Thursday, October 28, 2010

The City

My week in New York was good.  I was talking with my mom the day after I got back and she asked me if I liked it and would I go back. Yes, I would go back for a visit but there was no way I would ever want to live there.  She asked "why" and the only way that I could describe it is that New York, especially the city itself, is a dark, heavy place.  I couldn't help but look into the faces of people as we walked the city streets.  They were so blank and lonely looking.  Here we are, in the midst of crowds of people, but yet most of them look alone, with no hope in their eyes.  The last day we were in the city, I noticed that as the day turned into night, the busier the streets became. 

I have felt a heaviness since experiencing this trip.  Yes, it was a fun trip, but seeing the emptiness in the people there made an impact on me.  We are called to be a light for Him in this dark world.

Since returning, God has been convicting me about my prayer life.  I will admit that my prayer life is sometimes sporadic and I forget how important it is.  I will most often pray as something comes up, I don't always set aside a specific time to pray in depth.  I don't like it when I get a place that I have no choice but to pray.  That just shows me that God has to use extremes with me, I'm so hard headed.  I have been so frustrated about some things this week and I have had no choice but to turn them over to God, because I have no control over them.  His power is made perfect in my weakness.  He alone can change the hearts of so many people, my own, those around me, and the people in New York.   I need to remember that there is power in calling on the name of the Lord.   I heard this song today that reinforced what the Lord has been showing and teaching me this week. 

On My Knees by Nicole C. Mullen:

There are days, when I feel
The best of me is ready to begin
Then there's days, when I feel
I'm letting go and soaring on the wind
But I've learned in laughter or in pain
How to survive.

I get on my knees!
I get on my knees.
There I am before the Love, that changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power
When I'm on my knees

I can be, in a crowd
Or by myself and almost anywhere
When I feel, there's a need
To talk with God
He is Emmanuel
When I close my eyes,
no darkness there
There's only light!

When I get on my knees
when I get on my knees
There I am before the Love that changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power in the blue skies,
I don't know how, but there's power in the midnight,
I don't know how, but there's power when I'm on my knees.

I get on my knees
I get on my knees
There I am before the Love, that changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power when I'm on my knees.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New York 2

This is going to be a picture update, I am too tired to write a lengthy post about everything that we have done.  Here is brief overview of what we've done.  The captions should explain, I hope!
Getting the building ready for paint!

East Islip (where we passed out flyers promoted the fall festival)
One of the streets we "had" to walk down while flyering (word?)
This morning's train station, we did more passing out bags.
Our leader, with the backdrop of the beautiful fall colors!
More building fixin'.
The church was given a van that needed major cleaning.
Fixing the plumbing and putting in a sink
More van cleaning
See, I really am here.

We were able to go into the actual city of New York this evening.  We will go back tomorrow for some site seeing/touring, but we got a glimpse tonight.  This small town girl is not a huge fan of the crowds I will tell you that much.  I couldn't do the fast paced life everyday, but it is a great experience.  We went to the Blue Man Group show tonight and here are some sites we saw along the way:

From the show, two of the team members with one of the guys. His eyes are a bit piercing don't you think?!
Explanation on building.
Too crowded!
I feel so small amongst all these buildings.
More buildings.
The night life is interesting, I am aware of what life is like out in the world, but I've never really seen it the way I have this trip. Tonight was a bit of an eye opener of how lost this world really is.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, I will have more to come.   Thanks for all your prayers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New York

Well, I am in New York for the week. I am having a great time, a little sleep deprived, but that's ok. We were delayed on the flight from Dallas to Chicago, due to a hydraulic leak, so we didn't get to the church until 1 am, eastern time. We actually got in earlier, but stopped at the Peter Pan Diner for some cheesecake, it was so good!  This is a picture of the church we are helping while we are here.

The women have done lots of cleaning and the guys have done lots of handyman jobs, like plumbing, black topping some of the parking lot, and mounting a T.V. Is it wrong to say I enjoy doing that deep cleaning, the kind that you actually notice when it is done? Well, I do.

Tuesday night we were able to go to Yankee Stadium and see a playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers.  I was going for the Rangers.  I don't really care about the Yankees, but when you are sitting in a section of all blue, white and gray, it is really hard not to get into the game and cheer for the Yankees.  I chose to just be quiet, I wanted to come home in one piece.  One guy showed up in a Boston Celtic sweatshirt and the whole section booed and I think he even left.   I love baseball and to be able to go to a playoff game at Yankee stadium was incredible. 

Bernie Williams (former center fielder) threw out the first pitch.
We are getting work done around here too, I just don't have many pictures of that!  Yesterday afternoon, we filled bags with water bottles and granola bars.  We added a flyer advertising their "Fall Festival".  This festival will take place after we leave and it will be for the community to get together and have food and games, etc.  This morning (5 am) we went to a train station and handed out the bags.  It was cold, but we got rid of all our bags and even though some people said no, I think the ones who did take us up on the offer were grateful.  They always seemed a bit surprised.

Farmingdale station girl group.

