Merry Christmas!

We hope you all had a Merry and Blessed Christmas!
This month marks the six-month anniversary of our blog,isn't God good!


Lenses. I'm used to standing behind them. I like taking pictures, and lenses are important parts of picture taking. If a lens is dirty, smudged, or broken it is difficult to take good, or even decent pictures.

As people, we are all born with busted lenses. Our view of the world is distorted. We can only see but so much through the the cracks and dusts we have received. Try as we might to wipe the dirt away ourselves or cover them, the defects are unavoidable and unremoveable. Left to our own devices, we would navigate the world as the rest of humanity, through messed up lenses.

But there is a Master Repairman. He's renown everywhere. He can fix your lenses for free, because His Son paid the ENTIRE cost for, not ONLY you but the WHOLE world, so you could get to go see Him. Knowing your great need for clear vision, the Master Repairman has given you an invitation to come into His workshop. However, this invitation is not mandatory, it's voluntary. There is few who choose to come and many who do not.

The few who accept and enter into the workshop are greeted warmly, as if they were family. Their lenses are taken out gently, and replaced with a clean and clear lens fitted especially for them. Along with that, they are given a protective covering for their lens to protect from any damage. Before they leave, they are given a life time guarantee to return to have additional cleanings and or repairs.

With new lenses in, stepping out of the workshop,one sees everything differently. What had once been blurry is now precise and clean cut. What one thought wasn't there, now is. Those who haven't been to see the Master Repairman think those who have are ,to be perfectly honest, crazy. But to the eyes of those who have been changed, being called crazy is perfectly okay. They would rather be called that then sane, if crazy is what they are. Returning to their prior lenses would seem more backwards then anything. They cherish the lenses they were given and the Master Repairman that gave them. And nothing anyone could possibly say or do will change that. For, if you haven't figured it out already, this is a story about US.

God is the Master Repairman. He can fix,alter or change ANYTHING or ANYONE. His Son, obviously is Jesus, who payed the ultimate price(His own death) for us to come to His Father. Those of us who went to the Master Repairman's shop are those of us who are Christians. Those of us who didn't, are the non-Christians.

I've found it interesting the different points of view of the two groups. And just how differently we see the world in comparison. Often we tend to think everyone thinks the same thing we do,or something similar to it. What we need to remember is that everyone is seeing the same thing differently. It would do good to investigate and try to understand others view points so as to get a glimpse into their own lenses. Then so after doing,compare those to a Biblical standpoint and discuss the differences between the two worldviews.


We, the Set-Apart Staff, as not only authors of this blog,but also as friends, have a lot to be thankful for during this holiday of Thanksgiving, and here are somethings, in no particular order, off the top of our head things we are thankful for:

- I'm thankful that this is the second Thanksgiving I get to eat what everyone else is eating.
- I'm thankful for my grandparent's taking the time to drive up from FL to be with us.
- I'm thankful for getting my driver's permit.
- I'm thankful for the growth that has taken place in my relationship with the Lord.
- I'm thankful that my whole house is healthy.
- I'm thankful that our house is clean.
- I'm thankful for the Lord's loving kindness to me and my family.

I could go on and on about what I'm thankful for but these are the biggies.

* I'm very thankful for my wonderful Savior, Jesus and His saving work in my life.

* I'm thankful for my Sister being home this week.

* I'm thankful for my family.

* I'm thankful for God's grace when I need it most, every moment of every day.

* I'm thankful that God holds tomorrow, that I don't have to worry about what I'll do after graduation, or what will happen.

* I'm thankful for good health.

* I'm thankful for amazing friends who help me see my weaknesses and encourage me.


I'm thankful that God put the idea for this blog in Heidi's mind and heart, and that she shared it with me, and both of us together, with the addition of Savannah, created this blog.
I'm thankful God can work through us through our writings.
I'm thankful for the people who read this blog.
I'm thankful that God has been SO faithful to continue to teach me new things.
I'm thankful that I've survived, and prospered in my first ever college class, with God's obvious help, because, I'm pretty sure without His assistance, I wouldn't have done it.
I'm thankful for the church family God has provided for me.
I'm thankful for all of my friends, who have,and still do, challenge me in my walk with God.
I'm thankful,and humbled by the fact,that even though I totally don't deserve it, God loves me.

Psalm 100:1-5

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing!

Know the the Lord, He is God! It is he who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!

For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever; and His faithfulness to all generations.


Relying on God is no easy task. You can't just say, "Oh today I feel like relying on God." No, it doesn't work like that. God puts circumstances into our paths to make us rely on Him. But even then it is difficult to rely on God. Why? The world puts roadblocks in our way. There are psychiatrists doctors, friends, antibiotics and drugs which make us "feel" better. But in truth they hinder us from casting ourselves into the Lord's hands.

