Hey. . .I am not good at blogging. . .I don’t think it really matters to the world. I am pretty sure, though, that what I have said here a couple of years ago it still true: God has something for my soul in it. Alas, I am quick to resist. He is so very persistent and kind. There is a pattern here in all areas of my life. I love the gospel, as it does give me. . .the grace to run.
New York City is now my home, and you are welcome to journey with me on this new adventure. I thought I’d start by just posting what I have recently sent to my faithful and generous team of partners:
“Tick Ridge Road to Madison Ave. is quite a leap. Here, extravagant wealth manifests in the pristine streets, the black jaguars, the meticulously manicured dogs, and neighbors like Barbara Walters. The other night as I was walking home from a dinner appointment, I over-heard a conversation where a woman was processing why her earning capacity merited her purchasing a $5,000 purse. I thought to myself, “I’m not on Tick Ridge Road any more”. My next thought was laced with incredible judgment. This posture of judgment was ugly, and all too familiar.
Whether I condemn the wealthy for their extravagance, the poor for their laziness, the young for their dress, or the woman for sleeping with her boyfriend, I am acting as Judge. There is only One who is worthy of such a role. I stand before Him condemned, apart from His lavish grace.
My propensity to be Judge does not stop with others, as the self-contempt runs deeply within me. I am so tired, and I need a nap. Guilt. I’ve got to use my time better. I experience fear about this new venture with cru. Guilt. Where is my great faith? I eat too much to numb all of this guilt. More guilt. Now I’m going to be fat, and no one who is “hip” and 23 will want to talk to me. I feel contempt around my age, as I seek to hang out with those that could be my daughter. Shame looms at the reality of my grey hair, and my untimely hot flashes. Ugh. The battle: real and raging.
Then, I realized that my judgment of others is in correlation to whether or not I experience deeply the grace of the gospel. I am loved. I am accepted. I have a God who delights in who I am and moves to meet my needs. . .even my need for a nap. He teaches me how to have compassion toward myself. My humanness. Then I have the space to have compassion on others. They need a Savior. They don’t need another Judge.
God is doing so much in me as He is giving me His eyes to see. I am seeing not just the men and women of this city, but His eyes toward me as well. He doesn’t need me here. He loves me here, and will love others through me. He judges sin. He takes our rebellion so seriously that He died a gruesome death. He has compassion on all: the rich, the poor, the young, the old. This is the stuff of a world-changing. . .Jesus centered movement. This is the stuff of grace.
I love it here! I feel like I was made to live in NYC. I have met many recent graduates, whom I thoroughly enjoy. Kelly and I will be moving from Madison Ave. to Long Island City this weekend. Gone are the days where Barbara Walters is my neighbor. I will welcome with open arms my worldly possessions that have been hidden away for a year in an Orlando storage unit! I can’t wait to make a home! Note the new address. Send your Christmas pictures so I can plaster the frig!
- That God would establish relationships with pastors and other leaders in the city, as we seek to bless them and partner with them.
- That God would lead us to the people that He wants us to know and love. That He would open doors that no one can shut.
- I am praying for a gospel movement of a million in the city. Pray that God would work in such a way among His Church that everywhere people turn they would “bump into” Jesus and His redemptive ways!
- That our home will be a place of great refuge, holistic nourishment, and that all who walk through the door will experience Jesus.”
Be free today in the grace of the gospel!