Clip From Josephiene in NY
, Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 10:34 PM, in
Sunday Night Promo
at 4:07 AM, in
While you're waiting on the "Burning Rose" video (That is the working title for now) here is a promotion I did for the new Sunday night service at First Baptist Church of St Marys, GA.
Do Not Fear
, Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at 11:57 PM, in
What People Think About Christians
New Card Design
, Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 4:00 AM, in
Today I woke up early and was ready to roll. I ate some poptarts and headed to the metro so that I could go to the White House. When I arrived there was a lady pointing some people in the right direction of the White House. I walked that way and talked with them. They were from New York just seeing the sites of the Capitol. They said 'good luck' with my video, but neither one of them wanted to speak about what they thought.
I finally saw the White House. It was a little early for tourist time so not many people were there. I decided to walk around the area. I saw someone with a full coffee cup and headed in the direction that they came from. I followed the trail of coffee cups to a Starbucks and sat down for a morning cup of coffee and prayer. After sitting for a while, I felt like I needed to return to the White House. On the way there, I saw five people in various varieties of military uniform. I thought it was odd, but kept walking.
When I got there, I expected to find people to interview. What I found was a large amount of Chinese people in red and yellow shirts. They were demonstrating against the persecution of a sect of Buddhism in China by the Chinese government. They wanted the U.S. to do something about it. There was a dark presence there. Then the people in uniform that I saw earlier stood against the fence and some people with a large banner and video cameras stood in front of them. They were advocating the abholition of the "don't ask don't tell" policy. I decided to interview the Chinese lady that was passing out fliers. She couldn't understand me easily when I was asking if there were Christians in China. But I was able to let her speak about their cause on camera. As she was speaking to me, I was pushed from behind by the police, telling me to stay on the other side of the street. No one knew why. (I later learned from one of the Secret Service people that the people dressed in uniform had chained themselves to the fence. They didn't want anyone to get violent.) Almost as soon as I was finished interviewing the Chinese lady, people started shouting and chanting for gay equality.
The dark presence came even stronger in a giant wave, and all I could do was stand their and pray while trying to compose myself. After a while I wasn't sure what to do so I walked away feeling defeated because all of this was going on and realizing the reason for it all. People are angry and mad and form together when they feel like there is no one to love them except for people that are like them. There were no real Christians there. And I felt like there was nothing I could do at that moment except watch the powers of darkness parade the streets and weave in and out of the hearts of the people who were around. The feeling almost knocked me down. I felt anger towards the actions of the people, but pity for the people themselves because they are victims of the failures of those who know the truth. They are victims of those of us who would have God's love but continue to be the stingy little two year olds we are. "Its my Jesus. Go find your own."- That is what they hear. And so they do.
I walked around and got more shots of the area, trying to talk to people. I could talk to people very easily but it was usually only small talk, and if I did bring up the video they did not want to do it. God told me to go back to the White House and hang out there a while. The protestors were gone. I noticed that many people were switching off cameras, getting individual pictures of each other in front of the White House. So I decided to offer to take pictures of people who were traveling together so that they would all be in the same picture. I was able to talk to many people doing that, and I actually got a few interviews from people.
After a while of doing that, I got some coffee and looked at places to go next. On the map, I saw the Spy Museum. I've always wanted to go into the spy museum. When I arrived there, I was talking on the phone with Sam. I didn't want to go in if it was going to be a lot of money. It was $18 dollars, and I didn't have much time. I was a little disappointed so I told Sam. And he was thinking about what God told him while he was praying last week (Me being able to either do something or get a souvenir for free.) so he said, "It will be ok. God loves to show up for his kids. Try to get in and see what happens." After I got off the phone, I walked up to the information desk and asked how long they recommended to go through the museum. He said two hours. I said "Oh ok then. I don't have two hours to spend. I wish I did though because I've always wanted to see the spy museum." Then he said "Well, where are you from?" I told him Georgia. He said something I didn't expect at all, "Well then you just go right through that light of blue gates right there and tell everyone in Georgia that the spy museum is the coolest museum in D.C." It was just awesome to see what God will do. He loves to do things like that.
I didn't really get much else today as far as the video goes, but I did go to Matt's small group where we had a good talk on the end of Job. And it was Matt's birthday so we went to his friend's house to celebrate. We had pizza and were watching X-men when the power went out. We lit candles and read 'Da Jesus Book. It is a translation of the Bible into a strange Hawaiian dialect. It was pretty fun.
While we were eating dinner, we spoke with some of his friends Paul and I can’t remember the girl’s name. But they were just telling me a lot of what God has been speaking to them lately, and a lot of it is the same thing that God has been speaking to a lot of other people I know. It is just amazing to see God moving. We knew a while back that it was going to begin. Now it is beginning.
I, on the other hand, was headed to a metro station in Washington, D.C. Matt said that if I wanted to stay a few days he would buy me a train ticket to Raleigh. We ended up finding a different station than the one we were looking for, but they all go to the same place anyway. I said goodbye to Chad and experienced my first ride on the Washington D.C. metro. I was texting Kali, and she told me to try to start a conversation with someone, but there was no one around me.
