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LESLIE LUDY’S

MAGAZINE

WHITE AS SNOW THE FULL RESTORATION OF GOD p. 8

LESSONS FROM THE MISSION FIELD

Defining a True Missionary

p. 18

MEET ELSJE

Sister of the Common Life p. 86

GIVEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Principles for Keeping the Right Focus p. 48

THE MIRACLE

OF ADOPTION

God’s Childlike Solution for the Orphan Crisis, p. 62

SEPT/OCT 2013


FOUNDER’S letter

I am feeling almost shocked by

the fact that summer is over and fall has officially kicked into gear! When I was a kid, summer lasted forever. But now, these hot and sunny months seem to get shorter and shorter with every passing year. Just when I begin to really soak up the balmy weather and bask in the extra hours of daylight, the stores start promoting their “back to school” items and cozy fall-ish décor, and the daylight savings change starts to loom. In light of how quickly life seems to move these days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the verse that says: in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…(Is. 30:15) How important it is to slow down, quiet our hearts, and spend time at the feet of Jesus each day! We will not find spiritual strength by rushing from one thing to the next or flooding our lives with a frenzy of activities, but in stilling

our hearts before Him and sitting quietly at His feet, hearing His heart just as Mary did. The world constantly pushes us toward the “next exciting thing”, but Christ beckons us to slow down and “come away” with Him. It is my hope that this magazine issue will help you do just that. In the upcoming pages you’ll find articles that can help you re-focus your mind, quiet your heart, and lead you to the feet of Jesus. Truly, there is no better place to be!

Leslie

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


setapartgirl

™ PLAYLIST

TEAM PICKS: ELSJE: GLADLY WOULD I LEAVE BEHIND ME by Sovereign Grace HEATHER: WONDERFUL, MERCIFUL SAVIOR by Selah MANDY: THAT NAME by Graham Kendrick LAUREN: I SHALL NOT WANT by Audrey Assad GRACE: MUSIC TO PRAY BY podcast on iTunes ANNIE: JESUS ONLY by Aaron Shust All of these songs can be found on iTunes!

LESLIE’S PICK:

AWAKE MY SOUL by Chris Tomlin

is a great song that I’ve been hearing often lately, because my four-year-old, Avonlea Rose, discovered it on my playlist and will put it on endless repeat during the day! She loves the song and has it fully memorized - and now, so do I. It captures the awakening and redemption of a human soul as illustrated in Ezekial 37. Very powerful and moving!


Š 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


THE founder

about leslie

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 eighteen 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 worldimpacting Christian service, and draws men and women of all ages from around the world.

“Here is the path to the higher life: down, lower down! Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.” - Andrew Murray


IN THIS

issue

28

48 18

8 SET APART FEMININITY

Explore God’s Sacred Intent for Your Life

SET APART RELATIONSHIPS Honoring God in Love and Romance

8 l White As Snow

28 l A God-Scripted Engagement

Experiencing God’s restoration From Sexual Sin and Abuse

Honoring Christ as You Approach Your Wedding Day

SET APART WALK

Cultivate Your Daily Romance with Christ 18 l Lessons From the Mission Field

40 l Wedding Photo Spread

SET APART LIFESTYLE

Applying the Gospel to Everday Life

What Defines a True Missionary

48 l Given Photography Part Two

Giving All to Him: Principles for Keeping the Right Focus


40 76

2 6 SET APART MOTHERHOOD

Discovering God’s Heart for Home and Family

3

setapartgirl™ playlist

62

Devotionals

86

Sister of the Common Life

76 l The Beauty of Bringing Forth Life

94

Leslie’s Kiddo Spot

94 l Baby Announcements

98

Recommendations

62 l The Miracle Of Adoption

ineveryissue

God’s Childlike Solution to the Orphan Crisis

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New King James Version. © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


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white as

snow EXPERIENCING GOD’S RESTORATION FROM SEXUAL SIN AND ABUSE

by LESLIE LUDY

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. Luke 7:47

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. Mark 2:17

WHEN ERIC AND I WERE

first married, a Christian leader took notice of the fact that we had “wisdom beyond our years” about spiritual things. He felt that the reason we had been blessed with unusual spiritual insight was because we’d protected the purity of our relationship prior to marriage. We’d listened to God’s Spirit above our own fleshly desires, and as a result we had cultivated the ability to hear His voice without the cloudiness and confusion that sexual compromise so often brings. Honoring and protecting purity did so much more than merely enhance the romance in our marriage relationship. It strengthened our relationship with Jesus Christ and laid the foundation for our marriage to be built upon His amazing strength.


But our lives hadn’t always been marked with sexual set-apartness. In light of the physical purity that marked my relationship with Eric, it may seem hard to believe that we both came from very impure backgrounds. Eric and I grew up in Christian homes and went to youth group, but like most Christian young people today we approached purity from a selfish vantage point. We constantly asked, “how far is too far?” rather than “how far can I possibly go to please God and honor my future spouse?” And as a result, our lives were full of sin, selfishness, and compromise. Both of us gave our heart, mind, emotions, and bodies carelessly away in temporary flings, even though we “technically” kept our virginity. For most of our young adult lives, saving a kiss until our wedding day would have been the last thing either of us would have considered doing. By the time I caught a vision for the amazing purity and breathtaking beauty that marked a Christ-centered love story, I honestly felt like it was too late for me to ever experience it. Sure, I’d technically kept my abstinence commitment, but my purity had been forsaken long ago. I’d allowed the treasure of my heart, emotions, and body to be trampled time and time again. I knew I was unworthy of a Godwritten love story.


SET APART But then, in His gentle, tender, patient way, my King began to show me that I could be completely washed clean, restored, and made new. If I was willing to repent and receive His forgiveness, I could be set free from all the baggage of the past, cleansed from all the impurity I’d allowed into my

If I was willing to repent and receive His forgiveness, I could be set free. life. And I could experience the fullness of a brilliantly pure, God-scripted love story, through the power of His redemption. It seemed almost too good to be true, but it was exactly what He promised. God-scripted love stories are not just for those who have never compromised. In fact, the very reason that Christ sacrificed everything for us was to offer us the chance to be restored, washed clean, and given a hope and future. Just look at this amazing picture of Christ’s heart toward those of us who have sinned: And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with

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tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” If you feel that you’ve “gone too far” to experience a truly pure and beautiful Godscripted love story, let me assure you that it’s never too late to be restored and made new by His amazing cleansing blood. Repentance means turning and walking the other direction. Once you awaken to the fact that you are heading over a cliff, simply stop, turn, ask God’s forgiveness, and then, by His grace, head in the other direction. There is no reason to look back or second-guess your position as His child. You should not expect a secondrate version of romance. Once you have been restored by Him, you are clothed in His righteousness. You are entitled to all the benefits of His amazing Kingdom. Your forgiveness is complete. Your sin is removed as far from you as the east is from the west. It is finished. As I said in Set-Apart Femininity: We only need to read the Gospels to be assured that He did pay the price for our sin – once and for all. Let us not cheapen His amazing sacrifice by questioning whether His work on the cross was truly enough.

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


We are either ignorant or arrogant if we believe that Christ’s death was not enough to cover our sin. At the moment Christ gave up His life for us, He proclaimed, “It is accomplished.” (see John 19:30) The price had been paid. The power of sin had been conquered. It was done. It was final. It was absolute. He left no room for us to question it. Don’t try to add to His sacrifice by improving yourself before you fall at His feet in repentance. Simply come to Him, in all of your sin and weakness, let Him wash you clean, and make you completely new. Don’t focus on your unworthiness. Rather, fix your eyes on the awesome power of His conquering, redeeming, transforming blood, shed on your behalf. (Additionally, if God brings a Christ-built man into your life, He will give that man the grace to forgive the same way that God has forgiven you – fully, completely, wholly. Eric and I have never struggled with hurt or anger over each other’s “pasts”, because we have allowed God’s grace to equip us with a heart of complete forgiveness.) If sexual compromise has entered your life, I’d like to offer some Biblical advice that can lead to complete restoration and healing.

1. repent & turn Christ said, If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30) Our King tells us that once we awaken to the fact that we’ve allowed sin in our lives, we are not to continue doing the things that led to our stumbling. That means if you were an alcoholic, you should no longer hang out in bars sipping beer. If you were addicted to Internet porn, you should no longer spend hours alone, surfing the Internet. And if you stumbled sexually, you shouldn’t remain

We are so unworthy of His grace and forgiveness—and yet He offers it to us freely.

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


SET APART in intense, close contact with the one you compromised with. You need to “cut off” the thing that caused you to sin – namely, the relationship you are in. This isn’t to say that God can’t heal, restore, and cleanse an impure relationship and rebuild it upon a foundation of purity. But there needs to be a re-calibration; new patterns need to be established, Christ needs to claim the throne in your life once again, and purity needs to govern your every action and thought.

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temptation out of your life, even if it means stepping away from an ungodly relationship, getting rid of your computer, withdrawing from unhealthy friendships, or throwing away ungodly movies. Remember, nothing is more important that your relationship with Jesus Christ. And if you put Him first, He will fulfill your soul far more than any unhealthy relationship or habit ever could.

Nothing is more important than your relationship with Jesus Christ.