When I was going through many health issues, I would rely on man-made stuff first, and God would be second. If I would start to feel my body reacting to something I ate, I would just open a pill bottle and put my special machine on my stomach. I wanted the pain to go away as soon as possible and these things I used, had real results.

But in doing this, I deprived my Father his favorite pastime, to listen to the pleas of his daughter rise to heaven and to answer them. And even when I prayed my mindset was not correct. 'If God doesn't touch my stomach, I can just do this and it will feel better.' I was blinded by the medicine labels, so to speak.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us that God puts circumstances in our way so He can deliver us from them! But we need to rely on Him and not on worldly things.It's hard, because everywhere a Christian turns there are ads for this new medicine, success stories of the new shrink in town, or hidden messages in movies which project how drugs make you forget your troubles. It is a tough battle to rely on God when Satan has put so many other things in our way. But it is a battle worth fighting because we receive an eternal reward.

Heidi's Thoughts On The Election Results

I wrote this with in minutes of the announcement that Obama is our next President.

"Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America." At these words spoken last night America erupted, some people with joy and some with fear. I was sitting on the couch and reacted immediately with a prayer. "God have mercy on America!"

I sat numb as the television screen showed thousands and thousands of ecstatic Obama supporters screaming and crying with joy in their victory in Times Square. All those voices blended together pierced my heart; it sounded like a new born baby's wail. Tears ran down my face unhindered as I realized that America's next leader will allow the shameless murder of thousands and thousands of unborn children. Again the cry rose from my heart, "God, have mercy! Have mercy on all those precious babies who will be killed! Please God..."

John McCain, his wife Cindy and the Palins (I'm sure we'll see Sarah again in the future) by his side, gave a speech to disappointed supporters in Arizona.I was struck by his humility. He was so sincere and humble; urging unity and congratulating Mr.Obama graciously.

I feel a satisfaction that America has elected an African American President. Though I strongly dislike and disagree with most of Barack Obama's beliefs and policies, I realize that this election has finally bridged a great and unfair divide between races. It is an amazing day historically for America, and conservatives are needlessly stubborn if they do not realize this.

What now? Will Barack Obama be a socialist leader who attacks America's traditional values? Is he the friend of terrorists that some have made him out to be? Only time will tell.

I am so aware this is a crucial time for Christians in America. We need to pray for our country and new President. We must be sure to stand up for life as it is obvious that our new President won't.
We must place our hope and trust in Jesus. So many Americans have put all their hope and trust in a man who, just like you and me, is a sinner and will make mistakes; setting themselves up for major disappointment. America needs to realize that Mr. Obama can't bring about the most important change we need; Jesus can.

The Same

Growing up in church, there's a sameness. Singing the same songs, listening to the same announcements, hearing the same sermons, talking to the same friends afterwords. The same ol' same ol'.

But then on one of the handful of same Sundays someone will walk into church that no one would expect to be there. Now, often, no one will say it, but there will be whispers and unconscious thoughts of "Whoa...their....different..."

Usually, the difference, in our eyes is not good. Sometimes it's skirt length, sometimes it's tattoos, sometimes it's the color of the clothes they wear and sometimes it's a spiked six inch Mohawk. We act as a judge and jury in our mind toward one person over their simple appearance.

Now tell me, what would God say about this?
"Well...uh...we're supposed to love each other, no matter what but...they are like.. REALLY strange/scary/weird looking!"

You've heard of the saying, "You can't judge a book by it's cover", right? It pretty much rings true. God says, "Men look at the outward appearance,but I look at the heart".

You don't know WHO that person is at all by their clothes. Yes, you can tell what colors they like maybe or what band they adore, but really, all of that is superficial. To ACTUALLY get to know them you should try talking to them. Through conversation you will see glimpses of their heart and attitude. And in this way we are exemplifying one of God's characteristics,to care.

I'll be the first one to say accepting people as they are and loving them no matter what they dress like or even act like CAN be difficult, when everyone else around you isn't. I encourage you to really TRY to get to know people before you deem them off as something their possibly not. And to love them and accept them as God

Romans 15:7 "Therefore accept one another, just as Christ has also accepted us to the glory of God."

A Revival.

I accepted Christ into my life when I was 12 years old ( No I don't remember the exact date and time, sorry). For a year I studied my Bible earnestly wanting to know how to serve God better. It was a joy and a privilege. Then it became boring. The Bible lost it's spark. It wasn't alive to me anymore. Meeting with the Lord everyone morning was no longer a privilege. It was a chore. A boring. Boring. Boring. Chore. Prayer lost it's power too. So I feel away and sought my pleasure elsewhere. One thing lead to another and before I knew it I was up to my head in sin. I stayed that way for 3 years. Three wasted years. Little spiritual revivals would come and last a short time and then I would fall away once again.

