MEET BEN

Hi! My name is Ben Zornes. As a member of Ellerslie's Leadership Team I get the privilege of seeing this operation up close. And, for those of you who are intrigued, I'd like to offer my "insider perspective" to you and give you a little taste of what we are all about here at Ellerslie. To do this, I've put together a collection of audio moments (see below), which I compiled from Day 2 of our training last semester. I picked Day 2 because it is a very unique and important day in the Ellerslie Training process. Eric Ludy stands before the new troop of students and delivers a message unlike any other that he will give throughout the rest of the semester. It's a message entitled Foundations. It's a message that undergirds all the others. It's my hope that these audio clips will allow you to share in both the fun and the serious side of Ellerslie.

Hope to see you at Ellerslie someday soon,
Ben

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1
The Unique Ellerslie Atmosphere
There is no place on earth like Ellerslie. We have it good here. Every day is a deeper taste of the richness of Christ. We seek to remove all distractions and potential stumbling blocks in order to maintain and preserve an atmosphere of reverent adoration of Jesus. As a result of that protected environment you find that worship is sweeter, scripture is brighter, fellowship is more enjoyable, and most of all Christ is more deeply treasured. I love this unique, one-of-a-kind atmosphere, and I’m pretty sure you will too!
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Download File Size: 
9.9 MB
Audio Length: 
08:15
2
No Peeking in the Notebooks
I am a little bit strange. You see, when my parents would buy presents for Christmas, I knew right where they hid them, but I never ventured to take a peek. I actually relished knowing there was something extremely exciting that was just for me, and I had no desire to taint that Christmas morning surprise of seeing just what it was. I love surprise, mystery and the excitement of something beautiful unveiled. Thus, I would request that rather than ferociously scouring the notebook trying to get a “head start” on the rest of the students, that you instead patiently allow God to culminate the concepts that will be taught. They build up to something. The messages and sessions are intended to be somewhat of a gift-wrapped present. Sneak a peek at it at the wrong time and it diminishes the wonder filled awe of that Christmas morning surprise. Relish and look forward to those God-given “ah-hah moments!”
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Download File Size: 
6.4 MB
Audio Length: 
05:20
3
Getting on the Same Page
You probably have a dictionary, right? Well, imagine that my dictionary and your dictionary had the same list of words, but completely different definitions! We would have a hard time agreeing and coming to solid conclusions. In Christianity today, it seems as if we all have the same vocabulary, but somehow there are some rogue dictionaries out there muddying the waters. We need to have a common dictionary, a.k.a. the word of God, which guides us and puts us all on the same page!
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Download File Size: 
8 MB
Audio Length: 
06:41
4
Walking the Ridgepole
I love Anne of Green Gables. I know it might lose me some points if there was some “manliness quotient.” However, I, personally, think it is actually a nice complement to my masculinity to enjoy such stories. I love the scene where Anne walks the ridgepole of Moody’s barn. She tumbles down and stubbornly storms off, insisting there’s nothing wrong with her ankle and that she does not need the assistance of Gilbert Blithe!! We often tumble off a “spiritual” ridgepole because our eyes are focused on the wrong thing! Here at Ellerslie, your past experiences and failures are not the issue. The issue is: are you focused on the rock solid promises of God’s word? Promises like, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion!”
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Download File Size: 
16.1 MB
Audio Length: 
13:27
5
The Position of the Word of God
It really doesn’t matter a wit what I think, what Eric thinks, what your pastor back home thinks, what you grew up believing, or any other number of voices. The one voice of authority is the Word of God. It is final and decisive for all of life. It gives clear direction and guidance. It is the treasure map to the treasure of Jesus! Thus, test everything you hear on the basis of its conformity to God’s Authoritative word. Don’t take a man’s word for it, test it against what God Himself says!
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Download File Size: 
12.1 MB
Audio Length: 
10:03
6
Conviction vs. Condemnation
Did you know there is a radical difference between these two concepts? We often mistake the conviction that the Spirit of God brings to our souls as condemnation. However, condemnation is of the Devil. It brings no hope for change or victory. It leaves us oppressed and weighed down. Conviction offers a solution: Jesus. You’ll feel the prick of conviction here, because the Spirit is constantly shining His bright, white-hot searchlight into our souls. Rather than getting all defensive, embrace the conviction. Know that God is pruning you to make you more like Himself. And if Satan brings any condemnation, say with the old hymn: “upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin!”