When you are in the heat of an intense, emotional relationship with someone, you aren’t able to truly allow Christ to renew and re-train your habits. You become distracted by your feelings for the other person, and it’s all too easy to fall right back into the same sin over and over again. Even though it might be difficult, honor Christ by taking a step back from the relationship, surrendering it afresh to Him, and letting Him re-build it only after a long season of healing, renewal, re-training, and restoration has been established. Whatever the “compromise triggers” are in your life – whether an impure relationship or impure habits – ask God for the grace to turn and walk the other direction. Do whatever you must do in order to cut

2. receive His forgiveness Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn He came back to the temple, and all the people came to Him. Just as He sat down to teach, the scribes and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught committing adultery. They made her stand in the middle of everyone. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman has been caught in the very act of


committing adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded to stone this kind of woman. What do You say?”… But Jesus knelt and wrote down something on the ground. As they continued questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “The one among you who is without sin, let him throw the first stone at her.” Again, He knelt and wrote down something on the ground. Those who heard left one at a time, beginning with the older ones first, leaving Jesus alone with the woman. (John 8:4-11) The angry mob wanted to humiliate, expose, and destroy the woman who had been caught in sin. But Jesus – the only One who had the power to judge and condemn her – chose a completely

different response. Forgiveness. complete, perfect forgiveness.

Full,

Just as Jesus knew the sins of each person in that crowd, He knows every sin we have ever committed from the day we were born. It is pointless to try to keep our sins hidden from Him. Yet when we come to Him, truly broken over what we have done, filled with the soul-wrenching regret of realizing how far we have fallen, and look into His eyes, He smiles tenderly. He lifts our chin with His nail-scarred hand. And He gently says, “I don’t condemn you. Now go, and stop sinning.” When we are washed in Jesus’ blood, we become completely clean. When He looks at us, He doesn’t see our failures and mistakes, He sees a new creation—a child of God – resorted and made white

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


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Remember that once God has forgiven you, it is done. It is finished. To doubt His forgiveness is to doubt whether His work on the Cross was truly enough to cover your sin. as snow, not by our own merit, but by His. And if we truly receive His amazing forgiveness, He can take the sin that our enemy meant to use to destroy us, and use it for His glory. He can take a shattered heart and life and script a beautiful tale of His perfect love. As it says in Psalm 103:2-5:

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


When you offer Jesus Christ full and complete access to your heart and life, He makes all things new. Full and complete restoration and a brand new beginning – that’s what the power of His blood can do. About fifteen years ago I sat down at the piano and attempted to express the heart of this amazing forgiveness through a simple song called White as Snow: Alone and confused, your heart is bruised from sin; Your joy is gone from love gone wrong And you’re longing to start again.

White as snow, He has made you white as snow; Pure and innocent like a dove, Though you have done nothing to deserve His pardoning, You’ve been purified by Jesus’ blood— White as snow.

I know that you’ve been hurt, and you don’t know who to trust;

The guilt and the shame,

I won’t pretend I understand your pain.

keeping you chained,

But I can see repentance in your eyes, and I know it’s not too late;

Not wanting to let you go; It’s not how you dreamed,

I hear Him calling your name…

not how you planned, And you can’t see that still

White as snow, He has made

there is hope.

you white as snow; The moment you confessed,

Receive His healing for your bruises;

His heart forgave.

Receive His riches for your rags.

You might think you’ve ruined all the plans He had for you,

You cannot imagine all the plans

But it’s for that very reason

So take His hand, and don’t look back.

He has for you,

Jesus saves. © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.

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mission f ield LESSONS FROM THE

WHAT DEFINES A TRUE MISSIONARY

by REBEKAH SCHEIMAN

THERE IS a prevalent tendency among Christians today to put an unofficial ranking on levels of Christian service. Bottom level: Being a churchgoer while you make your living like everyone else, working a normal job Second level: Working in a Christian company or doing ministry on the side (Sunday school teacher, etc.) while you work a normal job Third level: Working in full-time ministry in the US (Pastor, youth worker, etc.)

Top level: Being a missionary on the foreign field It is common, and even acceptable, to sigh as we look at our life and the opportunities God has given us. We say, “Oh how I wish I could make it to the mission field. THEN I would be doing something worthwhile.” We look at our small level of service and wish to do more. Wishing to do more is not a bad thing— we ought always to be pressing on to the endless frontier. But what is unhealthy is glamorizing mission work to a point that we are dissatisfied with everything else and unwilling to be content in the roles.

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


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GREASING THE PANS FOR GOD When I was about 8 years old, I often went to the kitchen when my mom was making dinner, hoping to get a chance to stir something or dump ingredients in a bowl. “Can I help make dinner?” I asked. And the answer I almost always got was, “Sure! Would you please grease the pans?” Greasing the pans was my least favorite way to help. Why couldn’t I do some of the exciting work? So I would grease the pans with a disappointed attitude and hang around hopefully, waiting to see if there was something I could do with the “real” recipe creation, like dumping ingredients from the measuring cup to the bowl. It got to the point where I stopped coming so often to help with dinner, because I could predict what job I would be given, and I didn’t really want it. Later, when I had graduated from college and I was hoping to dedicate my life to fulltime mission work on the foreign field, God kept

giving me jobs that felt menial, useless, and boring. He kept the “exciting” doors shut fast, and kept opening doors for things like “Be there for your siblings,” “Serve your parents,” or “Be the church pianist.” My desires were to do “real” mission work, and God kept asking me to do these uninteresting tasks that did not feel fruitful or significant at advancing the Kingdom of God. I struggled with this and kept asking the Lord why He didn’t allow me to get into the thick of the fight and be a real soldier of the cross. He reminded me of my childhood request to help in the kitchen. “When you were a little girl, and your mom gave you the job of greasing the pans, it was because you didn’t have the skills or the maturity to do the whole recipe. Greasing the pans was genuinely helpful to her, while dumping ingredients in the bowl would have only slowed her down. If I am asking you to ‘grease the pans’ in My kingdom, can you be faithful in that which is least and trust Me to bring along greater avenues of service in My time?”


I had to surrender my ideas of ministry and service to the Lord, and as I did, He was faithful to open doors as He saw fit. He was building me, writing my ministry story, and training me for the day when I would finally enter what I thought of as “the real fight.” You see, I still had the idea firmly in place that I wasn’t truly useful to the Lord until I got on to the mission field. I felt like that was the highest way to serve the Lord properly, and everything else was just training.

DISCOVERING TWO KEY TRUTHS ABOUT MISSIONARIES Eventually, the Lord was faithful to open doors for ministry overseas, and I went on short-term trips to the Dominican Republic, Morocco, and Spain. Finally! I was going to get a chance to meet real missionaries! Invariably, I was surprised and a little disappointed. My notions of missionaries as super-spiritual Christians started to crumble. “Wait a minute…” I thought. “These missionaries are no different than normal people I could have met at any church in the US. They just happen

to live in another country. Where are the Hudson Taylors, Gladys Aylwards, and Amy Carmichaels of today?” There were two factors I didn’t realize. First, doing ministry in another country is

...CAN YOU BE FAITHFUL IN THAT WHICH IS LEAST AND TRUST ME TO BRING ALONG GREATER AVENUES OF SERVICE IN MY TIME? just like doing ministry in the US, except for the fact that you have a mountain of additional challenges: the enemy’s violent opposition, a language barrier, cultural misunderstandings, having to learn new

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


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ways to do things (like shopping for vegetables outdoors or washing clothes by hand), and possibly doing without a lot of conveniences you are used to (for instance, a vehicle, air conditioning, or electricity). While I considered myself fully willing to give those things up and accept the extra suffering and obstacles, I had not yet proven myself able to do ministry faithfully and effectively where it was easy, so how could I expect to do it when opposition raged? Second, missionaries like Hudson Taylor, Gladys Aylward, and Amy Carmichael appear to us like glowing examples of triumphant faith because we get to see the end of the story. We can read their whole life story in a little book. Authors don’t spend a proportional amount of time on the drudgery-to-glamour ratio in the lives of missionaries. They focus on all the interesting parts of a person’s life. Even as we read, we gloss over the boring parts that do appear. We quickly page through the fact that Hudson Taylor spent a number of “hidden years,” or spent months bedridden with illness. We fail to consider how it felt to him to live through that. We read about Gladys Aylward marching triumphantly over the mountains. “She rescued 100 children!” we exult. But how many years did she spend in China before that, faithfully doing boring things

that no one took any notice of? We read Amy Carmichael’s writings and our hearts are thrilled and inspired with her mighty faith, but we forget that her day-to-day life probably looked to her like a mundane series of tasks. We appreciate her vivid quotes, but fail to understand the pain and suffering she had to go through in order to learn these things.

THE DANGER OF OVER-GLAMORIZING MISSION WORK The danger of placing an unhealthy expectation on missionary work is that if God ever does call us to serve Him in another country, we will be unprepared for the challenges that we face and therefore be far less effective in the work. This was my experience when the Lord allowed me to go to a hard, dark place like Haiti. In preparing to go to Haiti, I still retained some unhealthy, over-glamorized ideas of missions. I raised support, talking passionately about how God had called me to be an instrument to break through the darkness and oppression in that land. I prayed fervently as I prepared to go, confidently expecting to see Satan’s kingdom fall and people’s lives turned

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


around for the glory of the King of Kings. I talked excitedly to my friends about the orphanage in Haiti where I was going to serve, and I kept a blog where I planned to share my stories of rescue and evangelism. Then I arrived in Haiti. I discovered that

I HAD NOT PROVEN MYSELF ABLE TO DO MINISTRY FAITHFULLY WHERE IT WAS EASY, SO HOW COULD I EXPECT TO DO IT WHEN OPPOSITION RAGED? most of my “ministry” was menial work that felt unimpressive and a bit unsatisfying. The fall of Satan’s kingdom wasn’t happening as quickly as I had hoped, and I didn’t get to be involved much in the rescue side of the work. Rescuing an abandoned child feels glamorous—and takes about one day. Changing that child’s diapers, feeding him, and raising him to love Jesus is not so glamorous, and it takes a long time. I didn’t have much of a chance to do evangelism or outreach, because my Creole was not good enough yet, and the Haitians didn’t necessarily like me or appreciate what I was doing anyway. I slept on a sheet on

a hard tile floor that I shared with rats and cockroaches, and I would lie on my back every evening drenched in sweat before I fell asleep. I spent an inordinate amount of time each day mopping, fighting to keep ants out of everything, and filling buckets with water just to have enough for showers, dishwashing, and laundry. My blog dried up because there were only so many ways to make these menial tasks sound glamorous, and I didn’t have enough electricity anyway to keep my computer battery charged for typing out long, inspirational blog posts. I saw how preposterous it was for anyone to idolize someone like me, when I was doing none of the grand things I had envisioned for myself. This brought a further and more frightening realization: deep down, in a certain measure, I wanted to be somewhere and do something that would allow me to idolize myself.


