Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"..Beauty is fleeting.. but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised"

Beauty is always changing. When we look back over time we see that the definition of "beautiful", according to the world, is always changing. One decade it was to be like Marilyn Monroe, just 10 years later it is to be thin like Twiggy. The constant striving to attain perfection is draining, it robs us of all peace. As I look through these pictures I am encouraged that, unlike beauty, God is unchanging. As I take my attention off of my physical appearance and place my energy in seeking Him, I will find that who I am in Him is exactly enough. Next year, it will still be that way. Ten years from now, I will still be enough... because He is enough. Instead of chasing the current "standard of beauty", we can rest in the truth that we are created in the image of the most beautiful Being that ever existed. In this we have the freedom to embrace our shape, our size, our age, our color, our skin, our hair, our gifts... all of it, because it brings glory to our Maker.   
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" Hebrews 13:8



1900's beauty pageant

1930's bathing suit








Thursday, June 23, 2011

She is a queen.

A couple days ago I was walking from my office to the restroom when a kind Hispanic woman quickly grabbed my arm and pulled me over to her large group of guests and excitedly asked me to give them a tour of the YWAM campus. Being that I am a complete saint and totally adaptable- I eagerly rushed over to the group of guests, without giving another thought to the overwhelming number of emails, phone calls, and applications I needed to tend to in the office, and also forgetting all together that my bladder was about to burst thanks to the morning coffee, and I greeted them wholeheartedly.. grateful that she found me instead of the other 40 people that were on the campus that day. I am laughing as I type this, hoping that you will hear the sarcasm in my voice. (I am also being kind of dramatic because I imagine a normal person would not have struggled as much as I did in this brief moment.)

So actually I was obviously a bit reluctant in my heart as I approached the woman's friends, though I think by God's grace they were not aware of my selfishness. Just as the woman asked me, "Okay, will you tell us everything that goes on here on this YWAM campus?" I began to complain in my heart and wonder how on earth I was supposed to explain everything we do here.. oh poor me... Then I felt the sweet voice of the Lord in my mind say this, "She is a Queen." She is a Queen? She didn't look like a queen. She was quite beautiful but she did not look like a queen. But thanks only to the Holy Spirit my thoughts were shifting.. this woman is a Queen. Capital Q. Queen. She is a Queen to God and to her family.. who knows who else adores her as a Queen. But she was worthy of my energy, just as the Queen of England would receive it, and just as King Jesus would receive it if He wanted to know everything we do here at YWAM LA.

Obviously when you find out you are talking to a Queen everything changes. I genuinely and excitedly shared with the precious family what we are doing on the campus and I left feeling very encouraged by the whole thing. Its so strange though, because ever since then, whenever I see someone and am about to engage in relating or conversing with them, I hear again, "She is a Queen." or "He is a King." It does not matter who they are or what they look like... I am learning that they demand the same attention as Kings and Queens.

What else does that mean? It means I too demand the respect and adoration of a Queen. Would I ever approach the Queen of England and say, "Pardon me madame, you have big thighs, wrinkly skin, and you have no sense of style, oh and you are failing at most everything you do." No way, that would be absurd. So then I better not speak to myself that way either.

So that is the thought for the week I guess. You are a Queen. He is a King. We are worthy of love and affection. Give it generously, lavishly, extravagantly.

Matthew 25:31-40

New International Version (NIV)
The Sheep and the Goats
    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
   37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
   40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Photo By: Angela Jacobsen in 2008
Angie used this picture to document depression. This is my sister Meredith, in the peak of her eating disorder, when she was visiting me in Los Angeles. This photograph captures the heartache of a precious young woman who has numbed herself to the hurt she feels. Within a few months of this photo being taken Meredith encountered the love of Christ, she surrendered her life and her struggles with eating to Him. She became a student in YWAM LA's Discipleship Training School where she spent months pursuing her relationship with God. Meredith then lived in India for 2 months working in a village and sharing her new love for Christ with the people there. Today Meredith is healthy, beautiful and is passionate about seeing broken people come to know the love of their Creator God. Meredith inspires beauty.