Favorite One

9:04 PM Edit This 4 Comments »

The word brings quite a string of things to mind, doesn’t it? You probably have a favorite movie, favorite candy, favorite store, favorite class, favorite pair of jeans. How about “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens”? And we can’t forget that schnitzel with noodles!

What about people? Do you have a favorite teacher, favorite friend, favorite family member?

Wait…that’s a little awkward…

Yep, it is. But here’s another question: are you somebody’s favorite?

Are you God’s favorite?

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. God doesn’t play favorites. By calling one person a favorite you are implying that you like somebody else less, that you even love somebody else a little less. Ouch. Romans 2:11 says that “God shows no partiality.” Doesn’t he love the whole world equally?

Well, yes, and that’s the incredible part. Think about it for a sec. God is infinite, and so is his love. If infinity was chopped up into six billion individual pieces, each piece would still be…infinity. I can be God’s favorite one, and so can you. God can give me all of his love, and you all of his love, and neither of us is missing out. Think of it this way: you are second place to no one in God’s heart. He doesn’t love Billy Graham, or the pastor’s daughter, or Britt Nicole, or missionaries to China any more than he loves you.

Now that’s an amazing truth.

I looked up the dictionary definition of “favorite,” and was absolutely blown away and delighted by what I found:

\ˈfā-v(ə-)rət, ˈfā-vərt, chiefly dialect ˈfā-və-ˌrīt\
one that is treated or regarded with special favor or liking; especially : a person who is specially loved, trusted, or provided with favors by someone of high rank or authority

Special favor or liking…check…by someone of high rank or authority…check. There you have it, girl. You are specially loved by the King of Creation—even Webster agrees that makes you a favorite.

Sometimes we may feel a bit hesitant to accept such an extreme love. It doesn’t feel right somehow. But God’s Word—his love letter to us—couldn’t be more clear. Just read Song of Songs, and picture Jesus whispering those words to your heart.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away…
Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
behold, you are beautiful!
You eyes are doves behind your veil…
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love than wine…
Turn away your eyes from me,
for they overwhelm me…
My dove, my perfect one.
--Song of Songs, ESV

This is your king’s love song to you, telling you over and over in a thousand ways that he cherishes you. You are his treasure and the apple of his eye and the delight of his heart. You make his heart beat faster; one whispered “I love you” from your lips and he absolutely melts. You are constantly on his mind and forever engraved on his heart—you, my sister, are the magnificent obsession of God.

His favorite one.

Invisible Princess No More

5:37 PM Edit This 5 Comments »
I love The Princess Diaries (the movie, not the book, surprisingly enough). I love imagining what it would be like to be Mia, the awkward and slightly dorky (well, maybe more than slightly) fifteen-year-old who’s “still waiting for normal body parts to arrive,” and then all in one day finds out her grandmother is a queen, her father was a prince—and she is a princess.

“Me? A princess? Shut up!”

(Mia’s wonderful “shut up” face. Best moment of the movie.)

I’d be shocked too. But it gets weirder. (Watch the entire scene here—start at 3:05.)

QUEEN CLARISSE: Since your father died, you are the natural heir to the throne of Genovia. That's our law. I'm royal by marriage. You are royal by blood. You can rule.
MIA: Rule? Oh, no. Oh, no. No, no, no. Now you have really got the wrong girl. I never lead anybody—not at Brownies, not at Campfire Girls—Queen Clarisse, my expectation in life is to be invisible, and I’m good at it.

A princess from birth, born to rule, ignorant of her destiny. So she instead lives her life hiding from the world—invisible.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty familiar to me.

I, too, am a princess. I am royalty. As a daughter of the King of the Universe, I have been given authority and destiny. I can be a world changer. All of us who have been made royal by God’s own blood can truly be shapers of history.

If we want to be.

The thing is, far too often we’d rather just be invisible. Blend in, play the games, be popular (or just left alone), generally be normal, but never, ever do anything to truly stand out. Even in our churches and youth groups. We become “normal” Christians…we love Jesus, we read our Bibles, we sing the songs, we drop money in the plate…but we don’t really stand up and act like we know we’re royalty.

Well, ladies, it’s about time for “normal” to be over.

Romans 8:16-17 ESV "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

We are heirs of God—fellow heirs with Christ himself! Glory is our birthright.

Normal is not. You pretty much gave up all right to a normal life when you came into the Kingdom. Did you notice the reference to suffering in the verse above? Yeah. Most people who suffer don’t suffer because they’re content to play it safe and just blend in. They suffer because they stand out and do something different—but glory is the result. That’s a promise.

So, what does it mean to act like royalty? Well, there’s a lot, but here’s a few to chew on:

You’re not normal. (I think we’ve been over this already.) So don’t act normal. Since you are a princess of the Kingdom of God, your priorities should be higher than this world. Don’t lower yourself to their standards. Keep your focus on the King and his kingdom.

You have authority. You have the power to bring light into darkness. God listens when you pray, and he moves at the sound of your voice. Partner with him to make a real difference in the world around you.

You are a representative of the King. Not just as a servant, but as a family member, as royalty yourself. Show those around you who the King is and what he’s about. Live love loud.

You’re a princess, for goodness sake! You are beautiful, you are loved, and you are strong. Your worth is not defined by those around you. It’s defined by the God who made you and calls you his own. Don’t ever forget that.

One more thing: Like Mia, you are destined to lead. Invisibility is no longer an option. All it takes is for one person to stand up first, and others will follow. Don’t be afraid to speak up, to do something never done before! You’ve got the King of Creation—your Daddy—at your back. Stand proudly, speak boldly, love extravagantly, and live the life of the Kingdom you were born into.

Wake up, child
It’s your turn to shine
You were born for such a time as this

I am royalty
I have destiny
I have been set free
I’m going to shape history
--“The Anthem” by Jake Hamilton, songwriter and worship leader
(listen on youtube here)

Aaaand We're Back!

5:14 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Hey, guys! First off, a heartfelt apology that I haven't posted in THREE WHOLE MONTHS!!! I spent the summer working at a Christian camp in the mountains, and although I had internet access, I was never able to get on one of the staff computers long enough to post a blog. So I am so vewy vewy sowwy I left y'all hanging.

The summer was loverly, however. :) I worked in the malt shop serving the weekly crowds of multiple youth groups who would come up to camp, and I also led teams and games out on the rec field. I got so close to so many of my fellow staffers, and better yet, I got closer to God when I would escape into the woods to my favorite place with a view, or to the 50+-year-old prayer chapel with its wooden pews and musty carpet and sacred feel in the air. I learned a lot this summer about community, communion, and being used by God wherever I am in simple unexpected ways. :)

Furthermore, I have one final announcement: kindly conduct your eyes to the upper right side of this page, where you should see half of a youtube screen with the title "Our Videos & Music." Scroll over so you can see the whole thing. Ah, there it is. This is a playlist of all the videos and music I have referenced in the blogs, plus a few more that fit so well with the purpose of A Beauty Glorious that they just needed to be shared. (Let me know if I left anything out, or if there's something else you think should be added.) This replaces our old music player, which was frankly troublesome and unreliable. Youtube is my savior. ;) Take some time to enjoy them and be blessed.

There you have it! If all goes according to plan, expect a new blog up every two weeks. If you have ideas for a blog, or something you found or created that you'd like to share, shoot me an email! abeautyglorious@gmail.com This was always meant to be a community, not just me on my soapbox all the time. ;)

Grace and peace, my sisters!