Venice Beach 1924
1974 HFP, Volume 6 Number 2
With this edition we got back to something of a regular publishing schedule, for a while, anyway.
Our founding editor, Duane Pederson, had begun pastoring a small Bible church, Chapel by the Sea, in the coastal community of Venice Beach near Los Angeles. Plans for Bible studies, beach baptisms, potluck dinners and more were already in the works.
When he arrived, Duane was surprised to discover that nudity at Venice Beach had become a major topic of controversy locally and in the news media. As a humorous way of introducing the subject, we illustrated our cover with a vintage photo of Venice Beach from 1924, long before such things as public nudity were even an issue. As locals debated being naked on the outside, the HFP turned the question around 180 degrees and talked about being naked on the inside, freeing ourselves of anything that would make us less than comfortable with having Jesus see us as we are on the inside.
Continuing the theme of the issue, our friend David, a college student, told of an unusual class assignment in one of his courses: to stand nude in front of a mirror and "describe what you see." Like most people, this raised some issues of self-image for David, and he wrote an article for the HFP describing his inner journey during the college assignment. Concentrating entirely on his outward appearance led to comparing himself to others, which led to a negative self-image, then self-criticism, feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, shame, and so on. David also described how he battled back these negative feelings by reminding himself that God didn't judge him by his outside appearance, but by what was going on inside. Also, he and his life and his physical body were still a work in progress, and God was not finished with him yet. (A popular button at the time said PBPGINFWMY, which stood for "Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet!")
The photo at right shows a brother praying during a session of the Jesus People Gathering. The photo at lower right shows some young friends bringing their boat onshore on the coast of Hong Kong during one of our outreach trips to east Asia.
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