Today we are going to pass out just the flyers around the Farmingdale community.  I hope it warms up, but we do have a chance of rain so that could cause some issues.

Sidenote stories. We did eat at this deli downtown on the way to the game.  I don't think I have ever been yelled at by someone who is taking my order.  It wasn't mean yelling, but things like "next!" "roll or bagel" "mayo or mustard", but it is so fast and so loud that it is enough to un-nerve you and you forget what you actually want! Great bagel sandwich though!  Talked to someone in the Bronx for a second and he said, "You aren't from here", I said no, he asked where, I said Texas, and he looked at me and mentioned that I don't sound like it.  I told him I'm actually from the Midwest.  His response, "that's why you talk so slow".  Umm.....thanks....I think.  I love the thick NY accents around here, it takes a second for me to process sometimes, but it is still fun to be around.

Looking forward to next few days and what God has in store.  I pray that we are being a blessing to the people here and that we will accomplish everything that they need us to!  Thank you for praying for us on this mission!


Saturday, October 16, 2010


I had such a nice relaxing morning. I lounged around for a bit this morning, and then sat down and did my Bible study, the Beth Moore one on the Patriarchs. I love sitting down with a cup of coffee, well maybe a couple cups of coffee, and my Bible.

The last lesson was speaking about how much faith Abraham had when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. He didn't ask the question "why?" he just did it. However, he had the faith to trust in God to that God would do what He said he would do. Genesis 22:5 Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you." He didn't hesitate, he said that they both would return. When Abraham was asked by Isaac about a burnt offering, in Genesis 22:8, Abraham responded: "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." This faith carried over to his servants....

This week's lesson was focused on finding a wife for Isaac. Abraham's servant asked God to give him a sign regarding whom He had chosen as a wife for Isaac. Genesis 24:15 says, "Before he finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came, with a jar on her shoulder." Beth Moore had us then go to Isaiah 65:24 "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." I know I often pray without really thinking about how God has already heard my prayers and how He already knows how they will be answered.

Throughout these two lessons, I was reminded that God does everything that He promises. I so often forget that. Abraham called the mount that Isaac should have sacrificed on, "The LORD Will Provide". He takes care of everything and that's something I need to remember.

I made it through my busy week. I was so tired today that I took a nice little nap. It felt so good! I'm in the midst of packing for my week long mission trip and my room is a mess! I'm trying to only take one suitcase, I don't know if that will happen, I tend to be a "just in case" packer. Anyway, I am excited to see what God has planned for us. This will be my first mission trip ever and I have no idea what to expect. I just pray that God will use me how He wants and that I am open to anything that He sends my way!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am sitting here watching the Atlanta Braves play. It is the best time of the year, college football and baseball playoffs. If I was still living in Wisconsin, I'm certain I would be peeling apples for applesauce now instead of blogging. The Braves are currently losing, and if they lose this one, they are out. I am not expecting them to win, but it would be nice. It is so relaxing to watch....well, it would be better if we were ahead by a few runs.

I spent this past weekend at home, sick. Although I was sick, it was kinda nice having an excuse to stay at home. I think I needed the rest. Hopefully the rest prepared me for the week ahead. It is going to be a busy one. I am getting ready to go on my first mission trip next week. I'm really excited! I'm going with a great group of people and I can't wait to see what God has planned for us.

Anyway, that's all I have time for tonight, I will hopefully continue on another day this week....Braves are still losing...

Friday, October 1, 2010


We had a great Bible study at church last night. One of our senior pastors came and spoke to our group on the what it means to be a disciple of Christ. He spoke on how we have to Leave All, Die to All, Endure All, Serve All and Receive All. He went through lots of Scripture and it was great to dive into the Word and read a bunch of verses. The reminder of what it takes to be a disciple of Christ is hard to listen to, convicting and left me wondering if I come even close. However, the talk made me think about how we don't have to be a disciple alone. The Lord walks with us through everything that He asks us to do. Being a disciple of Christ is not easy but the eternal rewards are fabulous.

The other thing that has been on my mind, especially today, is security. It kinda goes along with being a disciple because without being His disciple we have no security. I read the following quote today by Elisabeth Elliot:

"Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your savior, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security."

Look at that list, what more do we need?! This also includes are eternal security. If we are His disciples, we have the security in knowing that we will forever be His, we cannot be snatch us out of His hand.

John 10:27-30 "My sheep (disciples) hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

That gives me great comfort. Living in the midst of all that goes on in this world, I know that God will never let me go. Everything may fall apart all around me, but I have the security in knowing that He will take care of me. We often turn to other things for security but as it is with everything else in this world, those other things will pass away. Our only hope is the security we have in Christ.

I have had a strange week. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it is because I've had to do a lot of digging in the Scriptures regarding some issues that have come up. (I have felt heavy in spirit.) I have done some pity partying, and I know it is just me being selfish and focusing on myself and not what God is calling me to do or be. Last night's talk was helpful because it reminded me that I'm not here on earth for me, but I'm here because God created me to give Him glory in everything I do.