About two months ago I became fed up. I wanted to serve my God and leave everything behind but I felt powerless to do so. Something was missing. I knew for a fact that I was a Christian. God still worked in my life when I let Him. I prayed and prayed for hours and tried to read the Bible with that same enthusiasm as I had when I was a new Christian. But it was futile. God felt distant. I felt discouraged and powerless. Powerless. That word best defined my state. Willing but powerless.

Last night I told my Mom about everything that had been going the past few months. She said she was pretty sure she knew what I was missing. The Holy Spirit. I'd gotten to know the Spirit a lot more by observing him work through other peoples lives so I instantly agreed with her. So she gave me the above message by Terry Virgo to listen to.

I listened to it and it was phenomenal. It answered all the questions I had, had about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was ready! My plan was to wait until Sunday when my brothers and sisters could lay hands on me. But God had other plans.

About the point in the message where Terry goes into to detail about speaking in tongues I grew more and more excited. At the end of the message while I was praying along with Terry, God spoke to me, probably the most clearly he has ever spoken to me. He said: "The next thing that is going to come out of your mouth will me praising me in tongues." So I stood there for a little bit. Then...I opened my mouth. What ushered forth was nothing short of heavenly. I couldn't understand a word and I didn't care. The illustration of rivers of living waters flowing from your mouth is about as close as you can get. It's just unexplainable. Praise God! It was the most amazing experience in my entire life.

After I stopped praising Him in tongues I grabbed my iPod and ran upstairs to my iPod dock prepared to sing praises to the Lord! Haha I'll never forget what the Lord said to me. He said: "No, sing your own song to me in tongues." And I did. It wasn't much of a song. More like a rap of sorts but I know it pleased Him so much to hear it!

Wow! Hallelujah! God is amazing.

Quiet Times

"Heidi! I told you to come down stairs a hour ago! Get up now!" I hear this regulary as I sit up and stumble out of bed with my eyes more closed than open. That moment on my day is stuffed with babysitting, school, chores, school, and more school. In the rush to get everything done I often forget the most important part of my day. By the time I realize what I've forgotten I'm exausted and ready to fall into a good night's sleep.

Yesterday I sat down and asked my self this question:
"How can I battle for Quiet times with God?"

First I need to realize that I desperately need to read God's word every day. I don't know about you, but when life gets busy I start to throw unecessary things out the window. I need to understand the truth of Matthew 4:4 "Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

I often wonder why I lose my faith and seem so weak. Romans 10:17 says "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. "
Ohhhh...I'm starting to understand this.

How am I going to apply this? Here's my battle plan.

*When I wake up, take a few minutes to pray; commiting my day into His hands, and read a psalm. The psalms are prayers and praises to the Lord that always turn the eyes of my heart towards Him.

* Have a long quiet time while I'm on my lunch break.

*Finish my day with spending some time memorizing scripture. Right now I'm working on Romans chapter 5.

*Ask for help. I need Godly friends to encourage and remind me. Please, when you talk to me ask if I've been having my quiet times.

I'll end with one of my favorite scriptures about God's word.

Psalm 19:7-11

The law of the LORD is)perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

All Or Nothing

As I was searching YouTube a few days ago I stumbled upon a song video, and below that video was a comment from someone. The song incidentally was "Jesus Loves You" by Stellar Kart. Now, normally I bypass the comments, usually because there is nothing worth reading in them most of the time but I came upon this while skimming:

"even if he is realo. (not saying he is or not)

im sure he wont want every1 to give him everything we have woked fr....

The second half of the comment really got to me. Right off the bat I thought,"Are you KIDDING?! He wants EVERYTHING!".

Then what Jesus' said in Matthew 6:24 came to mind:
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other;you will be devoted to one and despise the other.(NLT)

The sum of it is, all or nothing. You can't give God only certain parts of your life, while clenching on to the rest for your own use. An example of this could be music. If you did not include God in your choices in that particular area, then which Master would you be serving in that?

God wants it ALL. I'm not talking bits ,pieces, slices or squares, I'm talking ALL. Complete and total surrender of you're entire life to Him.

If you haven't made that step already,to make Christ your Master over you're entire life, I encourage you ask a pastor, a friend who you know is a strong Christian, or one of us for that matter! We would love to share our Savior's life with you and lead you to Him!

Plans Change

It's amazing how much time we spend making a to-do list, and exactly how many people follow that list? Well if you are like me, you make your to-do list, feel proud about how organized you are, then fail to follow it.

But when I'm thinking of my many uncompleted lists, I'm reminded of how God will always complete his list for me. And he doesn't care if it "clashes" with my schedule or not. Because compared to His great plan, getting to a movie on time is not even close to a good excuse.

