This week at Link Year is one of our favorites - Beards and Beauty Week. It’s unique to all the others during the year because the guys and girls split up and talk about what it looks like to be a man or woman of God. The girls hear from speakers like Jenn Ford, Caye McNew and Karen Chancey. For the guys this year included Marc Harris, Jeff Lemley, and Dr. Chris Pruett. This year the speakers focused on everything from the details of being a man or woman of God, to eating healthy and using your body as a temple for The Lord. These topics are both so important for this generation to focus on and they are often times over looked. We asked a few of the students to break down what they learned from each speaker. Here's what they had to say:
Girls: Jenn Ford talked about what it looks like to love The Lord with all our heart and soul. In order to love God, we have to know him. We can’t love someone we don't know on an intimate level. We must spend time with him in the Word learning the character of Him. Jenn showed us and inspired us to pursue Him and be pursued by Him because our relationship with God should be our most treasured, compelling relationship.
Guys: We started off of the week with Jeff Lemley. He allowed us to go to his land and just take in all that the Lord puts on display for us. He shared that all decisions he made, he lifted up to The Lord with prayer. He seeked out what God wanted him to do in those times, and when God maid in evident he went without question. You can never put a cap on God's plan. When you think one thing, God could throw a curveball. The great thing that comes from that, is that no matter what God leads you to, it will be for the betterment of the Kingdom.
Girls: We heard from Caye McNew who spoke on loving the Lord with all of your strength. She showed us how to be more healthy, and what it looks like to actually have our bodies as a temple for the Lord. She shared that to be strong, you must put proper things (the right foods) into your body. “Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Since our bodies are not our own, we must care for them so that we can use them to glorify God.
Guys: The second person that came to speak with us was Dr. Pruett. He shared his story about dedication to his wife. Without going into too much detail, lets just say he has been put through some pretty rough things in life. One thing that really stuck out to me about Dr. Pruett's story, is that when he was faced with struggle and heavy-heartedness, his faith in The Lord was unwavering. He was steadfast in his walk with both the Lord and his wife. No matter what The Lord puts in front of you, He will not leave your side. The Lord is both gracious and just, and if he was one without the other then He wouldn't be God.
Girls: Our last speaker for the week was Karen Chancey. She spoke on loving the Lord with all of your mind. This life has nothing to do with us, but instead, it’s about God using us for His glory. She stated that we have over 70,000 thoughts a day. How many of those are centered on things above rather than earthly things? Philippians 4:8 states that our minds should dwell on whatever is pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise. Just as God fought Satan's temptation with scripture, we must be equipped with scripture to fight off any temptations. She showed us what it looks like to practically guard our minds from impurity.
Guys: Marc Harris ended off the week for us. He brought knowledge to the table that will change the way that I walk with the Lord. He talked about things that are given to you that should be used to glorify His name and to further the Kingdom. He made it clear to us that the things that God has blessed us with, have not been used in the right way. In high school it was all about me me me, but my sights have been set on making it all about The Lord. I realize now that my gifts and talents were meant to glorify him, because they wouldn't even be in my life if it wasn't for His mercy and grace. I appreciate the way Marc was stern and straight forward with the things that he had to say, because it truly opened my eyes to see what areas in my life need to pointed to the glorification of the Lord.
Beards and Beauty Week is so important to Link Year because it creates a deeper intimacy between the classmates and their genders and why God has made them the way that they are. We are very thankful for this week and love how unique it is to the others!