Monday, December 8, 2008

Set Apart Femininity - Chapter 4

~ Sacred Decorum ~

"There are some who would have Christ cheap. They would have Him without the Cross. But the price will not come down."
- Samuel Rutherford -

Raising Femininity to Heavenly Heights

Many young women have the problem of a lack of intimacy with Christ. We desire to be close to Him, sensitive to His every word. But we're simply...not. Why are some women so full of Christ's love that people stop to ask them why they're so happy and others long to know Christ like that but are sorely lacking?

Amy Carmichael says it so well, "We must look upon the world, with all its delights and all its attractions, with suspicion and reserve. We are called to a higher Kingdom, we are touched with a divine Spirit. It is not that He forbids us this or that comfort or indulgence; it is not that He is stern, demanding us to follow a narrow path. But we who love our Lord and whose affections are set on Heavenly things voluntarily and gladly lay aside the things that charm and ravish the world, that, for our part, our hearts may be ravished with the things of Heaven that our whole being may be poured forth in constant and unreserved devotion in the service of the Lord who died to save us."

There is no such thing as too extreme when it comes to selling out to Christ. It's when you lay aside everything else to give your all to Christ that you shine with the light of Christ. That's when your intimacy with your Prince truly begins.

Laying Down Idols

A life without the pleasures of this world, even pleasures that don't seem that bad, sounds radical and even ridiculous. Watching movies or being interested in the latest celebrity gossip isn't necessarily sinful. However, worldly entertainment has a strong hold on most young Christians.

A good way to tell if you consider something an idol in your life is if you are unwilling to let it go - if you can't picture your life without it. Would you be ok giving up all of your TV time to spend time along with God? Would you be willing to dress plainly if that would help you get your mind off your looks and onto serving the Lord?

Sadly, even though we are supposed to have everything we could ever want or need in Christ alone, we still look to worldly entertainment for peace, joy and refreshment that He himself wants to give us. We are willing to settle for the counterfeit version of that peace and joy, through the movie screen, because we aren't willing to let Him give us the real thing.

"Most of us are far more influenced by pop culture than we are by the Word of God. We can quote our favorite lines from a hundred different chick flicks, but the only Scripture we know is John 3:16...

And we wonder why Christ feels distant."

We are so obsessed with things of this world that we have completely replaced Christ in our hearts. How can He thrive in our lives if we indulge in everything except Him? By loving what God loves and hating what God hates.

"A truly set apart woman is makred by this sacred decorum. She hates the things that God hates and loves the things that God loves, and she reflects this attitude in ever dimension of her daily life. Does God stand up and cheer over
American Idol? Does He smile with delight over the new Harry Potter movie? Does He get excited about the latest Coldplay album?

Or does he grieve over our distracted, wandering, divided hearts?"

Other Christian girls may watch the same movies, listen to the same music, wear the same clothes and have all of the culture addictions as the rest of the world, but God has called us to a higher standard - the standard of Christ.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Set Apart Femininity - Chapter 3

~ Sacred Priority ~

Femininity that Captivates the Masculine Heart

Becoming Attractive to the Right Kind of Guy:

When we choose not to participate in the world's way of getting guys: flirting, flaunting, manipulation etc. We put ourselves in a position to be scorned and misunderstood by those of this world.

A set-apart young woman does not seek to win male favor through enhancing her sex appeal or drawing all attention to herself.

"Rather, she builds her life around Jesus Christ. And this requires major sacrifice when it comes to scoring male approval because the purity and righteousness that radiates from a set-apart young woman will not appeal to self-focused, sex-obsessed modern men."

Being disregarded like that can easily make us cringe and return to the world's path. But we have to ask ourselves, what kind of man are we trying to attract? Do we really desire a sex-obsessed modern man? "Or do we want to win the heart of a man who has been captured by Jesus Christ, a guy who sees the priceless value of a woman who shines with His spectacular, radiant loveliness?"

The majority of modern men won't appreciate or honor your purity and your desire to be set-apart. But why would you want a man like that anyway?

Finding the Right Guy:

1. Build your existence around Christ

Jesus Christ must be enough, even if the earthly love story you've always dreamed of never comes your way. Rather than searching for a human love to fill your needs of fulfillment and security - find your security and fulfillment in your romance with the Prince of your soul.

"As beautiful as a God-scripted earthly love story might be, it pales in comparison to the breathtaking romance Jesus Christ desires to have with you, His precious Princess."

