such a sweet time of growing. It wasn't easy, it wasn't fun, but it was so good. Our God is perfectly faithful. He will be faithful to show us each step at exactly the right time – His time. He does not forsake His children and He will not forget. He cares even more than we do about His plans for our lives. We can think that it would be easier and better if God just gave us the answer right away. What's the use of all this waiting anyway? When God says “yes,” we have the tendency to become attached to the gift instead of the Giver. When God says “no,” we just can move on. But when God says “wait,” it keeps us in that tension of not knowing and that can push us to seek Him. So, for those of you who are in seasons of waiting on the Lord, don't let the thing you

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."


are waiting for become the end. Let those seasons of unknowns drive you to your knees. Let the waiting be used as a means to draw you closer than ever before to the Lover of your soul. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14 KJV) “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:22-26 KJV) *

a few of Ch elsea’s favorite thing s walks, conver s

ations with f riends, the R Mountains, s ocky unny afternoo ns with a so worshipping J ft breeze, esus, time wi th Jesus, pe kiddos, readi ppermint tea, ng old journa ls, good biog raphies, the Word of Go d, prayer tim es

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


May 25-27, 2012 ! s u n Joi

setapartgirl

annual conference

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

VIEW the online brochure now!

Lily Among Thorns

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


setapartgirl wants you to get to know the children of...

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."


HIS little feet reaching for you tour

2011-2012

Copyright 2011 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."


t he C hildren are here! Here at setapartgirl we are delighted to announce the arrival of the 2011-2012 His Little Feet International Children’s Choir! Ten children from Ethiopia and four from Honduras stepped onto our campus and instantly gripped our hearts and lives. As we have fallen in love with their sweet smiles and been deeply moved by their stories, their worship, and the testimony of God’s work within them, it is only natural that we’d be eager to personally introduce them to you! Go online to www.hislittlefeet.org to read more about the ministry, book the choir at your home church, view their tour schedule, or support them financially if God so leads. This is a ministry built upon the Word of God, and for the glory of Jesus Christ! Join with us in praying for each child’s growth in the Lord, for churches across our nation to be awakened to God’s heart for the orphaned and vulnerable, and for people to be eternally changed by their encounter with His Little Feet!

Go to www.HISLITTLEFEET.org for more information and to view their upcoming tour schedule! 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."


Reaching the Orphan.

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."


“But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea,

let them exceedingly rejoice.” Psalm 68:3 (KJV)

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


givenphotography

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


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


givenphotography

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


givenphotography

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


Remember Yohannes and the children of

HIS little feet Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me...for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie."


want to help support these kiddos? Go to www.HISLITTLEFEET.org for more information on how to further the work and help other kiddos like these. givenphotography

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


givenphotography

Click here to download a desktop wallpaper. (And should you like this, we may add a few more in future issues!)

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


setapartgirl

GO TO:

www.setapartgirl.com/beinvolved

for updates, prayer needs, & practical ways to give.

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."


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

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!

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


OUR

TEAM

RECOMMENDS

GOOD

READS.

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.


Amelia recommends: THE PASTOR’S WIFE by Sabina Wurmbrand

In her own words, Sabina Wurmbrand tells her story of persecution in communist Romania with her husband, Richard. He was arrested and imprisoned for a total of 14 years, while Sabina was taken from her young son and sent to a labor camp for several years. But through it all, her faith remained strong and she continued to be a fruitful witness for Christ. This moving story of faith and courage will inspire you to seek harder after Christ.

Tessa recommends: HINDS’ FEET ON HIGH PLACES by Hannah Hurnard

This classic is definitely in my top three favorites! Written as an easy-to-understand allegory, it tells the story of Much Afraid, who longs to leave her home in the Valley of Fear and go with the Chief Shepherd to the High Places. He promises to take her there, but she must be willing to make the journey with His chosen companions - Sorrow and Suffering. This book will challenge you to cling ever tighter to the Shepherd of your soul, and allow Him to faithfully fulfill His glorious promises in your life in whatever way He chooses. You’ll have to read through the last chapter to find out how God beautifully transforms Much Afraid and her companions when they come to the end of their triumphant journey!

Amy recommends:

JOHN AND BETTY STAM: A STORY OF TRIUMPH by Mrs. Howard Taylor

Every page of this real-life adventure is more challenging than the last. Much more than a nice story, this book is an invitation to join the ranks of those who are willing to count their lives as nothing in order to advance the kingdom and obey the voice of their Beloved. John and Betty Stam truly lived martyr’s lives long before God gave them the honor of dying martyr’s deaths. He was the sole focus of their lives and thusly, He is what you are left thinking about when you reach the end of their story. Though it is their biography, this book is not about John and Betty Stam, but the One who lived through them, enabling their yielded lives to be a beautiful display of His glory! Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


Leslie’s Blog!

Marriage & mamahood

Moments from my life.

MARRIAGE: Our Seventeenth Wedding Anniversary The other day, while speaking with Eric at Ellerslie, I was about to tell the students how long we had been married, and suddenly I couldn’t quite remember. I was not sure whether our upcoming anniversary was our 16th or 17th - Eric was convinced it would be our 18th. The students seemed to enjoy the fact that we were fumbling around, trying to figure it out, and I felt like one of those “older married couples” that often forget exactly how long they have been husband and wife. After we arrived home that evening, we did some calculations and found out that December 10, 2011 will actually be our 17th anniversary. At least we were both fairly close in our guesses! While it is a little embarrassing to have so many years of marital bliss under our belts that we are now starting to lose track of the exact number, in some ways it’s also beautiful. We have been married for so long that we truly are part of one another. We have been through... CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST

go online to subscribe to Leslie’s blog Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


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

upcoming sessions:

2012 Winter/Spring: February 11 - April 15

2012 Summer: June 16 - August 19

2012 FALL: A MESSAGE FROM ERIC & LESLIE:

October 13 - December 16

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 supercharge 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 a$ly count it a privilege to personally invest in your spiritual life through this program! Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

at:

www.ellerslie.com

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


"Whenever you surrender the most precious areas of your life to God, it's like trading in a pile of worthless pebbles for a truckload of priceless jewels." - Leslie Ludy

inthenextissue Life is More Than Food A Biblical Look at Diet and Nutrition Fads Set-Apart Friendship, Part Two Additional Truths in God’s Pattern Letting Guys Be Guys Making Room for Strong Masculinity

Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.  

Soli Deo Gloria

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


setapartgirl NOV/DEC 2011 issue