I was running around doing errands with my Mom, and we were talking about my week, or I was. And I was ranting about how much I've had to do this week. I personally love being busy, but this week had been challenging for me. Being sick while being busy doesn't mix that well, but it pushed me to trust in God's sustaining grace, and to find peace in him. Getting off subject here, sorry.

But as I was saying what I had planned for the next couple days, my Mom just looked at me with a smile and said, "That sounds like a good plan, but don't you know God's planning to make it rain?" This made me stop, most of the stuff I had planned was outside. How would that work? It wouldn't, I would be forced to forget all about myself and my life, and to see that God was going to water His Creation. And as I write this, guess what the weather is doing? Raining.

James 4:13-24 says, "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."

And with that note I encourage you to hold loosely to your plans, because God will most likely have his way with you.


Some girls growing up hearing they look like their Mom. Well, I'm one of the few who look a little more like their Dad. Along with looking like him, to a degree, I also take after him in certain areas in my life.

My Dad is a "order person". A place for everything and everything in it's place. Alphabetizing, color-coded, sorted by size, you name it, my Dad likes it.

In this way, I am a LOT like him. I like order. When everything is EXACTLY where it's supposed to be and I am able to find things,that is my paradise. Disorganization and chaos are my battle ground.

Savannah brought up recently and, after discussing things over with the Set-Apart staff, that as nice as it is to having our own schedule, it isn't very inclusive to God working. It's easy for me to say, "Okay this person writes this day and this person writes this", but what happens if someone has a word from God two days before they are scheduled to write something? It simply isn't doing well to put off for tomorrow what you can do today!

So, we've decided, as a group, to let God do the scheduling. This isn't a easy task for me to relinquish, but I realize the God of infinite and beyond has a better grasp of time lines than I could EVER have.

Hopefully, with this change in our workings, it will decrease any stress from knowing of an impending deadline for a post, and INCREASE our rest and availability of our heart to post when something is suddenly brought on by God.

Let No Unwholesome Word...

Recently I was talking with a few friends about another friend of ours when an older girl entered the conversation. Immediately she pointed out how out unkind our words were. Even though we were just joking around, I realized how unnecessary and nasty what we were saying was.

Immediately Ephesians 4:29 jumped into my mind.
"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

I have realized how infrequently I consider what I say about and to people. I am now striving to apply Philippians 4:8 to how and what I talk about. "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."

Trusting the Shepherd

When I share my testimony of what God's done in my life with healing, usually the first response I get is, "You are really good at trusting God!" or something like, "I could never have done that!" I've never been good a replying to compliments so usually a simple thank you is my reply.

But even though people say I'm good a trusting God, I still need so much help in this area. I struggled to trust God's plan during my trials, and now being fully healed I still struggle with trusting God.I get very worked up about so many little things and my Mom usually has to step in and knock some sense in me. With words not her fist. She tells me that by being fearful about my life means I'm sinning against God. I'm not trusting His perfect plan for my life, just because of what? A little test I need to take.

God PROMISES never to give us a task we can't handle. And when you think about it, God has never made a promise he didn't keep. Not convinced? Look at the Bible, it is overflowing with examples of God keeping promises. For example: Abraham and Sarah. God promised them a child even when they were in old age. Sure, they had to wait a while, but then Isaac gets in the picture. Still not convinced? What about Jesus' story? God promised He would save men from His holy wrath. And here He sends His only Son, to be our substitute. Only one word, wow. To keep His promise God killed His Son.

God is our shepherd, and we, are the sheep. We are smelly, and not that smart. We need someone to take care of us because we run away, eat things that are bad for us, and believe foes are friends. God doesn't tire of taking care of us though, He LOVES to take care of his flock.

Charles Spurgeon writes: "It is said, "He[God] will stand and shepherd;" not "He will feed now then leave His position;" not, "He will for one day grant a revival and then on the next day leave His church to barrenness." His eyes never slumber, and His hands never rest; His heart never ceases to beat with love, and His shoulders are never weary of carrying His peoples burdens."I urge you today to trust God, the Father whose 'heart never ceases to beat with love,' that love is directed to you. You can't help resisting to trust a Father who promises to take care of you.

So with that I'll end with Psalm 56:3-4:
"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?"

God bless you.


I had a thought today. This thought took my breath away. Thinking about my life, and others in my church, some of us are a lot alike in our way of getting to our church family. Some of us came reluctantly. Most of us didn't know what we were getting into,and who we would be encountering. Wondered if these people would be weird or normal. Then walking in, looking around at the masses ,thinking, wishing ,and hoping we weren't there. Wanting to run back to where we began and not have to do this. But there we were, standing by ourselves, when all of a sudden appears a person with a warm smile, friendly handshake, eye contact and an introduction. From there starts a conversation, and from that conversation brings acquaintance, and from that acquaintance, after time comes friendship. If not already, a sister or brother-in-Christ.