I had to transfer to another train that became very crowded at the next station. This woman was sitting on the arm of the chair I was in, so I tried to move my stuff around so I could let her sit next to me. I eventually did it and offered her a seat. I said something like “I’m sorry it took me a while to figure out how to situate my stuff.” She noticed I had my suitcase and asked if I was leaving. I said no, “I’m actually just getting here. I’m seeing a friend and doing a documentary on what people think about Christians.” She looked puzzled “Christians...?”
“Yes, Christians.” I then realized that this lady had no idea about anything to do with Christianity. So I briefly told her about Adam and Eve and Jesus. And man’s sin and how Jesus came to restore the union with God that was broken by our sin. She seemed very interested, but I knew my stop was coming up soon. I asked her if she believed in anything. She said “I believe in God, but I believe in science.” She also said something like nobody knows what is true. I replied with “God does, and if you seek the truth with all of your heart he will reveal it to you.” Then my stop came up, but I have a feeling she will search out the truth later because of that short little conversation. I think that was the first time I was ever able to tell someone who had no clue who Jesus was about Him. It was awesome!
By the time I met up with Matt it was eight something at night so we ate at the cafeteria thing and went back to his dorm where we hung out and of course went to sleep. But Matt went to buy my ticket online. As he was reaching for his credit card he saw a ticket voucher that he forgot he had. Its so amazing the way God works.
One thing I have discovered is that Public Transportation is really cool. And it can be used to talk to people because they aren’t going anywhere. A lot of times people want to talk if someone would just open up their mouth and speak. So next time you’re in an awkwardly quiet place with strangers just talk to them. You never know what God will do.
After eating, I came back to the room turned on IHOP and read a bit. Not long after I turned it on, they started singing about being the fragrance of Christ. It is something that has been the theme in a lot of things I’ve been hearing and reading lately. I love it. Then I read John 16. I especially like verse 21 where it says “May they all be one as you Father are in me and I am in You. May they also be one in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.” That is another thing that God has been speaking to me lately through what is happening with this video. I know that many of you are praying during my travels and encounters with different people and I thank you for that. I also pray for you. And it seems like God is beginning to give believers almost a single mind because we are all learning similar things about him at the same time. And it is so amazing. The thing that one lacks, the other is making up for, and we are beginning to look like a body which has a network of neurons that work together by individually doing their job while talking to those in their reach of the network. It is so neat to see it all start to come together.
I left the room and headed back towards Times Square looking for Starbucks. The main Starbucks was packed so I continued on, thinking I would find some other coffee place to grab coffee at. I went up a few blocks and didn’t see anything. Then as I crossed the street to turn around, I saw one on the next street. It was just so cool how I decided to turn around on the only street I would’ve seen this Starbucks from.
So I went in and ordered a drink. As I was waiting for it, I sat down at a table that some people completely just trashed. Not long after I sat down, the guy who was cleaning up says, “What are you doing making a mess for me to clean up?” I kind of chuckled, but was actually able to come up with a reply- something like “Well, I can always make more of a mess for you. I’ll just wait until you clean this one up. I can do it in like five seconds.”
We ended up talking for a while. His name is Michael. He is a gay guy who is really big into gay rights and awareness, especially after a class that he just got finished with. We talked about that for a little bit and I told him where I was from and what I was doing. But he had to be doing his work even though we were having a really good conversation. He said he would be on break in an hour so I told him I would come back, and we could do the interview and talk some more then.
I talked on the phone with Sam for a minute and walked around some. When I came back, the place was packed. That’s when God did something really cool. I almost want to call it crazy, but its only crazy to us human beings. Thursday, Sam told me when he was praying that God showed him that someone was going to offer me coffee, I was going to get to do something I wanted or get a souvenir for free, and I was going to meet a pastor. While I was waiting, Michael said he was sorry he couldn’t get out right now, but I could have a free drink on him while he was waiting. Any drink I wanted. I was just like “Wow God you’re so awesome.”
He was finally able to get out, so we went to this little place where it was pretty quiet. As soon as we sat down, he just said “Woah, I just had the craziest déjà vu ever.” I knew in my head that it was God, so I was just like “cool.” And then he said, “It just happened again. It must be like God made this happen or something.” I was just thinking, “If you only knew.”
We started out with the interview. It ended up being really good stuff that I could use because he was talking about how religion was pointless, and people have built religion to fit their own lives. Which is actually really true. Then we were talking some more, and I told him about the coffee thing. It just totally blew his mind. It was really great and I was excited. We exchanged numbers and said we would hang out later.
I walked to Central Park because Chad was supposed to meet me there, but they somehow ended up on the other side of Central Park. I just hung out there and called Michael after a while. While I was waiting on him to meet up with me I went back to Times Square, where I went in the coolest Toys R’ Us ever!