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Do you see the danger? Are you a daughter whose life seems to be stuck doing school work, practicing your instrument, and watching children in the nursery? Would it surprise you to know that much of mission work feels the same way to the missionary? Are you a mother whose life revolves around laundry, grocery store runs, and housework, and you long for a more fulfilling existence? Did you ever think that the missionary mother has to do the same exact tasks for her household? Perhaps it would shock you to realize that the overseas missionary sometimes idolizes YOU, longing for your life! (“If I could only get back there, then I could be more effective for God.�)

If your idea of missions is not firmly rooted in the truth, then real mission experience can quickly cause you to feel disoriented, disillusioned, and burned out.

A PROPER PERSPECTIVE In order to stop from idolizing missions to an unhealthy degree, you must ground your desire for overseas ministry in the truth of the Word of God. Perhaps God has placed a call on your life that is yet unfulfilled. While you are longing for that future door to open up, consider a few of the lessons God has taught me for a proper perspective on missions.


First, realize your destination: Jesus are headed or where God is calling you. Christ. See Heb. 12:2. Your destination is God is calling you to pursue Jesus. not so much a geographical location; it is realize your occupation: a Person. Whether you are a missionary, Second, student, employee, or stay-at-home mom, Obedience. (See Deut. 10:12-13.) As long as you are obeying your destination is the K E E P Y O U R E Y E S His command for you, same. HE is your pursuit. you cannot possibly do HE is the direction you are FIRMLY FIXED anything more for the headed—and you can go there now. Do not cast O N H I M . . . G O D I S Kingdom of God. We your eyes about, glancing C A L L I N G Y O U T O often dislike what He has commanded us to do, overseas, wondering if it PURSUE JESUS. so we invent something will be this or that city or far more interesting and country or people group. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on Him. Where then expect Him to approve of it, without He goes, you go. This simplifies things. recognizing the presumption and pride of You do not have to obsess over where you thinking that our plan is better than that of © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


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the Sovereign God. Your job is to follow, not lead, the Good Shepherd. Get very still before Him and learn to recognize His voice. Determine to only walk in obedience. If He has not given you light for the next step, do not take one on your own wisdom. Wait for Him to tell you. He is always trustworthy and faithful to lead, even when His guidance comes at the last minute.

John Hyde, the man of prayer in India? Regular guy. Anyone could have what he had. God’s promises and blessings are open to all His children. George Mueller, the man of faith who made his request to God alone for supporting the orphan work? Ordinary man. You could have the same from God if you set yourself to trust Him the way Mr. Mueller did.

SUFFICIENT GRACE.

Fourth, realize what most of mission work is: Plain hard work. See 2 Cor. 1:89. The work God calls you to accomplish as a missionary will require just as much diligence, attention, and faithfulness as a job or a career. You will have to throw your whole energy into it to make it succeed. It will be hard. You must constantly fight for excellence. You may want to give up. It won’t be a glamorous, comfortable job where people idolize you. But God will be faithful to supply to you His all-sufficient grace.

Third, recognize who missionaries are: Regular people just like you. When Cornelius fell down before Peter to worship him, Peter “took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” (Acts 10:26). Unhealthy idolizing of a missionary is not good for you or the missionary. Jesus said, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt. 4:10).

Fifth, maintain the proper attitude for preparation: Trust God. See Philippians 1:6. If God has truly called you to serve on the mission field, you can trust Him to write your mission story just as just as much as you can trust Him to write your love story. Allow Him to build your skills in evangelism and prayer. Trust that if He calls you to some other field of practical preparation, whether it’s medicine or house cleaning,

IT WON’T BE A GLAMOROUS, COMFORTABLE JOB WHERE PEOPLE IDOLIZE YOU.

BUT GOD WILL

BE FAITHFUL TO SUPPLY TO YOU HIS ALL-

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He has a purpose in it. Give yourself fully to serve cheerfully in the doors He does open up, and you will be able to say when He plants you in your particular niche of service, “All my life, God has been building me precisely for this position.�

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A God-Scripted NOT LONG AGO Eric and I sat down with a soon-to-be-married couple that had gone from a vibrant, Christ-centered, God-scripted romance to an impure, mediocre, run-of-the-mill “Christian” relationship in a matter of weeks. Selfish desires had taken over, Jesus Christ had been pushed to the back burner, and it didn’t take long for the fairy tale sparkle to

disappear. It’s something Eric and I have seen time and time again in working with the younger generation. When it comes to honoring God in romance, what starts out with the best of intentions often ends with the worst of results. Engagement can be one of the most beautiful – and most challenging – times

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


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ENGAGEMENT HONORING CHRIST AS YOU APPROACH YOUR WEDDING DAY

in a romantic relationship. Knowing that you have committed to spending the rest of your life with someone and anticipating your new life together is incredibly exciting. But it also ushers in even stronger temptations to take the pen into your own hands and push God into the background. Yet even though I frequently see the sad results of people taking the “pen” into

their own hands, I also hear the beautiful testimonies of those who left it completely in God’s – and reaped the remarkable rewards. Cultivating an engagement that is 100% pure and Christ-honoring is more than possible – even in today’s relationally challenged world. And it’s God’s passionate desire that you, His set-apart princess, will be among those who experience His very best in this crucial season of your life.


So whether you are currently engaged, or just wanting some godly advice for when that time comes in your future, I’d like to share some practical principles for honoring Christ in the soon-to-be-marriage stage of a relationship.

principle no. 1 KEEP CHRIST AS YOUR FIRST LOVE As you prepare your heart for marriage, it’s certainly important to pray with your fiancé, study God’s Word together, discuss spiritual Truth, and cultivate spiritual unity. But be careful that you don’t let your own personal times with Christ be replaced by your times of seeking Him with your soon-to-be husband. Jesus Christ must remain your first love; your all in all,

even after your wedding day. Otherwise, you’ll begin looking to your husband to fulfill needs in your heart that only Jesus Christ can truly meet. That approach will quickly lead to turmoil and tension in any marriage relationship! Yes, there is great joy and fulfillment that comes from an earthly God-scripted romance. And yet, Jesus Christ is always meant to have first place in our hearts. He is the One who meets our deepest needs where human love falls short. Our relationship with our earthly spouse is meant to be a reflection of a much greater and more important love story – our eternal romance with our Heavenly Bridegroom Jesus Christ. As you guard and protect your individual time with Christ, it will actually help you become a better wife. When you allow Christ to satisfy your soul at the deepest level and remain your all in all, you are able


SET APART to think about serving your husband and meeting his needs, instead of spending all your time worrying about whether he’s meeting your deepest emotional desires. That doesn’t mean you should never appeal to your fiancé or husband if he’s falling short in his sensitivity toward you. But if you keep Christ in His proper place in your heart rather than making an unhealthy idol out of your marriage, you will be far less prone to nagging and complaining, and far better equipped to be the loving, honoring, servant-hearted wife God has called you to be!

principle no. 2 VIGILANTLY PROTECT PURITY A young engaged couple that I know recently confessed to allowing sexual compromise into their relationship. “I just didn’t think it was really that big of a deal to God,” the young woman told us. “I mean, we’re planning to get married anyway. We’ve committed our lives to each other. What’s wrong with expressing our love physically prior to saying wedding vows?” That young woman articulated a very common attitude among modern Chris-

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tians. We might believe that having casual sex with random people isn’t God’s best, but most of us don’t see the significance of vigilantly guarding pre-marriage purity once you have pledged your life and heart to someone. So how big of a deal is purity to God, anyway? If you love someone and know you are going to get married, why is it so important to hold back? The reason we don’t understand the importance of purity is because we don’t understand the significance of marriage covenant. A wedding isn’t merely a ceremony in which you verbally commit to love each for the rest of your lives. A wedding is a sacred exchange – a holy covenant in which two lives become one. Until you have entered into that covenant, you are still individuals – no matter how committed you might be to the relationship. Once you enter that sacred covenant, you are no longer two individuals, but “one flesh.” Then and only then are you free to be intimate physically – entering the “holy of holies” without shame. (Note: for more detail about this principle, please read Set Apart Femininity.) If you engage in sensual touch prior to entering that sacred covenant, you dishonor God’s perfect design and leave yourselves wide open for the enemy to ravage the beauty and nobility of your relationship. God’s Word says:

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


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Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Hebrews 13:4 NASB When we choose to engage in sexual intimacy prior to a covenant exchange, we dishonor the sanctity and holiness of marriage. The word “fornication” in Scripture might seem vague at first glance, but there is nothing vague about it. According to God’s pattern, any sexual expression outside of marriage covenant is considered fornication. To keep sex sacred, we must keep ALL expressions of sexual intimacy sacred. Sexual touch of any kind is an intimate “knowing” of another person – and such intimate acts, in God’s pattern, are only meant as an outflow of a holy marriage covenant. As mentioned in the White as Snow article, Eric and I decided not to even kiss until our wedding day. We wanted to go out of our way to keep every form of intimacy sacred. My dad had once told us, “Anything physical that you save for marriage will only be more beautiful and fulfilling as time goes on. Anything that you experience beforehand will eventually lose its luster.” When we put this wisdom into practice, we found it to be true. Even to this very day, whenever we share a kiss it is just as beautiful, thrilling, and satisfying

as it was on our wedding day. Instead of asking the question “how far is too far?” God challenged us to start asking a new question – “how far can we possibly go to honor Him in this area of our lives?” And as we made it our goal to live without even a hint of impurity in our physical relationship, we discovered that God’s ways are truly beautiful and perfect. Because we saved everything in our physical relationship, it has only grown more and more amazing, fulfilling, and exciting with each year of our marriage.