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Download File Size: 
6 MB
Audio Length: 
05:00
7
The Endless Frontier
Eric and I have a common character in our history. He is possibly the most lovable person you’ll ever meet. His name is Dr. Scott. He’s one of the best vocal coaches here in the states and he knows the human voice intricately. Studying under Dr. Scott is more of an olympic workout than an artistic showcase. He drills into his students this concept of “Endless Frontier.” It has radically changed the way I live, sing, teach, study, pray, seek God, and every area of my life. Listen to this clip to get a peek inside the concept!
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Download File Size: 
19.2 MB
Audio Length: 
16:00
8
What is sin?
Have you ever heard someone say, “The Devil made me do it?” Well, we all know that is not true. In all honesty--now don’t get your feelings hurt--there is actually something wrong...with YOU. You don’t just do bad things, you are bad. At the core of humanity is a fist that is balled up in anger and, as scripture says, is in enmity towards God. This root of evil is Sin. It then produces sin(s). No matter how hard you try, until you deal with the rascal at the core of your being, you will necessarily produce sins. Thank God for Jesus, who dealt with the Sin at the core of our being!
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Download File Size: 
8.7 MB
Audio Length: 
07:13
9
Flesh vs. Spirit
There is a pattern in scripture that can basically be called: Flesh vs. Spirit. In the Old Testament, there is a continual contrast between these two concepts. They are often showcased in the lives of historical characters. For instance, Esau was the firstborn, but he was of the flesh and despised his birthright to carry on the heritage that would bring about the Messiah! Jacob was the second-born, and though he is at first quite the wily character, he showcases what a man born of the Spirit looks like. Jacob wrestled with God for the blessing, and obtained it. The two are always at odds with each other in Scripture. And, they are at odds within you. The flesh esteems the ways of God, but cannot perform it. You need an infusion of the Divine (the covering of the blood of Jesus, and the giving of God’s Spirit), in order to please God and consistently obey His commands!
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Download File Size: 
6.9 MB
Audio Length: 
05:46
10
The Tripartite Being
God is, as the old creeds would tell us: Trinity in Unity. Three parts in One. Three distinct members, of one Almighty God-head. Ironically, He designed us in the same pattern. There are two patterns of how we can be constructed. One is after the flesh, which leads to death. One is after the Spirit, which leads to life. In one, you sit on the throne commanding and ordering how your life should be, and to be honest, it is an utter failure. In the other, the Spirit of God reigns supreme and you become steward of His possession: your body. You become subservient to His purposes within you. And, you find there is glorious joy when He is in command!
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Download File Size: 
7.4 MB
Audio Length: 
06:11
11
The Gospel
You may have heard it a thousand times, and in a thousand ways. This is a fresh declaration of that age old truth; it is truly Good-News. Sadly, in our day and age, it has been drug through the mud, even by those who claim to promote and proclaim it. The Gospel is not just that we sinned and need a Savior to forgive us. It is so much more glorious, grand and God-exalting than that. This is what a dying world needs to hear! This is what the church of God needs to hear. And this is what I need preached to my soul every day!
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Download File Size: 
26.4 MB
Audio Length: 
21:58
12
Being Made Strong
We are rather selfish beings. You can see it in small children. Remember those piñatas? Remember how when it broke open and candy went everywhere how you would fight and scrap to get as much as you could, even if it meant knocking the little girl in the flowered-dress over, or giving the snotty-nosed boy a black eye? Well, maybe you weren’t that violent. However, that attitude carries with us into adulthood. We try to get as much as we can. We try to hoard and accumulate wealth, strength, power, position and influence. We want to be strong, and we’re scared that if we give any hint of weakness, we’ll lose it all and our castle will crumble. Did you know, God is very interested in making you strong. However, He has a different agenda. He doesn’t want you strong in material possession or finances. He wants you strong of soul. But let me take it a step further. He doesn’t just want you to rush in and collect as much “spiritual candy” as possible, leaving that little girl in the flower dress out to dry. He wants to make you strong to spend you. He wants His men and His women to be broken bread and poured out wine. He wants to make you strong, so you can be poured out for the orphan, the widow, the lost, the vulnerable, the unborn, the downcast, the mute, the lame, the crippled, and the blind!