2. Be transformed by true beauty

"Rather than seeking after his own popularity or self-gratification, a true warrior-poet is busy pouring out his life for his King. He is not chasing after women. He is following hard after Christ. The best way to find a truly Christ-built man is to stop hunting for one and, instead, pour all of your time and energy into a lily among thorns. Allow Him to transform you with His radiant beauty; the kind of beauty that will ravish the heart of your King and captivate a Christ-built-warrior-poet.

A set-apart existence may not turn the head of a typical American guy, but it will capture the heart of a Christlike man."

Check out this great article: here

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Set Apart Femininity - Chapter 2

~ Sacred Design ~

Discovering Femininity's Blueprint for Beauty:

"The preoccupations of young women don't seem to change much from generation to generation. But in every generation there seem to be a few who make other choices."

- Elisabeth Elliot -

The Modern "Inner-Beauty" Myth

Why do we sell ourselves short, and not grasp the incredible vision of radiant, set-apart femininity that Christ so greatly desires to showcase in and through our lives? The answer is that we don't truly grasp our hopeless, sinful state. "We don't understand that apart from Him, we have nothing, we are nothing, and we can accomplish nothing." We continue to search within ourselves to find the beauty and strength that only comes from Jesus Christ.

Countless Christian books written to young ladies encourage them to find their "inner beauty".

The Christian book Captivating puts it this way: "The beauty of a woman is first a soulful beauty. And yes, as we live it out, inhabit our beauty, we do become more lovely. More alluring...We want you to hear clearly that beauty is an essence every woman carries from the moment of her creation. The only things standing in the way of our beauty are our doubts and fears and the hiding and striving we fall to as a result."

I haven't personally read the book, Captivating, but I know for sure that if I had read this paragraph on my own I probably would've thought, "Aw, how nice. It's so true!" However, Leslie says something different.

"It sounds so right. But the Bible makes it very clear that we were born into sin, to beauty. Yes, we were created in the image of God. But sin has warped and twisted all the goodness and loveliness we were originally designed to posses. As a result of sin's defilement, we no longer carry an essence of beauty from the moment of our creation - we carry an essence of sin and selfishness. Our womanly souls are no longer beautiful. They are revolting, ugly, and deformed. That's why we need to be completely and wholly redeemed and remade by the power of Christ's blood."

We need to realize our own wretchedness in order to realize the extent of our forgiveness. In order to grasp the amazing sacrifice of God and love Him for it, we need to grasp the great sin of ours that needed that sacrifice in order to be forgiven.

We do have an inward beauty, that can shine and radiate in our faces and through our actions. But that beauty is not our own. It's the beauty of Jesus Christ shining through us. It's HIM inside us that shines so brightly. Nothing of our own.

Charles Spurgeon says, "If a soul has any beauty, it is because Christ has endowed that soul with His own, for in ourselves we are deformed and defiled! There is no beauty in any of us but what our Lord has worked in us."

Any beauty that we posess is only rags compared to the limitless beauty of Christ. His beauty is beyond perfection. We don't deserve it, but by His amazing grace, He desires to showcase His beauty in us! It is not our unique and special beauty that we want the world to see - it's His.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sacred Intent

Elusive Allure

According to a recent survey by Dove, only 2% of women think they're beautiful. In this day and age when beauty is at its easiest to posses (through plastic surgery and "special" diets) that women feel the worst about themselves.

"As women, the desire to be beautiful is innate. We long to be seen as attractive, appealing, and desirable. We dream of capturing the heart of a noble prince with out stunning beauty, like the princesses in our childhood fairy tales. But our longing to be loved and wooed by a heroic groom didn't originate with Cinderella - it's actually a Biblical concept...Jesus is the only one who can truly satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. And yet, most of us turn to everything but Him in a desperate attempt to find the approval we crave. And pop culture preys upon our longing for love like a relentless vulture. They keep dangling the carrot temptingly in front of us, urging us to spend our time, money, and energy pursuing the "next great thing" that will bring us one step closer to the dream."

And too often, we fall for it. I know I have. I've bought the clothes. Read the articles. Seen the billboards. Watched the commercials (and believed that I actually could have that absolutely perfect hair just by washing my hair with the special shampoo). We may not want to admit it, but more often than not, we allow our beauty to be measured by the world.

"We've been looking for beauty in the wrong place. And our incessant search for beauty has stripped us of all that is truly beautiful."

The Guy Problem

We try to accept ourselves for who God made us to be and appreciate our own unique beauty we are, meanwhile, we are completely assaulted by the world with lies that we aren't pretty enough, alluring enough or sexy enough. And the fashion industry isn't the only one to blame. Guys are a huge part of the problem.