“Anything physical that you save for marriage will only be more beautiful and fulfilling as time goes on...” I’ve seen too many purity-esteeming couples compromise along the way because they “didn’t want to be too extreme” about their standards. And every time, they end up with a humanled, mediocre romance rather than the stunningly beautiful Heaven-on-earth fairy tale version of love God intends. But when couples vigilantly protect the physical purity of their relationship at all costs, even going to seeming “extremes” to save everything for the sacred covenant exchange of marriage, God honors and

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God’s ways are truly beautiful and perfect. blesses the relationship with more beauty and Heavenly romance than they could have ever hoped for or dreamed of. Even something as innocent as kissing before marriage can subtly erode the “sheen” of purity in a love story – especially certain kinds of kissing! It’s not that God can’t still bless a marriage when physical things have been allowed into a relationship prior to marriage. But it could have been even better. It could have been an unclouded picture of Heaven on earth – a vision of the most stunning, spectacular, brilliant purity this world has ever seen. The more physical expression you allow into a relationship prior to marriage, the

more you allow emotions and selfish desires to lead the way, rather than the Spirit of God. Physical touch is a powerful and dangerous thing – that’s why it’s meant to be saved for the “holy of holies” alone. If you want a relationship that is truly directed by God rather than your own selfish whims and agenda, then go to all lengths to vigilantly guard the physical purity of your relationship. Most modern Christians are so concerned about being “extreme” that they justify treating purity lightly. But I believe we should be far more concerned about violating God’s standard for righteousness than about coming across as “extreme” in our standards.


Once a violation of purity has been allowed into a relationship (even if you haven’t technically had sex) your ability to hear God’s voice becomes clouded. You think you are hearing the Spirit of God, when in reality you are only hearing the voice of your own selfish desires. Purity is not something to mess with or take lightly. Jesus Christ cannot remain at the center of a romance in which your own agenda is leading the way. Scripture is very clear on how seriously we are to take the protection of purity in our lives:

Run away from anything that would compromise your purity.

Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God…Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body…Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?...Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 CORINTHIANS 6.9-20


SET APART When God talks about fleeing sexual immorality, He doesn’t mean to be cavalier about all physical expression up until the point of technically having sex. He means to run away from anything that would compromise the purity of the sacred marriage covenant He designed between a man and a woman. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints

EPHESIANS 5:3 The phrase “not even be named among you” literally means that there is not to be even a hint of uncleanness or sexual impurity in our lives. When God prescribes that young men and women treat each other as “brothers and sisters, with all purity” – He means it. (see 1 Tim 5:2) Even if you are in a serious relationship with someone, that doesn’t give you a justifiable reason to engage in sensual touch prior to your wedding day. Until you enter into a sacred marriage covenant, you are to treat him as a brother, with all purity. Think about what that means. Would you kiss your younger brother on the mouth? Would you wrap your arms around him sensually? Would you rest your hand on his thigh, or allow him to rest his hand on yours? Would you sidle up to him on the couch and whisper “sweet nothings” into his ear? (If you would – then it’s probably

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time to address some serious issues in your sibling relationships!) It may sound extreme to treat your fiancé the same way you would your brother, but that is God’s prescription. In fact, He goes so far as to say that if there is any temptation toward compromise in a pre-marriage relationship, the couple should go ahead and get married in order to avoid sexual sin: …but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:9 When it comes to protecting the purity of your pre-marriage relationship, there is no such thing as being too extreme. And we must be specific, rather than vague, about our commitments in the area of physical purity prior to marriage. Engagement is a great time to sit down together and have a clear-cut conversation about your physical boundaries. Don’t make decisions based on other people’s standards. Look to the standard of Christ alone. Remember, instead of coming from the vantage point of “how far is too far?” we should be asking, “how far can we possibly go to honor our King in this relationship?” Important note: If your fiance is putting pressure on you (even in subtle ways) to lower your physical standards, that’s a clear sign that it’s time to take a

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


step back from the relationship and allow God to shape him into a selfless protector rather than a selfish conqueror of purity. A true Warrior-Poet will value and honor your desires for purity far above his own agenda. He will not make you feel guilty or strange for having high standards. Rather, he will esteem and respect you all the more for keeping vigilant watch over the treasure of your purity. If you are with a guy who does anything less, then he is not yet truly worthy of your heart. Also, if you have not already done so, share your specific commitments with accountability partners, such as your parents or Godly teammates, and invite them to frequently ask bold questions about how you are doing in protecting the purity of the relationship. It’s helpful for each of you to have your own separate accountability partners that you can get together with on a regular basis. Give them permission to ask specific questions, such as, “what kind of physical touch are you allowing

When it comes to protecting the purity of your pre-marriage relationship, there is no such thing as being too extreme.

into the relationship?” or “are you maintaining the commitments you’ve made before God?” It might seem awkward or uncomfortable at first – but knowing that you have to answer to someone every week about the physical aspect of your relationship is a wonderful way to guard against subtle compromise. In reality, this is one of the best and most practical ways that your teammates can serve your relationship – by working with you to carefully protect the things that are most sacred to your King. Finally, set clear boundaries around your “alone time.” Don’t just assume that

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…with her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life. Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth: Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths; For she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death. because you’ve set specific physical boundaries in your relationship that it’s safe to spend hours alone together without temptation. Late nights sitting in the car, long hikes alone in the woods, nestling in the back of a dark movie theater, long talks alone in an empty house – all such scenarios give sexual compromise an unfair advantage. It doesn’t matter how “strong” you feel against temptation, there is never a good reason to purposefully place yourself in a situation that can lead to compromise. God’s Word makes it clear that sexual stumbling comes upon even the strongest of men, with disastrous results.

PROVERBS 7:21-27 Giving sway to impurity seems so right in the heat of the moment. Sexual temptation is very much like the above-mentioned harlot in Proverbs – it entices us with sweet-sounding reasons about how harmless and beautiful it is to express our love physically. But with each step down the path of impurity, we venture further away from the perfect design and sacred intent of our King. And soon we end up with only a shell of a God-written love story – a relationship that proclaims to honor Christ but in reality only honors self. That’s a shaky and dangerous foundation upon which to build a marriage.


principle no. 3 GO THE EXTRA MILE Five months before our wedding, Eric and I faced an interesting challenge while on vacation with his family. A group of us had taken an Amtrak train to the East Coast and were now returning to Colorado. But the others in our group had missed our departure train out of Boston, while Eric and I sat on board the train waiting for them. The train took off before they showed up, so they canceled their reservations on the train. And to make a long story short, Eric and I were left with only one sleeper car to share for the thirty-hour ride home.

to ourselves, knowing in our hearts that we hadn’t done anything wrong. But then His gentle whisper blew like a wind upon our souls, filling us with the desire to honor Him, to yield to Him in every situation. We bowed our heads and said a quick prayer, asking for wisdom and clarity. And the answer came swiftly… Avoid the very appearance of evil. (1 Thess. 5:22) We had our answer. He had called us to be set-apart for Him; to be a reflection of His purity not just in theory, but in practical,

The logical thing to do would be to both stay in the sleeper car. After all, we reasoned, we didn’t need to share a bed. The sleeper car had two bunk beds – and we wouldn’t even be lying near each other. Couldn’t we simply agree not to come near each other, and both lie down on our separate beds to get some much-needed rest? Sure, it might not sound great if we came home and told our friends that we shared a sleeper car together five months before our wedding day…but no one needed to know. We could just keep the information

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SET APART

Often, it’s the small decisions you make when no one else is watching that cause your engagement season to either become mediocre and self-scripted, or spectacular and God-scripted.

Fairy tale engagements are more than possible, even in today’s perverse and warped generation. But don’t expect to find a fairy tale by imitating the haphazard, hold-nothing-back version of romance you see all around you. Only when you are willing to become the “few” in this generation who will go to all lengths to serve and honor your King and hold God’s perfect design in the highest esteem will you experience His very best in this area of your life. *

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Eric spent that night in the observation deck while I remained in the sleeper car. (I offered to take shifts with him but he was too much of a gentleman to agree!)

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daily life. And it was in these little decisions that our devotion to Him was proven real.

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PART 4

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this all [our] prayer shall be:

more love,

O Christ, to Thee ! - elizabeth prentiss

photography by GRACE MCCONNAUGHEY

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We hope you enjoy these lovely photos of our beloved Lauren’s wedding! Lauren and her new husband Elijah had a pure and beautiful Godscripted love story, and we have been so blessed by their example and focus on Christ throughout the entire process. The world needs more love stories like these! -Leslie

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


Elijah & Lauren Robertson twenty-ninth of june 2013

“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.� - martin luther


“looking unto jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith . . .” HEBREWS 12.2

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Š 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


RUE PURITY

Relating to Guys in a Christ-honoring Way THE NEWEST STUDY AVAILABLE FROM LESLIE LUDY! Fairy tale love stories are more than possible, even in today’s perverse and warped generation. But don’t expect to find a fairy tale by imitating the haphazard, hold-nothing-back version of romance you see all around you. Only when you are willing to become one of the “few” in this generation who will go to all lengths to serve and honor your King will you experience His very best in romance and guy friendships. Join Leslie Ludy as she takes you on a life-changing eight-week journey to discover God’s pattern for true purity, and answers your toughest questions about relating to guys in a God-honoring way.