If you have never been in the position of being "new" at a church, I'll tell you from my personal experience it's quite frightening. Imagine being in a room where you literally know no one, and being with groups of individuals who have been friends with each other from the beginning of time. It makes you feel SO small and out of place, but when someone takes notice and actually says "Hi" it makes a difference,
believe it or not.

That one person by extending their hand is doing a lot more than greeting. They are exhibiting love and kindness in acknowledging the other individuals existence and wanting to get to know them.

There is a saying that goes,"You may be the only 'Jesus' they see". Little things we do and say often times go further than we know. So next time you see someone you kinda know or don't know, go up and talk to them!

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" Hebrews 13:2

Full of Thankfulness

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD And sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your loving kindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, with the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, with resounding music upon the lyre. For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands."
Psalm 92:1-4

These verses sum up what is has been on my heart this week. This last weekend I was in a production of Peter Pan which meant I was with some very dear friends all the time for several weeks. Now that it's over I've been looking back at that time and realizing how incredibly blessed I am and how God put his hand on the whole play, doing what we couldn't.

This morning I took a piece of paper and scribbled down all the things from Peter Pan that I am thankful for. Here are a few snippets.

* Annie and Savannah writing for me over and over while I was busy

* My drama friends always praying for me and encouraging me to have my quiet times with God

* Our Choreographer: Rachel's wisdom and patience when I didn't get the dances

* Sweet times of worship all through the day

* The older teens who led devotionals every morning, speaking truth to us.

* I lost my voice during one of the dress rehearsals, but with prayer and rest I could sing for the actual shows.

The list goes on and on but ya'll get the picture.

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name."

Vacation Thoughts

Whilst on my vacation to Massachusetts I went to Prayer Meeting at the A's church. The sermonette preached before the adults and the teens split up was on 1 Peter 1:18---2:2. While the speaker was reading these verses out loud,this verse stood out to me:

1 Peter 1:22
"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love for the brethren,love one another fervently with a pure heart," (NKJV)

Then hearing it repeated again,the word fervently. Love one another FERVENTLY. The dictionary definition of fervent is:
1.Having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.
2.Hot; burning; glowing.

In loving each other we're not called to be lukewarm, half-way or cold. We're to love each other with hot, burning, glowing love. The same love we've been shown by God. If we do not love one another,how can the world see us as set apart?


Another thing that dawned upon me while in Massachusetts came when we went to the beach.

Driving through a neighborhood near the beach, I noticed all the gorgeous houses next to the amazing view of the sea. Those highly valued houses have people living in them. People who possibly look at the gorgeous view of the blue sea as something that came together by chance. People whose greatest boast is in their house by the sea.

All too soon though,if ever a hurricane or a tornado to come along, goodbye life, goodbye house, goodbye pride. Where would they find hope? Where would they find peace? Where would they turn to find answers?

Oh, how incredibly different would they be!


I'm a details person. Having observed one person enough for an extended amount of time, I am prone to find a tendency or a habit in them, that would otherwise be bypassed by others. (Often times this is seen as a bit stalkerish, but I promise I'm not, LOL) Such as how they stand, what words they say regularly, who they hang out with or what kind of shoes they wear. Along with physical habits, there are spiritual habits to take notice of.

When an obvious pattern of sin becomes prevalent in peoples lives,often I wonder how they themselves go along in life and not notice such a big, yellow "sin ahead" caution sign each time around. I think,"Oh, how stupid of them, they should have seen that coming....again. I mean,come on,it's RIGHT in front of their face!". But then after reading Adam's post on The Sinfulness Of Sin and talking about the topic with him for a bit, something he said in our conversation went off in my head like a bright exclamation point.

"They can't see their sin because they are blinded by it."

Having thought about it,it makes SO much sense! If we are blinded by darkness,how can we see the light? If we cannot even see the light in comparison to the dark, how can we know the difference between the two?

John 3:19
This is the verdict:Light has come into the world,but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that in it may be seen plainly that what he had done has been done through God.(NIV)

Recurring sin darkens our view. Satan can put scales on our eyes after some time and make us unable to discern at all. These scales once implemented,do not come off easily. Pleading family and friends won't take them off, getting caught won't take them off, neither will punishment. No, the only One who holds the power to undo what the Master of Darkness has devised is the far greater Master of Light,our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who died and rose again so that there would be freedom from our sin!

Romans 8:1-4 says,
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us,who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (NLT)

If you find yourself,or a friend struggling with a pattern of sin,remember, there is NO sin that binds you that God cannot break.
God holds the power. Pray and ask Him to conquer that area in your life.

I'll leave you with this verse,
James 5:15
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he had committed sins, he will be forgiven.(ESV)

What Tree are You?

(We have another guest writer to introduce you too: Ross. I hope you will enjoy reading his thoughts about a very important subject. God bless!)