"Most of today's guys - even Christian ones - have bought into Hollywood's standards of beauty, drooling over sex queens and scorning all things pure, innocent and uncorrupted. And living among them, we become convinced that we must scrape and claw to be noticed by guys, to cheapen ourselves to become desirable to anything male that moves."

The Secret Source of True Beauty

According to the world, beauty is gained through diets, tanning and lots of makeup. Well-meaning, but somewhat misguided, Christian voices tell us that beauty comes from within, all we need to do is accept ourselves the way we are.

Following the world's version of beauty gives us momentary applause, but as Proverbs 31:30 says, "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting..." worldly beauty only lasts for a time. Then it's gone, leaving us empty and broken, pretty to look at for a time, but hollow and fake on the inside. "Loving ourselves" and "embracing our own beauty" tends to be more of a cover up, for our deep longings, like a band-aid covering a head ache.

"Neither the world's version of beauty nor the modern self-esteem message truly fulfills our longings to shine with enchanting grace and princess-like dignity. And neither avenue meets that deeper inner desire to radiate with feminine beauty that never fades. But there's another kind of womanly beauty - one that we don't hear much about in today's world. It's the dazzling loveliness of set-apart femininity."

Being set apart doesn't automatically enlist you into the ranks of quiet librarians with humungous glasses and a book under their arm. It's not shunning all society. Or hiding from the opposite sex.

"Set-apart femininity blends the classic womanly grace and dignity of an Audrey Hepburn with the sacrificial, poured-out-for-Christ lifestyle of an Amy Carmichael. It's true feminine beauty merged with absolute abandonment to Jesus Christ. It's the sparkling, vibrant, world-altering, Christlike version of femininity that your King created you to exude."

"What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts."

- Amy Carmichal -

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Arise, O Patriot

by Elisa Abele

O God, have mercy on this United Nation,
Being founded on You is my one consolation.

We are all so foolish, I know this full well,
Without You our sweet haven would soon be a hell.
This “messiah” in power will begin our downward fall
America will fail, once and for all.

O Lord, would you save this country in need
If there were 10 believers in the land of the free?
We trust you, dear Jesus, we gave you our hearts,
In the home of the brave, we form a great part.

Founded on You, In God alone we trust
In our broken up schools, prayer is a must.
Your 10 commandments should stay in town halls,
We know who to blame if this great country falls.

Pride and glory, our great flag waves proudly through the air,
To stomp on our symbol, some Americans would dare!

Rise up, Patriot, Rise up Man of God,
We need you more than ever on this down-trodden sod.

Rise up Faithful women, rise and take your place.
The only hope we have is in the glory of God’s face.

Together we stand, united on that sweet hope
With our God on our side, not only will we cope,

We will fight for our King, for our rights for our Freedom.

We will fight for the honor of God’s glorious kingdom.

Arise, faithful ones, our time has finally come,
To defend this mighty nation, we will forever know as Home.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Audrey Hepburn Quotes

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it."

"Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future."

"I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mere Christianity

Book 1:
Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe

Chapters 4 and 5

Ever since the beginning of time, man have been wondering what this universe really is, and how it came to be. There are two main views on the matter. The first, is what's called the materialistic view, which is very similar to the evolutionary theory.

"People who take that view think that matter and space just happen to exist, and always have existed, nobody knows why;and that the matter, behaving in certain fixed ways, has just happened..."

The other view, Lewis called the religious view. "According to it, what is behind the universe is more like a mind that it is like anything else we know. That is to say, it is conscious, and has purposes, and prefers one thing to another."

Science, Lewis says, works by experiment. My high-school science courses (which were Christian textbooks) said that science, is, in essence, a series of experimentation used to interpret God's world around us. Many things can be determined through science: how far away is that star? what is this substance made of? what happens when we heat this up to such-and-such temperature?

"But why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes - something of a different kind - this is not a scientific question."

There are some things God has allowed us to know, others, we will never know. Lewis used the analogy of a postman who gives packages to each person on the street. We know that others got packages, but we are only allowed to open our own. The others aren't ours to open. The only package we are allowed to open is that of Man. We can't open the package belonging to the ocean. Or the one addressed to the trees. We open the package that was sent to us.

"But I should expect to find that there was, so to speak, a sender of letters in both cases, a Power behind the facts, a Director, a Guide."

You may think that Lewis has quickly gone through everything and pointed straight to the God of Christianity. But, actually, we've only gotten to a "certain something" out there, a conscience of sorts, a mind over all.