ORDER HERE


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G I V E N P H O T O G R A P H Y : PA R T T W O

GIVING ALL TO HIM: PRINCIPLES FOR KEEPING THE RIGHT FOCUS by ANNIE WESCHE

Every time I set out with my camera, I grow increasingly aware of how my photography flows out of my relationship with Jesus. If my heart is selfish, then my method will be self-serving. If my worth lies in the opinion of others, then my whole process will be fraught with anxiety over whether or not my work will please others. If my life is not centered upon Jesus and His cause, then I will drift into the miserable territory of comparison and lack the right vision for my work. For many years, God has been laying foundational principles for me in the area of photography. These are just a few personal lessons God has taught me, and as I share them with you, I hope they will inspire fresh consecration of your work, and that you’ll look to Him to define for you what His purposes are through that camera in your hands and the passion He’s put in your heart.


FIRST, A STORY TO SET THE STAGE From the moment I first saw Romax, I wanted to take his picture. I was on a photography trip to Haiti for five days and walking down a dirt road that passed his house. He was a small, pitiful mess of a boy, sitting on a broken down wall just outside his home. His hair was red and he had an infection festering under his left eye. His skin was filthy, scabbed, scarred, and dehydrated; and his compelling eyes begged to be photographed. I approached the lil’ boy, but as soon as he saw me, he leapt up in fear and disappeared into the small concrete house behind him. I instantly felt the loss of a great photo and continued down the road. But as I walked, the Lord touched my heart with conviction, How interested were you in the life of that boy, Annie? Or are your sights set only on what you want? It had been a couple of years since my first trip to Haiti and God was about to teach me a few more vital lessons about consecrating my photography to Him. On that short remaining walk that morning, I said a simple prayer: Lord, forgive me. I abandon my selfish agenda and give the desire to have this boy’s photo in Your hands. Teach me how to love through my camera. If his photo can be used by you, then I ask that you would supply it at the right time and in the right way. For four days more I passed by that little boy. Approaching his house, I would sling my camera behind me and gently offer friendship - a small wave, a tummy poke, and a bit of a rub on his dry, fuzzy head. With each day he grew in trust and his fear lessened. On my final day in Haiti, I approached the boy’s house for what I knew would be the last time. I had learned his name was Romax. I had learned he was extremely sick with HIV and suffering from severe malnutrition. But I had also learned that He attended the Christian school, was hearing the Gospel, and had begun to receive medical care. As I walked towards Romax on that last day, he surprised me by jumping up and shouting, “Blanc, mwe photo! Mwe photo!” This once terrified little boy was now asking me to take his photo! I joyfully obliged, showed him his photo (to which he produced an enormous smile), and said goodbye. As I walked away, my heart soared. Not over the photo I had taken, but because of new understanding that if I seek for Christ to always be first in my work, then He will give me far more than my own selfish gain could ever acquire! © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


ROMAX 2009


“IF YE THEN BE RISEN WITH CHRIST, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST SITTETH ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS ON THE EARTH. FOR YE ARE DEAD, AND YOUR LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD.” Col. 3:1-3

PHOTOGRAPHY PRINCIPLE ONE: A L WAY S A C H R I S T I A N As a Christian photographer, my work in it’s entirety is for Christ. It’s really that simple. As a Christian, you are His, and the nature of consecration demands the work of your hands also be His. The fact that I am a believer in Christ, that I am hidden in Him, effects everything about me as a photographer. When I put my eyes to that view finder, the tool in my hands is the extension of my life with Jesus. Bearing this in mind each time I operate as a photographer means that I am bearing the Name of Jesus both in how I behave as a photographer and what I capture and share with the world. Whether doing portraiture, journalistic, or mission work, you are given a wonderful position in the lives of people. You’re not just there to supply beautiful photos, but you are bearing Christ’s life, character,

love, and excellence in and through how you are a photographer. They meet you, they have the opportunity to meet with Jesus in you. My story with Romax boldly confronted me with this principle of ”Always a Christian”. If I abandon my position as a Christian to go after a photo, then my work is fruitless labor, serving self’s demands for praise and prominence, and robbing Christ from His rightful fruit and glory. But if every part of my photography work is the outflow of a submitted life to Christ Jesus; then, yes, I will look radical and probably ridiculous to the world (and especially to other professional photographers), but it will produce lasting fruit for the glory of our King - and that should be the foundational reason we take photos.

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ROMAX 2013


PHOTOGRAPHY PRINCIPLE TWO: NEVER GLORIFY AND GLAMORIZE SIN Ok, I’m warning you, this is a big one. As a photographer, you know that your work doesn’t just represent the subject in your photo; it represents you, your unique style and vision. But you, as a woman of God, represent Christ. For some reason, though, it seems all too easy to justify a bit of immodesty in your client’s dress with the argument that “it’s their choice and you’re running a business.” But let me ask you, if you yourself would not wear something, out of obedience to the Lord and to honor your (future) husband and the other men in your life, then how is photographing these immodesties justified? This goes for sensuality as well. When it comes to engagement, wedding, or pregnancy photos, quite often sensuality and skin are freely displayed, and even justified because of the context of marriage. But the things which should be sacred in marriage have no place in photos for all the world to see. I was once presented with a job where I knew the client would most likely come to the shoot with revealing clothing, and I

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SET APART had a choice to make. Either I was going to toss out the standard of modesty for this shoot or I was going to keep Christ at the center of my work - all of my work. I decided then to draft up a contract for every client. That contract presented restrictions on immodest clothing (mini skirts, short shorts, cleavage, swim wear, etc.) and any poses which were of a sensual nature.

HE SAYS IN HIS WORD, “THOSE WHO HONOR ME, I WILL HONOR” AND I HAVE FOUND THIS PROMISE TO BE UNFAILINGLY TRUE. Any professional photographer out there would probably laugh at such a restriction, but if our aim is to glorify Christ Jesus in all we do, and point to Him in and though our work, then our business model can’t be submitted to the world’s standard but to the standard of God alone. For someone who truly loves Jesus, it’s not about how far we can push the boundaries, but how great the lengths we can go to please Him! The young woman didn’t book with me, but one never loses with Christ, and God has never failed to provide me with work to do. He says in His Word, Those who honor me, I will honor and I have found this promise to be unfailingly true.

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PHOTOGRAPHY PRINCIPLE THREE: SHOOT FOR THE KINGDOM When I was first heading into more serious photography, many people wanted to know the goals I had for my work as a photographer. I had a clear vision for using it in our ministry, Set Apart Girl®, and also was eager to serve Christ-centered ministries who couldn’t afford professional quality photography. But the reaction I got from many other professional Christian photographers surprised me. They would give a knowing smile and head nod, but go on to tell me how I needed to be sure and charge a professional fee to be taken seriously. They counseled me to never give my work away, and said I should make shooting weddings a priority (which I had expressed no interest in) because it would bring in a lot of money that I could use to fund all my “humanitarian work.” Please, don’t misunderstand where I’m heading with this - I do believe that quality work is worthy of a good wage, photography can make a wonderful personal business, and that shooting weddings can be a great ministry and means of income as a Christian photographer. But the subtle (or not so subtle) message being given to

me (let’s be honest and call it “bait”) was that I needed to take care of myself as a photographer to be taken seriously and tag on the “ministry” side of it after all that.

NO MATTER WHAT WORK GOD WOULD LEAD ME INTO, IT HAD TO BE BUILT UPON THE PRINCIPLE OF EVERYTHING BELONGING TO HIM. There’s an enormous danger with such bait. It wasn’t that I shouldn’t shoot weddings or charge for my work, but people seemed to scoff at the notion of giving work away for Jesus or making Him the central reason for all my work. This was a huge point of decision for me as a photographer. No matter what work God would lead me into, it had to be built upon the principle of everything belonging to Christ. He had given it: the passion, the vision, the talent, and even the equipment; and I was going to give it all back for Him. God will lead us each in all different directions, all throughout the world, to proclaim His life and hope through the power of photography. It may be through a personal business, a unique ministry vision He gives you, working commercially, orphan advocacy photography, or something else. But let Christ always have

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SET APART the lead, and let His agenda on this earth be your method for focusing in whatever work you do! ... The enemy is very good at setting bait in front of believers, with convincing justifications and exaltation of worldly wisdom, all with the aim to set us off course from entire givenness to Jesus. He may even slap a huge label across this article reading “Extreme and Unnecessary.” But the Lamb who was slain for you and I is worthy of it all. And I can think of no greater honor and no greater delight in my photography than using it to worship and testify of my Beloved Jesus.

“NOT UNTO US, O LORD, NOT UNTO US, BUT UNTO THY NAME GIVE GLORY FOR THY MERCY, AND FOR THY TRUTH’S SAKE.” Psalm 115:1

“...THOSE WHO HONOR ME, I WILL HONOR...” I Samuel 2:30

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PHOTO CREDIT: A SPECIAL THANKS TO PHOTOGRAPHER STEVEN BYRNE FOR CAPTURING THIS MOMENT SHOOTING OUT IN THE VILLAGE.