Let me ask you a question: Are you a good person?Simple, right? Ok then, answer it. Yes or no. Are you a good person?

Here’s another question for you: Do you place your FULL faith in Jesus Christ?I’m not talking about going to church every Sunday,or even praying once in a while. I’m talking about fully leaning and depending on Him in your everyday lives. FULLY. Yes or no.

Ok. Now look at your two answers. Are they the same? If not, we have a problem.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about this. After all,I am merely a flawed human being such as yourself. Why should you trust me? DON’T. Trust God.

Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt,they do abominable deeds,there is none who does good.”
Ouch. Kinda harsh don’t you think? Corrupt and abominable are brash in and of themselves,but it’s the last part of that verse I want to focus on. “There is NONE who does good.” Period. If you are a fool, you CANNOT do good. Not you? Let’s move on then.

Micah 6:8“He has told you,O man,what is good;and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”
Pretty straight forward. Here it tells us what is good. Again,I want to focus on the last part of the verse. Are you walking humbly with your God? Be honest here.

Luke 6:43-45“For no good tree bears bad fruit,nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes,nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil,for out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks.”
Last one. Do you see good fruit in your life? If not,then you are not a “good tree”, so to speak. Notice one other think here: there is no “neutral tree.” Either you are a good tree,or a bad tree.

Now what does the Bible say about faith and how it relates to us doing good?
Hebrews 11:6
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him,for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those that seek him.”
Doubtless you’ve heard this verse before. Now actually THINK about it. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. IMPOSSIBLE! Not “hard to” or even,“unlikely to.” No,it says “impossible to.” Now you may be sitting there and thinking: “But I do believe he exists. What’s the big deal here?” If you DO believe he exists and that he rewards those that seek Him,you should then be following Him. It is not merely enough to know all of this, but you must truly believe it. That means living your life in accordance with your beliefs.

I believe there are two types of good. There is good according to the world,and there is good according to God. For instance, charities and non-profit organizations are good by the world’s standards. What we need to ask ourselves is this: “Am I content to live a “good” life by the world’s standards? OR do I want to strive to live by God’s standards?”

I will make one last point before I close and that is that it is not merely enough to not do evil. Let me rephrase that. We must strive to do good. If we are simply living non-evil lives it does not necessarily mean that we are living good lives. If we are living good lives, we will see the fruit of that.

Thanks for reading and taking time to consider these things. I will leave you with this verse as an encouragement.
Psalm 34:8
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”

The Sinfulness Of Sin

((We,the regular Set-Apart "staff" thought it would be beneficial to have different peoples come in a write for the blog sometimes. We like to call them our "guest bloggers". So here is the following post written by our friend,and brother-in-Christ,Adam.))

So really, how bad is sin? Ask yourself that. From 1-10,with 10 being the worst. How bad do you think sin really is? I hope everybody said a ten or there is something wrong. Haha. Alright, now how bad do you think sin is when you are sinning? Do you think it's ok to say a little lie here,a lustful glance there, or maybe forget to take the trash out after your parents asked you to? What would you give those on your sin scale? What would you give a little lie? Maybe a 3 out of 10? What about a small lustful glance? Maybe a 4? What about forgetting to take out the trash after you were told to? Possibly a 1? Well truth is, all those are tens!

J.C. Ryle said "I am convinced that the first step towards attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin."

Sin is the thing that God hates the most. Come to think of it,sin and its affects are the only things God hates. God's relationship to sin is one of complete hate,anger, and wrath. Now,we as Christians are covered by the blood of the Lamb,so we don't have to fear God's judgment. But people who haven't accepted Christ as their Savior have everything to fear.

Now what I want to talk about in this post is realizing how evil and sick sin really is. But in order to do that we have to look at sin not from our level,but from God's level. From our level,since we are sin filled creatures,sin looks like a normal everyday thing. Even if we hate sin,we still manage to do it. There hasn't been a day in my life where I haven't committed a sin. But we have to look at sin differently in order to realize how bad it is. As sinful creatures we are blinded by our sin and can't see clearly. But God sees sin as something that is rebelling against His glory and power. Sin is something evil that lures you into its addicting claws and promises satisfaction but never delivers. Also,if we are not covered by the blood of the Lamb, it will take us with it to hell for eternal torture and torment. That is what sin really is.

All sin is a rebellion against God,but not all sin has the same consequences. Not obeying your parents wont have the same consequences as adultery. But they are both very serious,whether you think so or not.

The closer we get to Christ the more we see things the way he sees them. So that means the closer we are to Christ the more we hate sin. The closer we are to Christ the more sensitive we are to sin. My sister is a great example of this. She will apologize for some things that I wouldn't even recognize as a sin. She does this because her conscience is fine tuned,if you know what I'm saying.

