The Grace Mask Blog was launched on January 13th, 2013, to encourage women in the church to share their personal testimonies through a portrait session. For the first 6 months those portrait sessions were photographed in my garage. We photographed sessions in all sorts of weather – rain, snow, and wind – with the garage door up to let in light. But none of that mattered to us because we knew powerful imagery draws attention and we were pointing to Jesus with our words. Between 2013 and 2016 60+ personal stories were shared on this blog. I have attempted until now to do everything on my own and have learned a person can only do so much alone. This summer we will unveil the cover of the first issue of The Grace Mask Journal which will feature 13 stories within its beautiful 40 pages. This project is the work of an amazing team of women who believe speaking the word of God over the image of God results in the making of disciples for Jesus.
Each issue features a cover story as well as 12 portrait stories. The cover story takes you on a journey from childhood to the church in one woman’s life. Each portrait story focuses in on a testimony specific to a season in that journey we are all on together as The Bride of Christ.
Our story as Jesus’ Bride is symbolized in the marriage between a man and a woman every day… there is a back story, he invites you to be his bride, you say yes, you are engaged, you get dressed, and you receive a new identity. All of those individual moments are beautiful stories we love to tell about our relationship with our man. But that is hopefully just ONE day of your life here. I have GOOD NEWS girls! That one day is a symbol of what is happening in you RIGHT NOW with Jesus Christ! You are somewhere in that love story today. Where are you? Do you know He wants you to be with Him? Have you said “yes” to Him? Are you dressed? Are you living in that new identity as His Bride? The biggest question I have for you is this… are your eyes fixed on Jesus?
My husband and I photographed weddings for 10 years. The most beautiful stories we captured in that time had one element in common throughout the day – the bride was completely in love with her groom; her eyes were fixed on HIM. And that focus made her radiant – all day long everyone was watching HER but she was watching HIM!
My Sisters, the world loves to say, “All eyes on the bride”… YOU and I are that Bride so we must, at all times keep All eyes on THE Groom, Jesus!
We truly believe this journal will be one of your favorite companions throughout your day. We want you to take these stories from your Sisters in Christ WITH you everywhere to share with those you meet. Each story contains the truth of the Gospel and a challenge to “check out Jesus”. It feels and looks like a magazine, reads like a diary, and when studied in pairs or in a group will encourage and lift you up like a devotional. The printed journal is backed and supplemented with the online blog featuring more stories and encouragement 6 days a week.
Ephesians 5:26-27 is nestled into a challenge to husbands to love their wives and we often miss what it says about Jesus, our savior, redeemer, eternal lover, and our perfect Groom who will one day return for us. These verses tell us so much about our identity in Christ – they are the anchor verses for The Grace Mask…
“Christ’s love makes you (the church) whole. His words evoke your beauty. Everything He does and says is designed to bring out the best of you. Dressing you in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.” MSG (paraphrased)
This is the core of our message at The Grace Mask. Welcome! I hope we will soon hear YOUR story!
Throughout our entire site Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.