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I HAVE BEEN A WITNESS AND THESE PICTURES ARE MY TESTIMONY. photographer James Nachtwey

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devotionals setapartgirl

GETTING TO THE HEART OF SET APART

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the latest online: TENSILE STRENGTH LESLIE LUDY When our first child, Hudson, was born, Eric and I felt like we’d been run over by a bus. While other parents seemed to peacefully stroll through the mall or the park with their serene child asleep in the stroller, Hudson was wired for sound, wide awake, fidgeting, fussing, and wanting attention almost twenty-four hours a day. Other moms would brag about how their newborns slept peacefully for eight hours each night from the day they came home from the hospital. But Hudson had acid reflux which would cause him to wake up screaming every thirty or forty minutes all night long. After about four months of this, I was at wit’s end. We hadn’t gotten more than a couple hours of broken sleep each night since our new little blessing from Heaven had arrived. We were trying to fulfill book deadlines and run our ministry, but we were so worn-down from the new adventure of parenting that we could hardly function. Several months into our new life of fatigue and sleeplessness, God began to awaken us to a hidden opportunity being presented to us through our baby…tensile strength training. The strength of rope is measured by the term “tensile strength.” Great weights are tied to the rope and then dropped to test the resiliency of the rope under stress. The greater the ability for the rope to endure weight and combative force, the stronger the tensile rating. Our souls are measured the very same way. If we have never focused on building our tensile, then even the smallest weights and stresses will cause us to snap. But if we are willing... READ MORE HERE.

CLICK HERE for more online devotionals from Leslie Ludy + the set apart girl team


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family

adoption

THE MIRACLE OF

God’s child-like solution to the orphan crisis

by LESLIE LUDY

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


t e g r o f r e v I will ne I will never forget the day, about five years ago, when my son Hudson learned what an “orphan” was. Annie Wesche, our beloved Creative Director, had just returned from a trip to Haiti where she had visited an orphanage and taken heartbreaking photos of many destitute and vulnerable children in desperate need of loving homes. As a wide-eyed three-yearold, Hudson stared at the pictures of the forlorn and sickly kids. He asked, “Who are all these children? Why are they so sad and lonely?”

I explained that the children in Annie’s photos were orphans. Hudson asked, “What’s an orphan?” I gave him the best definition I could think of: “An orphan is a child who doesn’t have a mommy or daddy to take care of him.” Hudson was stunned into silence over such a notion. It had never occurred to him that somewhere

in the world there were children without parents to take care of them. When I told him that there were actually millions of orphans around the world, he was even more perplexed and disturbed. After giving the matter some serious thought, Hudson came to me a few days later with a proposal. “Hey Mommy, guess what?” he said excitedly. “I have a great idea! If we bring those orphans into our family, they won’t be orphans anymore!” I was taken aback by the child-like brilliance of his statement. Without realizing it, my three-year-old had just enunciated God’s solution for the orphan crisis around the world. (See Psalm 68:5-6) Hudson was convinced that he had a perfectly good Mommy and Daddy – so why not share them with kids who didn’t have any parents to care for them?

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


SET APART He went on to propose that we go to Haiti and adopt twenty orphans. I smiled at his childish enthusiasm and then gently informed him that I didn’t think we’d quite have enough room in our house for twenty children. “Where would they all sleep?” I asked him. Hudson didn’t have a ready reply to my question, but a few days later, he came bounding down the stairs and told Eric and I he needed to show us something. We walked to the upper level of our house and discovered that Hudson had created “orphan beds” all around our house. Each orphan bed consisted of a blanket, a pillow, and one of his favorite stuffed animals. There were two orphan beds in Mommy and Daddy’s room, one or two in the hallway, a couple in Harper’s room, and about five in Hudson’s bedroom. (I noticed that he’d taken the greatest burden of caring for these orphans upon himself!) “See?” he exclaimed. “We do have room for twenty orphans!” Eric and I were speechless and teary-eyed. If it were only that simple, I remember thinking to myself. But in reality, it is that simple.

family

“We do have room for twenty orphans!”


When the world wide orphan crisis is seen through the eyes of a child, a solution is not hard to find. Share what you have with those in need. Open your home, your heart and your life to vulnerable children. Love them sacrificially. Even if you have to lose a bit of your comfort to do so, and even if it means sharing your favorite stuffed animals with them! I was amazed and convicted by my son’s selfless attitude toward the orphans of the world. His mind was made up on the matter. These orphans need families…so let’s become their family! There are 163 million orphans in the world today, according to official statistics. It’s a staggering number to ponder. But this number doesn’t even include children who may have biological parents still alive but that are abusive, neglectful, and unable to care for them in any practical way. It doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of children trapped in the foster care system, or the countless street children in South America fighting for their lives each and every day. It doesn’t include the young girls sold by their own parents into slave prostitution all around the world. It doesn’t include all of the hundreds of thousands of children abandoned in third world countries, thrown out like trash and left to starve.

An orphan is not just a child whose biological parents have passed away. An orphan is any child without an advocate; a child left alone and vulnerable with no one to meet his most basic needs. If we were to calculate the number of children in that situation around the world today, the orphan statistic would likely be much, much higher than even 163 million. And even now as the orphan crisis is raging at its very worst, too many Christians are shrinking back from fighting on behalf of these vulnerable children. Instead of taking Hudson’s simple child-like approach, for too many families the issue of adoption has become complicated, controversial, and convoluted.


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inspire many families to adopt, and partnered with some amazing adoption and orphan care ministries. And in the process we have become well acquainted with the battle over adoption. The enemy does not want to lose his power and control over these helpless little lives. And he has been doing all that he can think of to scare Christian families away from opening their homes to the “least of these.” Many are taking the bait and falling for his lies.

Not everyone is called to adopt. But we are all called by God to make a lasting difference in these precious children’s lives. As Christians, we cannot sit by indifferently and watch these little ones be trampled by abuse, poverty, neglect, starvation, and hopelessness. God has a mighty plan for each one of them. And He has given us the privilege of becoming His hands and feet to the weak. Ever since the day when Hudson made his “orphan beds”, Eric and I have become closely connected with the Christian adoption world. We have personally adopted four of our six children, helped

Meanwhile, the orphan crisis continues to ravage and destroy countless young lives, while we Christians sit around arguing over what should be done about it. So I would like to address a few of the most common “adoption misconceptions” floating around in today’s world, and apply God’s Truth to each one.

misconception #1

ADOPTION IS A “SPECIAL CALLING” ONLY FOR A FEW. At our recent Set Apart Girl™ conference, we had a guest speaker who shared an amazing testimony involving adoption. Stephanie Fast grew up on the streets of Korea and was adopted by a missionary couple at the age of nine. Her story is one of the most powerful accounts of Heavenly redemption that I’ve ever heard, and it left


our audience stunned and deeply moved. In asking Stephanie to speak at the conference, my purpose was not to advocate for adoption, but to showcase the amazing restorative power of God and offer hope and encouragement to women with difficult pasts, and also to show some living examples of what a life “poured out life” can look like. Yet, as a result of hearing these powerful stories, many women who attended our conference were inspired to open their lives to vulnerable children through adoption.

But some were defensive over the issue. I received an email from one woman who complained that our conference “focused too much on adoption” and went on to say that adoption was a “special calling” for only a few, and that we shouldn’t make those who were not called to adopt feel guilty about it. I found her statements almost comical, considering the fact that we did not emphasize adoption at all during the conference; we simply focused on the amazing love, power, and rescue work of God. The fact that many gained a heart and passion for adoption was simply the natural byproduct of a weekend spent


focusing on Jesus and His amazing love. Plain and simple, adoption is an outflow of the Gospel. It’s the very opportunity that Christ purchased for us on the Cross; to grant us the ability to become the adopted sons and daughters of the King: But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying

out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Gal 4:4-7) What an amazing and astounding miracle! We have each been adopted out of slavery and poverty into an everlasting inheritance! Adoption is a central theme of Christianity. God says in Psalm 68:5 that He “places the solitary in families.” He created each child to grow up in a family unit. While this is not possible for every child in the world, it is a reflection of His heart and desire. As I said earlier, God does not call every


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Christian to physically adopt a child. But standing for adoption is not a “special calling” only for a few. If you are not personally feeling led to adopt, then prayerfully consider adopting someone who is. Adoption is extremely challenging. Those who stand for a vulnerable child are entering a spiritual battle. Adoptive families need support, encouragement and practical help from the Body of Christ. They need to be adopted by those who will are willing to give them financial help, prayer partnership, and practical assistance along the way. For some additional ideas of how you can adopt an adoptive family, click here.

misconception #2 ADOPTION WILL MESS UP YOUR FAMILY AND DAMAGE YOUR KIDS. At a recent speaking event, an older woman shared her family story with me. She had been a home-school mom and took great pride in the fact that her daughter had grown up keeping a purity commitment and had a God-written love story with her husband. But as she began to talk about the fact that her daughter and son-in-law had chosen to adopt a two-year-old boy from overseas, her face became dark and brooding. “That child has caused so

many problems in the family!” she said angrily. “My daughter is not able to spend as much time home-schooling her other children, because she has to tend to his special needs and discipline problems! I wish they had never agreed to adopt him!” It was clear that the woman saw her adopted grandchild as an “outsider” and not part of the family, and that she blamed every parenting challenge her daughter was facing upon the fact that she had chosen to adopt a special needs child. Oswald Chambers wrote, “When we deliberately choose to obey God, He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us with all His almighty power.” That reality is true when we take any step of obedience, including adoption. No, adoption is not easy. But when we rely on His strength and not our own, God gives amazing grace for every single challenge we face along the way. An adoptive child does not need to damage or destroy your existing family. It all depends on how we approach the situation – with faith, or with fear. God’s Word says that opening your home to the vulnerable actually brings the blessing of Heaven into your life: ...bring to your house the poor who are cast out…then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness


Those who stand for a vulnerable child are entering into a spiritual battle.