Now there are many trails I could go down with this post but I'm going to choose this one because I recently read about it. In Donald Whitney's book,"Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health",he has a chapter about grieving over sin. Now this is something I do a lot and I wasn't sure if it was good or not. I knew sin was bad and didn't want to ignore that I had sinned but I also didn't want to forget that Jesus paid for my sins. Whitney points out that the more we grow to be like Christ the more we hate sin, and therefore,the more we grieve over it.

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."
- 1 Timothy 1:15

Paul in his letter to Timothy is clearly grieving over his sins.

Whitney writes, " The closer you come to the light of Christ, the more sins His holy light will expose in you."

Jonathan Edwards said,"The more a true saint loves God... the more he mourns for sin."

In the book "Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health", Whiteny points out that there is a right way to grieve and a wrong way to grieve. He says that the two kinds of sorrows for sin is sorrow in a godly manner, and sorrow in a worldly manner. The godly manner leads to salvation and repentance,while the worldly manner does not. Here are two verses that show both kinds of sorrow:

"Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry,but that your sorrow led to repentance" - 2 Corinthians 7:9

"He could bring about no change of mind though he sought the blessings with tears" - Hebrews 12:17

The difference between the two sorrows is one is focused on God, and the other is focused on itself. One looks for answers in God, while the other one looks for answers in itself. And in itself there are no answers.

If you struggle with not grieving over sin Donald Whitney writes, "Ask God to show you the reality of your sin." He also says, "Meditate on the fact that it was your sin that nailed the holy, sinless One from Heaven to the cross."

Thank you for reading this and I hope this touched some of you who read it.

Beautiful Letdown

There is a lot of songs about life. Rap songs about thug life,country songs about "down home" life,pop and rock songs about the party life and many,many more genres and sub genres that all envelop the same theme of living. However,I came upon this song called "The Beautiful Letdown" by Switchfoot as of late and have found it's message the opposite of what most songs preach. Obviously this is a Christian band,but I was startled at the fact that what they were saying,was so incredibly true. Before I can continue,here are the lyrics:

Beautiful Letdown (by Switchfoot)

It was a beautiful let down
When I crashed and burned
When I found myself alone,unknown and hurt
It was a beautiful let down
The day I knew
That all the riches this world had to offer me
Would never do

In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
I was tryin' so hard to fit in, fit in,
Until I found out
That I don't belong here(I don't belong)
I don't belong here(I don't belong)
I will carry a cross and a song where I don't belong
I don't belong

It was a beautiful let down
When you found me here
Yeah for once in a rare blue moon I see everything clear
I'll be a beautiful let down
That's what I'll forever be
And though it may cost my soul
I'll sing for free
We're still chasin' our tails and the risin' sun
And our dark water planet's
Still spinning in a race
Where no one wins and no one's one

See I don't belong here(I don't belong)
I don't belong here(I don't belong)
I will carry a cross and a song where I don't belong
I don't belong
I don't belong here(I don't belong)
I don't belong here( I don't belong)
I'm gonna set sight and set sail for the kingdom come
Kingdom come
Your kingdom come

Won't you let me down yeah
Let my foolish pride
Forever let me down

Easy living,your not much like your name
Easy dying,hey you look just about the same
Won't you please take me off your list
Easy living,please come on and let me down

We are a beautiful let down,
Painfully uncool,
The church of the dropouts
The losers, the sinners, the failures and the fools
Oh what a beautiful let down
Are we salt in the wound
And let us sing one true tune

I don't belong here(I don't belong)
No,I don't belong here(I don't belong)
I don't belong here(I don't belong)
Feels like I don't belong here
I don't belong here(I don't belong here)
Feels like I don't belong here
No,I don't belong here
Would you let me down
Come on and let me down
You always let me down
Feels like I'm let down
Come on and let me down
Cuz I don't belong here
Won't you let me down?

What stood out most about this is song is the chorus. The repetitiveness of "I don't belong here". As Christian,that statement should be SO prevalent in our lives. We really don't belong.

John 15:19 says,If you belong to the world,it would love you as its own. As it is,you do not belong to the world,but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.(NIV) I think a lot of the times we forget this. We are in this world but not of it. If that is the case,we should be acting differently to the aspect of life and living it.

"What does this mean,exactly?",you're probably thinking. Since we know and believe life is more than just living and dying,we should be making an effort to further the kingdom we belong to. Along with furthering it,to represent it as citizens while here on earth to the best of our abilities with God's help.

I challenge you,this week to reevaluate the way you are living,whether it be godly or worldly.
If it be the latter, fear not, God is merciful.
Change is a gradual process,not an immediate arrival.
Start somewhere, anywhere.
Maybe be more diligent to read the Bible, pray every day or examine the worldly things you are letting yourself in take.
Build from there.
As Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is a Christian's walk with God.
So set forth this week to grow closer to the Savior.