"Of course, I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But id does not being in comfort; it begins in the dismay I have been describing, and it is not use at all trying to go on to that comfort without first going through that dismay. In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth - only soft soap and wishful thinking to being with and, in the end, despair."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My favorite - Books!

My friend Suzanne requested a list of some of my favorite books. I didn't realize how many there were! I truly love to read, sometimes I forget how much. Books are special to me, rich treasures are held between their pages.

Of course, my #1 book is the Bible. I love it more than any other book available. Its the absolute, perfect Word of God. His love letter to His bride, the church. And the guidebook given to us, His children.

But other than the Bible, my top 30 books are:

Biblical Womanhood:

1. Aunt Jane's Hero By Elizabeth Prentiss

2. Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

3. So Much More by Elizabeth and Anna Sophia Botkin

4. Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald

5. Beautiful Girlhood by M. Hale, revised by Karen Andreola

6. Authentic Beauty Leslie Ludy

7. Set Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy


8. His Chosen Bride by Jennifer Lamp

9. Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado

10. When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado

11. He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado

(can you tell I like Max Lucado? In fact, while I was looking at the books on the shelf I found another book of his that I want to read called Just Like Jesus.)

12. Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally

13. A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh Demoss

14. Jesus Freaks by dcTalk

15. Sister Freaks by Rebecca St. James


16. I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

17. Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris

18. Created to be His Help-meet by Debi Pearl

19. Emotional Purity by Heather Arnel Paulsen

20. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mally siblings


21. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (it must be the unabridged version!)

22. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

My favorite of Jane Austen:

23. Pride and Prejudice

24. Emma

25. Ten P's in a Pod by Arnold Pent III

26. Autumn by Susan Branch

27. Summer by Susan Branch

28. Just David by Eleanor Porter


29. Be Intolerant by Ryan Dobson

30. Our Country's Founders by William J. Bennett

What are some of your favorites?


Friday, October 3, 2008

Mere Christianity

Book One:
Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe

Chapters 1, 2 and 3

We've all heard people quarrel and fight. And they do that because of the Law of Human Nature. If you're not being fair, and I call you out on it you won't reply with "Who cares about this fairness thing." You will most likely try to explain why you were being fair. That is because we both have ingrained in our hearts that fairness is right and unfairness is wrong.

"It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behavior or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed. And they have. If they had not, they might, of course, fight like animals...Quarreling means trying to show that the other man is wrong."

That law or rule that both parties have in their mind is the Law of Human Nature. A basic set or morals set inside of each and every one of us. Natives in savage countries or people in ancient times may have had different morals than we do today, but they were not completely different. A total different morality would mean that people we admired for running away in a battle or where people felt proud to back-stab someone who had been so kind to them.

C.S. Lewis said something that caught my attention, "Selfishness is never admired." This struck me kind of funny because I thought about all of the celebrities whose lives are practically built on selfishness. But then I remembered that even in the worldliness of Hollywood people are deeply admired who care for the orphans or give their money to an important cause. The celebrities who are purely selfish may be admired for their good acting or singing, but everyone knows that if they don't help and care for others they are sorely lacking.

We don't have to follow the rules of nature. They are often ignored and soon people become callous to the urge to do the right thing and continue to do wrong. While gravitational law is not a choice (you'll fall if you jump off a building, whether you want to or not), the Law of Human nature is a choice (you can kill that person or not, its ultimately your choice).

"These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in."

According to Lewis, many people argue about this Moral Law saying that its merely instinct, like an animal would have. But that is simply not true. Lewis gave the example of a person who hears a cry for help from a man in danger. When you hear that call you will most likely feel two desires: one to go as far away from danger as you can, and the other to go and help the person calling for help. These are your instincts. The Law of Human nature helps you to decide which one is right (obviously helping the person). Here, though, you still have a choice. You know whats right and you may or may not do that. So the Moral Law is not itself an instinct, its a tool to decipher which of those instincts you should win.

"Consequently, this Rule of Right and Wrong, or Law of Human Nature, or whatever you call it, must somehow or other be a real thing - a thing that is really there, not made up by ourselves. And yet it is not a fact in the ordinary sense, in the same way as our actual behavior is fact. It beings to look as if we shall have to admit that there is more than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is something above and beyond the ordinary facts of men's behavior, and yet quite differently real - a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us."

(Whew, that was a deep one. Let's not give up, though! I was tempted to several times, but the fact that this was school work and not optional kept me from it. ;-) This stuff is rich. So stretch your mind and keep reading, even if you normally wouldn't read this kind of stuff. You'll be glad you did.)