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shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, “here I am.” (Is 58:710)

When adoption is the outflow of personal obedience to the Spirit of God, we need not be afraid. He will go before us and make the path straight. He will give grace for the challenges, and wisdom for every practical issue that arises. If we truly look to Him in faith, He will actually strengthen our family, marriage, and home as a result of our obedience. If we approach it correctly, adoption will actually bring a blessing from God into our home and family. That’s a promise from God’s Word that we can stand on!

misconception #3

THE ORPHAN CRISIS IS TOO BIG AND OVERWHELMING FOR ME TO MAKE ANY KIND OF DIFFERENCE. My daughter Harper has had the privilege of singing with the His Little Feet choir this past year, advocating on behalf of orphans around the world. As part of the concerts, a young man named Ben, who grew up in Ethiopia, shares his testimony of being a destitute


and vulnerable child who was rescued by a Christian orphanage and sponsored by and American family – given a hope and a future. After Ben shares his testimony, he always tells the story of a young boy standing on a beach as hundreds of starfish are being washed up onto the shore and dying. The young boy reaches down and picks up one starfish at a time, throwing it back to safety. An older man sees what the young boy is doing and shakes his head. “There are so many starfish being washed up onto this beach,” he chides the boy, “you can’t possibly make any difference.” In response the boy reaches down and picks up another starfish and throws it back to the ocean. Then he says simply, “I made a difference for that one.” When Eric and I first awakened to the global orphan issues of our day, it was easy to feel overwhelmed by the crisis. We asked how we could possibly make a difference for 163 million. And God clearly spoke to us, “I want you to gain my heart for the orphan by starting with one.” It seemed like such a small step to adopt one child, when we were ready to go out and radically change the world. Yet God had to remind us that He doesn’t see 163 million orphans; He sees each individual orphan. Each one is precious to Him. And He knows the number of hairs upon

their head. He is not asking you to rescue 163 million. Very likely, He is asking you to start by becoming His hands and feet to one. If you are feeling burdened by the orphan crisis around the world, I encourage you to prayerfully consider that “one” step forward God might be asking you to take. Adopt one child. Adopt a family who is adopting a child. Adopt an orphan ministry to invest your time and resources into. But most importantly, adopt God’s heart for the orphan. He commands us, Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Prov 31:8-9) Adoption isn’t a small issue in the Kingdom of God. It is a central one. The current battle over adoption is affecting the lives, hearts, futures, and souls of millions of children. Yet the answer is very simple if we approach it like Hudson did – with a child-like faith and a willingness to love sacrificially. Each of us can make a difference in the life of one vulnerable child. What kind of “orphan bed” is God asking you to build today?

*


adoption

ISN’T A SMA


SET APART

ALL ISSUE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

IT’S A CENTRAL ONE.

family


THE BEAUTY OF BRINGING FORTH

Life

by HEATHER COFER

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i

SET APART

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have always thought pregnant women are absolutely adorable. There is something about them that glows. Like many girls, I had dreamed of having babies from the time I was little (and yes, I really wanted a baby bump). So last year when I became pregnant, I was thrilled! My husband and I had just come out of a season of thinking we may not be able to have our own children, and were deeply grateful to the Lord for giving us this child. But I would have never imagined how significant this time in my life would be, and how the Lord was going to use it to refine and grow me. Being the second of eight kids, I watched my mom go through quite a few pregnancies. I was aware of the morning sickness and other aches and pains on occasion, but she walked through it so graciously, I don’t think I realized just how different life becomes.

I WOULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED HOW SIGNIFICANT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE WOULD BE, AND HOW THE LORD WAS GOING TO USE IT

to refine and grow me.

My first trimester had its difficulties - the typical tiredness, nausea, and food aversions (I never would have thought I would detest the smell of coffee, which led to some minor sacrificing for my coffee-loving husband), but none of this could dampen the delight of


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the new life growing in me. Still, I greatly looked forward to the second trimester, which held promises of less nausea and more outward evidence of a baby. Sure enough, after week 13, the sickness went away, and the “bump” began to show! I was very excited, to say the least. I loved feeling the baby move inside me and others begin to notice my growing belly. There were times when I had pretty severe back and nerve pain, but the joy far outweighed the pain. There was one thing, though, that was harder for me to swallow more than any other change: the weight gain. To put it simply, I wanted the evidence of being with child without watching the scale go up. Ever since my early teenage years, I’ve been very careful about eating well and exercising regularly, so wrapping my mind around the fact that this weight gain was a good thing was quite the shift. I knew I had to eat more than normal and that I couldn’t do the same kind of exercising that I had been in order to protect and foster the life growing inside me, but instead of accepting it graciously, I often felt very discouraged by it. Also, although I was ashamed of it, I was concerned about what others would think of me. I had the fear that they would inwardly scrutinize my changing form. This was an area that I had already wrestled with previously, but pregnancy seemed to intensify it.

One day, a couple of months after this struggle began, I was thinking about the concept of bearing fruit talked about in John 15. Someone who is bearing fruit spiritually is being continually refined and pruned to bring forth more life. It is not an easy process, and it usually means hard and often painful changes have to take place. But the result of these things is absolutely beautiful, and the difficulty of them becomes a joy as we delight in the Lord and the evidence of His work in our lives.

TO PUT IT SIMPLY, I WANTED THE EVIDENCE OF BEING WITH CHILD WITHOUT WATCHING THE SCALE GO UP. Right then it struck me that “bearing fruit” physically has many parallels to this. In order for my body to be able to nurture and bring forth life, there were certain changes that had to take place--often painful and uncomfortable changes. But just as the sometimes-challenging process of bearing

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I had a new resolve

to be thankful for these changes that were taking place.


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spiritual fruit is evidence of Christ’s life in us and is therefore something to rejoice in, the changes that were taking place in my body was something I should be thankful for.

bait to turn back to the discouragement that had threatened to overtake me at times. I had to deliberately choose not to listen to my emotions and instead turn to Jesus and His truth. And as I did, He was entirely faithful to His word. I found as I HAD TO DELIBERATELY each day passed that I chose to fix my gaze upon Him, these CHOOSE NOT TO LISTEN TO MY things that had bothered me EMOTIONS AND INSTEAD, TURN TO gradually began to grow more and more dim; sometimes days would go by without barely a thought of them. I didn’t feel so From that point on, my entire perspective self-conscious around others or wonder was altered. And, as I prepared to head what they thought of me, because He was into the third and final trimester, I had renewing my mind to think as He desires a new resolve to be thankful for these me to. By His grace, I was able to walk changes that were taking place. through the last weeks of pregnancy with deep joy and gratitude to Him for giving I decided to do some things practically to me that season of life. encourage this shift in my thought pattern. When I would notice my face filling out or Now, as I write this, I am two months into my pants getting tighter, I thanked the being a mother to my precious son--most Lord for His goodness. When my feet and of the extra weight is gone and the stretch ankles became so swollen that others marks are beginning to fade. But choosing began to notice, I would smile and think, to keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus is not “it is worth it.” I began to call my stretch over, and never will be. I still have the marks “marks of beauty” as a reminder of responsibility and privilege, just as every the precious life the Lord had given me the woman of God does, to view my body privilege of carrying. simply as a vessel to bring Him glory, and to find my joy, contentment, and delight in This resolve to be thankful was often easier Him! said than done. Every day there was huge

Jesus and His truth.

*


new ! s l a v i arr

A NOTE FROM LESLIE: As two young women on our Set Apart Girl team move the exciting role of motherhood, it’s truly our delight to welcome the new little bundles of joy God has given them! We now have two precious little additions to our team planning meetings, and it makes our times together that much sweeter, though sometimes a bit louder! Our sincerest and heart-felt congratulations to Elsje Zornes and Heather Cofer on the birth of their new little ones!

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


Marlé

Idelette Zornes 19. JULY. 2013 7 lbs. | 21 inches

WINDSOR, CO

WELCOMED BY

setapartgirl’s Elsje Zornes, and her husband Ben


Jude

Michael Duane Cofer

born: 14. JUNE. 2013 19.5 inches 8 pounds, 1 ounce

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

WELCOMED BY setapartgirl’s Heather Cofer, and her husband Judah


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CommonLife SISTER of the

MEET ELSJE

pronounced “El’-shuh”

Elsje Zornes | AGE 25 HERO OF THE FAITH: BESIDES MY HUSBAND AND MY MOM, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY SARAH EDWARDS

FAVORITE QUOTE: “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C. S. LEWIS


Q.

When did you first truly catch the vision of living a life completely set-apart for the Lord? I grew up as a very faithful church and youth group attendee, with all my moral ducks in a very neat little row. However, though my mouth was worshipping the Lord, my heart was far from Him. My version of Christianity, and what I had observed in the church, did leave me hungering for more. I knew all along that what I had experienced couldn’t be all that there is to Christianity; there was a deep, God-planted desire for the “stuff of old” so to speak. The “stuff” that makes an Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward, or a Sarah Edwards. It was in April of 2006, right before my 18th birthday, when my version of Christianity–my luke-warm, mediocre excuse for a relationship with the Lord–changed. I began to get serious about knowing the Lord, and started spending time in His Word; not simply to cross it off of my “good Christian” to-do list, but because I was coming to earnestly yearn to truly and intimately know Him. Though I was starting to see the folly of my former ways at that point, there was still way too much of self lingering in my soul. Then, when I was 21, God–with the firm gentleness of a Father– continued to place His finger on so many areas where I was still allowing the flesh to rule the roost. It was then that I came to the place of surrender. Real surrender. Not surrender for a moment, or just with words, but a surrender that sells everything to © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


obtain the Pearl of Great Price! And what joy I found in that blissful, sweet surrender of self to the One who is so infinitely worthy! I knew I had to make some drastic changes to my daily habits, pursuits, dreams, and future. I came to realize that when we seek to live entirely separated unto Christ, we will most likely not being doing so with the applause of the world ringing in our ears. But, as all saints of God truly discover, the joy and delight of knowing Him far surpasses the world’s esteem or praise. Very simply, it was when I gave up my life that I found true life.