In Mark chapter 9, Jesus encounters a father whose son had a violent demon. He asked for Jesus' help. "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." And Jesus said, to him," 'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the boy's father cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief."

Often when I ask God for help with something I ask, like the father in Mark 9, with a heart full of doubt. "If You can do anything..." Basically I'm saying, "I need help, but I don't think You really can do it." I'm forgetting who I am talking to; The Creator of the whole universe, the Alpha and Omega, Almighty God, The Sovereign One who works ALL things together for good, the Holy One who died so I might live.

I need to remember the truth of Matthew 19:26,that "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."(NAFB).

Who Are You Serving?

Isn't it easy to wake up in the morning and the last thing you feel like doing is opening the Bible? You'd rather turn on the laptop, or start off where you finished in your exciting book. It's really easy to be drawn to things that just keep us away from God. Joshua 24:15 says: "Choose this day whom ye will serve." (KJV)

It's one thing to say,"I will serve the Lord today", then to actually do it. Do you feel completely satisfied when you do something that may be keeping you from fellowship with God? In my example,I was desiring the Internet more than God. Things that compete with Christ look so appealing and lovely.

John Piper says in his book, "When I Don't Desire God": ""Deceitful desires" can trick us into feeling that sinful thoughts and acts will be more satisfying than seeing God. This illusion is so strong it creates moral confusion, so that people find ways to justify sin as good, or, if not good, at least permissible."

I don't know about you but I have certainly more than a few times in my life tried to justify sin in my life to make me "feel" better about it. I encourage you to pray that God will help you with this battle to find a master. And I hope you choose the Master who does not create empty promises but fulfills them tenfold.


There is a saying,"Disappointments are God's appointments". However,rarely do we see these "appointments" as Divine. Rather, we see them as pesky roadblocks to our plans for our life. When we become disappointed often times we look to God, and ask "What the heck are you thinking about up there? I am CERTAIN this activity/event or occasion would be a GREAT opportunity to..(start listing off the different points to make the particular function a good one to attend in your eyes) Therefore, with my evidence (and your lack thereof),making ME right,and You, wrong". Oh, can you see the pride coming out of your nose? Who are we to tell the God of the Universe He is wrong? The perfect One who laid the master plan of your life, even before you were born,that He made some kind of mistake in His working?

In Jeremiah 29:11 it reads,'"For I know the plans I have for you",says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope(NLT). With that verse, we learn that obviously God wants the best for us. He doesn't want the worse or the horridest or the meanest. He wants THE best. Most of the time our best doesn't match God's best. We can see a situation one way, and He sees it a completely different way.

An example of this in my own life has become quite prevalent. I spent a good chunk of my "childhood" in a church I loved with people I loved, who I thought I would NEVER EVER leave. Soon,those hopes of mine came crashing down, when my Dad felt God's call to be somewhere else. I went, but oh I went kicking and screaming. This move wasn't MY plan, and I disliked it a GREAT deal, so much,in fact I vocalized it quite openly to my parents. I would rather have been with my friends that I had known since forever and the adults that had been in my life since before I could remember than having to attend a new church and begin all over again with gaining friends there. Finally we found a church we liked. Settled down, two or three years later,a day or so after a week long camp in Florida with other teens, comes that same news. I had REALLY thought God has us where He wanted us at the time. I had JUST started making friends, and there He goes pulling the rug out from under me again. Then we came to this really weird church , it was called Kingsway Community Church. They didn't have their own building, they met in a school.The people there raised their hands in worship and the guy who preached, named Aaron, had the richest, thickest voice I have ever heard. And oh, did I mention they silly stringed a newly engaged couple? After getting past all the familiar territory of being new, I came to love the church God finally brought us to.

Now looking back at my disappointments, they were not disappointments at all, they really were God's appointments. Nothing that occurred to me in past, would I have chosen for myself. Only God had the power and knowledge to guide me where I needed to be and know where I needed to go. Had I stayed where I wanted, I probably wouldn't be typing this, or even THINKING about typing something like this. It is ALL God's doing and none of mine that I sit here and hope this typing of my words makes sense to you and that it somehow shows you something you never knew.

With that,God bless you! I hope you exit out or walk away with a better understanding of disappointment,and how we should react at those times to it. Ifs you have any questions,comments,queries or concerns,feel free to put em' in the comment box. We loves feedback, it helps us get to know our readers.


Set Apart is finally up and running! Well, sort of. It's amazing what happens when two girls think of an idea for a blog. I'm just going to say it was not my idea to make this, but I happily agreed and I'm very excited to see what God does with this opportunity. So what has been decided is there will be three main writers/posters: Annie, Heidi and myself. But we will have guest writers who submit some posts as well. It will be really sweet. So what's God saying to you?

~Savvy J