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Download File Size: 
3.9 MB
Audio Length: 
03:16
13
Bible Translations at Ellerslie
We have a beautiful blend of just about every denominational background here at Ellerslie. Some might think, “How in the world would that even work?” We are not quite sure, but it does! Jesus is central, and we’re all hungry to know more of Him. So, if you’re are hungry for Him, it doesn’t really seem to matter whether you are a staunch Presbyterian, or a passionate Pentecostal, Reformed Baptist or Methodical Wesleyan! It is not because we’re a hodge-podge of everything, or a tolerance and peace at all cost kind of place. Rather, it is because we base our entire curriculum and environment off of the premise that if Jesus is central, our doctrine will come into alignment with Him. However, just like there are multiple denominations represented here, there could potentially be dozens of Bible Translations. There is so much confusion and contention because of Bible Translations. Thus, we’ve decided, for a variety of reasons, to use the King James Version as our main translation. We are not KJV only. But in order to keep everybody on the same page we need a common translation that is reliable and also resonates with the echoes of Historic Christianity!
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Download File Size: 
15.8 MB
Audio Length: 
13:10
14
Holier Than Thou
I’ve been told before, as I’ve made efforts to be more Christ-like, that I was being “holier than thou.” It always left me scratching my head! I was only trying to be more like who I saw Jesus to be like. I am not trying to be puffed up, or arrogant, or anything of the sort. I just have an earnest desire to be holy. Unfortunately, there is a prevalent mentality in our modern Christian culture that makes holiness out to be this dour-faced old maid. In all actuality, holiness is not spiritual snobbery, it is more like a beautiful gown that is unable to be matched even by the world’s best fashion designers. God is holy, and He calls us to be like Him. Holiness literally means “set-apart.” We are to be set-apart from this world. We are not to trifle with it, play with it, cater to it, or sidle up to it. We are to be clothed in the “beauty of holiness (Ps. 29:2).”
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Download File Size: 
21.6 MB
Audio Length: 
18:00
15
Onward To The Promised Land
God does not intend His saints to wander around for 40 years in some spiritual wilderness before they enter in to the rich land of joy He’s prepared for them. The Christian life is not sitting around twiddling our thumbs until we die and go to heaven. God has prepared a land flowing with milk and honey for us to experience now! It is nothing less than the very real presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Promised Land. We are not to settle into the wilderness of mediocrity, we are to press onward into the depths, and heights, widths and breadths of the riches of His grace. He is an ocean that has no bottom and no shore! Onward!
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Download File Size: 
20.8 MB
Audio Length: 
17:19
16
7000 That Haven't Bent Their Knee
I remember growing up kind of an odd ball. It wasn’t that I was excessively dweebish or nerdy (perhaps I was). However, I really wanted to follow God and be a man of God and serve God with my life. People made fun of me. Teased me. Proposed that I was aspiring to something that could never really exist. I often felt lonely. I longed for a Christ-minded brother and friend who would understand my passions for God and champion them. We often feel lonely when we step out to follow Christ with abandon. We are not alone. God has His men and His women in each generation. Though we are few, we are all desiring the same thing: the Glory of God! You’ll find a deep and lasting kin-ship with the folks here at Ellerslie!
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Download File Size: 
6 MB
Audio Length: 
04:58
17
Dealing With Our Spiritual Baggage
We have all messed up our lives. Even those of us who grew up in rather godly homes, have still managed to find a way to give place to the flesh and sin in our lives. Thus, we’ve accumulated spiritual baggage. This baggage can weigh on us and consume us with guilt and condemnation. Thus, the way we deal with it is very simple. There is no issue, problem, habit, sin, disorder, or history that the blood of Jesus is not efficacious for. That’s the truth. Plain and simple. We don’t allow self-pity, self-condemnation, or self-aggrandizement to get a voice in our community. You don’t have a special issue, or a unique problem. We all have a deep need, and it is for the meritorious blood of Jesus!
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Download File Size: 
10 MB
Audio Length: 
08:20
18
Greeting with a Holy Kiss
Some statements in scripture are hard for us to deal with. The statement Paul makes to, “Greet one another with an holy kiss (2Cr 13:12),” makes me, at least, a little bit squeamish. How are we supposed to deal with such strange statements! Other cultures seem able to practice this verse very effectively. Maybe too effectively! When I was in Romania, the old women from the church would give me a big sloppy kiss on the cheek! I was grateful that I remembered that they always went to the right cheek first, thereby I avoided the embarrassment of a more, hmm...awkward kiss! Nevertheless, our simple statement is that we believe every word in the Bible. If God saw fit to include it, we see fit to obey it! Though we don’t understand it quite yet, we content ourselves with allowing God to grow our understanding and bring it to a fuller maturity!
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Download File Size: 
7.5 MB
Audio Length: 
06:16