Q.

Tell us about when you set apart a whole season of your life to simply “come away” and seek God alone. What did that look like? That season of coming away will always be one of the sweetest of my life. I had to make some decisions that went against everything the world, and even the church, would say a young woman should do. I had just finished my first year of college, and academically things were thriving! I had every intention to finish my four year degree and live the normal life that most young women in South-Africa do. Providentially, God intervened and my little plans were


wonderfully changed! I felt God asking me to step away from my collegiate pursuits and spend that year seeking Him, and getting to know Him. Really know Him. It was such a sweet season of pouring over His Word, growing in prayer and serving my family. I also spent time visiting our local nursing home, and was wonderfully surprised at the joy to be had in serving the “least of these,” the ones the world overlooks. To crown that precious year, God opened the doors for me to attend the fall semester at Ellerslie.

Every moment has been a beautiful display of God’s faithfulness towards those who keep their eyes on Him.

Q.

You moved completely across the globe, away from everything you’d ever known. How has God used this to strengthen your relationship with Him? What are some of the ways the Lord has proven Himself during that transition? What a big move that was indeed; but I would make the same decision every single day if I had to! It has been an intense season of growing in dependence, faith, and confidence in the Lord. It wasn’t–and still isn’t–easy to leave all that was familiar behind and venture into the unknown. The unknown of a new marriage, a new church, a new country (where they drive on the other side of the road, don’t speak my first language and neglect to use their knives at the © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


dinner table, choosing instead to saw through their steak with the dull edge of their forks . . . but I digress). Nevertheless, every moment has been a beautiful display of God’s faithfulness towards those who keep their eyes on Him. I have come to see how easily we turn to earthly things–including good things such as family and familiarity–for comfort. Living across the globe from my family has taught me to look only to Christ for comfort, security, peace, and satisfaction; my eyes have been opened to see how many times in the past I chose to look to my family to meet those needs and longings. The hymn “What a Friend We have In Jesus” has a line that says: “O, what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.” How true that statement is, and I feel like this past year the Lord has really taught me to carry everything to Him in prayer. Since living in the U.S., I’ve prayed about things that I never imagined I would: grocery shopping with brands I had never heard of, getting comfortable using a different currency than what I had grown up using, choosing paint colors without having my dear mom’s expert decor advice immediately available; these have all made a guest appearance, more than once, in my times of prayer. It is indeed a precious thing when we are stripped of any other source of reliance; when God becomes the aim of our trust, the direction of confidence and the resting place for our affections. As Robert Murray M’Cheyne once said while ministering in a different country, “A foreign land draws us nearer God. He is the only one whom we know here. We go to © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


Him as to one we know; all else is strange. Every step I take, and every new country I see, makes me feel more that there is nothing real, nothing true, but what is everlasting.”

Q.

You’ve recently had an addition to your family--a beautiful baby girl! Give us a little peek into your life right now (funny, serious, or both!) Daily life all of a sudden includes the joy of sleeping on my stomach (after not being able to for around 6 months), around the clock diaper changes, feedings in the middle of the night, unexpected “little-person” messes, pintsized clothes in the laundry hamper and a whole lot of pink . . . and frills . . . and pink frills! But it also consists of selflessly serving and loving a precious little life, beholding the wonder of new life, falling more in love with my husband as I see him father his daughter with God-built patience and tenderness and the heavenly joy of being a mother!! As I write this, I am sitting on the cusp of my third week of motherhood, and in these first days every one of my mamahood moments have been met by the waterfall of God’s enabling grace!

Q.

As a new wife and mother, what are some challenges you face in your life and keeping and


protecting that sweet intimacy with the Lord? What would you say to encourage other young women who are or soon will be in this time of life? I feel like everyday of marriage and motherhood brings with it its own unique challenges that range from the smaller things like deciding what to prepare for dinner- to the constant challenge to lay down my life for my husband and my daughter. You have to wake up each morning simply trusting that you will have all you need to triumph through the day. I am constantly challenged by the calling of a wife and mother to lay myself down for my husband and my little baby. I deeply desire my marriage and the way I parent to- loudly and clearly- communicate the gospel to the world. C.T Studd said “Marriage can either be a taste of heaven on earth, or a taste of hell on earth, depending on where you place the Cross.” I desire the Cross to be right at the center of my marriage, and my relationship with my little girl. And the Cross means self-denial and laying down your life for another. Laying down your life for another in marriage and motherhood represent the Gospel (Rachel Jankovic).

We love each other best by loving God most. The Cross will remain central only as my husband and I protect our own- and each other’s time- with the Lord. We love each other best by loving God most. This necessitates a very deliberate decision to continue cultivating intimacy with the Lord. My husband and I both have our individual times with the Lord and walk with the constant conviction that that is priority. © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


For young women it is so easy to turn your affections toward your husband; especially in those early days of marriage when your childhood fairytale dreams of long walks at sunset and romantic candlelit dinners are still very fresh. My encouragement to others in this season would be to continue to set your heart on Jesus, and not your husband. Let your heart and affections rest with the One who will never disappoint!

*

A FEW OF HER FAVORITE THINGS Talks with my husband, a darling little girl, cuddling with said little girl, garage ‘sale-ing’ with my mom, Ben Zornes’ sermons, anything and everything vintage/shabby chic, baby yawns, visiting South-Africa, soft pink peonies, reading Song of Songs, Skype talks with my brothers, being on the setapartgirl team.


The place where Leslie shares CUTE STUFF the Ludy Kiddos are saying and doing!

WELCOME TO

t he Ki ddo Sp ot

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Avy, age 4:

The other day at breakfast we were all going around sharing our favorite kinds of dogs. There were a variety of breeds mentioned, including Bernese Mountain Dogs, Cocker Spaniels, and Mutts like Gracie. But when we got to Avy she confidently declared, “My favorite kind of dog is a prairie dog!” She honestly believed these little rodents to be dogs and in her opinion, they are much cuter than other “real” dog out there!

Kipling, age 4:

In the car the other day, the kids were discussing how many inches tall they were. They were attempting to determine which of them was tall enough to ride certain rides at Disneyland. Kipling announced that he was going to “inch himself” which presumably meant count how many inches tall he was. He then attempted to use his hand to measure from his toes up to his head. After a few minutes of focused counting he excitedly announced to everyone, “Guess what! I’m nine inches tall!!” He was very happy to be such a big, tall boy.


Harper, age 6:

Her new favorite “Harper and Mommy” activity is going to get our nails done. It’s quite precious, because she only has one nail – which is on her right thumb. She is very particular about getting her one thumb nail exactly right, and comes up with many creative ideas for what she wants the nail technician to try. This week, she asked for a diagonal design for her thumbnail; half pink and half blue, with a silver line slanted in between. Then she asked the nail tech to paint her toes alternating blue and pink to match her thumb. I never would have thought it, but it actually looks pretty good! She’s so picky about her thumb nail that even if she gets the tiniest dent in her freshly painted nail, she will beg me to take her back to the nail shop to get it fixed. I suppose that taking a child to the nail shop twice a week would typically be an expensive habit, but since we only get charged for one nail each time, it’s actually quite affordable!

A5DB


Hudson, age 8:

He got braces! Actually they are only on his two front teeth, but every time I look at him now, I do double-take, because he suddenly looks like a teenager! Or at least a twelve year old. Which is weird because he still acts like an eight-year-old! He also had to have two teeth pulled, which I was concerned would be a big ordeal. But all I had to do was offer a “reward” of some new Legos if he did well, and success was in the bag! He didn’t even flinch when they gave him a shot of Novocain! (I wish us adults could be motivated by new Legos the same way when it comes to dental work.)

© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


listen + read

recommendations from our team

Š 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.


Elsje Recommends:

The Fragrance of Christ by Harry Foster I knew I had to read this sermon when I saw my mother shed tears of awe and wonder as she meditated on it! She had been telling me about it for a few days, and after seeing her so moved with love for the Savior, I finally planted myself on our big brown leather sofa and allowed the truth captured within these lines to occupy my full attention! This sermon serves as a beautiful reminder of the centrality of Christ, and that He is the fragrance of God’s knowledge which we are to diffuse in every place. As you read this sermon, there is no doubt that you will be freshly awed by the perfection of the Savior and the sweet fragrance He is unto us who believe.

FOR THE TRANSCRIPT, CLICK HERE

Immoveable Soul Leslie Recommends: The by Eric Ludy This powerful message reminds us to cling to the Rock, Jesus Christ, when threats and trials come our way. When we are in Christ, nothing can shake us! It’s a wonderful reminder to be strong and courageous, no matter what the natural realm may try to boast against us!

FOR THE TRANSCRIPT, CLICK HERE


WE ARE NOT HERE TO BE OVERCOME, BUT TO RISE UNVANQUISHED AFTER EVERY KNOCKOUT BLOW, AND LAUGH THE LAUGH OF FAITH, NOT FEAR. - AMY CARMICHAEL

inthenextissue: RUTH, The way a woman walks out her femininity MANAGING YOUR MONEY WELL, Hear from the Set Apart Girl™ team GIVEN PHOTOGRAPHY, PART THREE, Stories from the field © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This magazine contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Leslie Ludy and Set Apart Girl ™.

2013 Sept/Oct setapartgirl online issue  

An online magazine about returning to Christ-centered femininity

2013 Sept/Oct setapartgirl online issue  

An online magazine about returning to Christ-centered femininity

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