Michael finally showed up and brought his friend along. We just hung out and went to a comedy club. I was able to share with them about my heart and God’s love. And it was just awesome hanging out with them. I was able to interview his friend and she ended up having a lot to say too. We ended up hanging out at the hotel and just talking about poems and life until they left around 4AM.
God keeps his promises and when we meet people we should always love them first and never come at them with a message of condemnation. Jesus didn’t even condemn people. Why do we sometimes think we should? We are no better than anyone else.
I slept in late today even later than yesterday because I put the "do not disturb" thing on my door. Plus I was exhausted and went to bed after 4AM. So I woke up and took my time getting ready. Prayed and listened to some music, talked to Sam on the phone and figured out where I should go today. I left the hotel about three o'clock on my way to the UN building by the way of Seventh ave. and on across 42nd street which put me going by Grand Central Station.
Ever since I've known about Grand Central, I've wanted to go there in person. So there I was. And I was hungry. I saw the sign for "Dining" and followed it down the stairs. All of the food setups were strange to me until I saw a Chinese place. It was server-bar takeout style, where you get one dish with two meats. But it was almost twice as much as what you would pay at Triangle Town Center for almost the exact same thing.
I made a dash for an open seat in a corner, but someone else dashed faster. So then I looked around and found the only other available seat facing gate 115 and a flower stand. The table had napkins left on it neatly stacked by its previous occupant. They actually almost looked like they were there for a reason.
As I was chowing down on my lo mien, sweet and sour chicken, peppered chicken, and spring roll, I looked up and noticed that the girl working the flower stand looked like she was dealing with some stuff on the inside but trying not to show it on the outside. God told me to make her day better by telling her she was beautiful. I didn't want it to look like I was hitting on her or take away her customers by talking with her for a while. That's when God told me those nice, thick napkins (the ones from the Chinese place were thin) were on that table for a reason, and that he told me that I might need a pen today for a reason.
So I pulled my pen out of my bag and wrote: "Smile because you are beautiful" on a napkin. After I finished eating, I threw my stuff away around the corner and prayed that she wouldn't see me put it on her counter somehow. I started walking, and she was finishing up with a customer. She finished with him before I could get there. I didn't change my pace. Instead of waiting for another customer like I thought she would, she turned around to do something at the exact moment that I walked by. So I put it on the counter right where she would turn back around and see it and kept walking. I knew she saw it because I turned around to check while I was going up the stairs, and I could see her at that side of the counter looking a bit happier and looking around.
I was able to get some good filler footage at a park, but nothing really interesting happened today after that. It was chilly and it started raining so I sat inside of a Starbucks for a while before making the long trek back to the hotel. I left the Starbucks at 7:15ish and didn't get to the hotel until around 9. But I had to stop and get some chapstick too. That was today. I hope God will give me the boldness to break people's bubble's tomorrow. And that it doesn't rain.
Well today I woke up a little later than I wanted to. The only reason I woke up is because a lady with an Asian accent knocked on my door: "KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK, Howsekeeping! KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK, Howsekeeping! KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK, Howsekeeping!" Then I heard her try to open the door, but I had it dead bolted. I thought that she would go away after I heard a beep and rattle. A few seconds later "KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK, Howsekeeping! KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK, Howsekeeping!" So I got up and opened the door so that she could come change the trash or whatever it is that she so persistently wanted to do. She stood there and just said "Howsekeeping...?" After a really awkward silence and this blurred image of light and color staring at me. "I uh... I com bak later." And she scampered off down the hallway.
I got ready and prayed with some people over the phone. Chad texted me like 5 times asking me what I had seen yet. And saying what I need to see. I read some verses that people gave to me and asked God to show me what to do and where to go and who to talk to. I went to check my Facebook, talked with some people there and And I finally left the hotel.
Like I said I was going to, I headed towards the Broadway area. As soon as I hit the crowds I noticed something. Everyone here is very into themselves, very focused only on what they are doing. You could be bleeding in the street and most people would probably walk by and not notice. That is how strong it was. It was really discouraging to me, trying to do a video where I needed people to interact with and I'm alone among thousands of them.
I made it to Times Square and kinda looked around and got some footage of the area, got me some coffee and sat down. I was just observing, trying to see who to approach or how to approach them. I noticed the people trying to pass out fliers for different businesses and decided to take a flier and ask if this guy would answer "What do you think about Christians?"
"Well I'm Catholic. I got nothing to do with Christians. Don't want to say anything about them either."
"You don't consider Catholics to be Christians?"
"Well, there's the Christian Catholic Church.. Hey talk to him over there he's Catholic."
And I think he was a little upset that I talked to him and then asked him to do a video.
A short time later some lady with an independent record company haggled me to give a small donation for a CD. After living in Raleigh for a while, I support small labels but I only had four dollars in cash. I gave her three though because God told me to keep the other one for something later. I told her about the video and she agreed to be interviewed. Pretty much you're average universalist- Christians are too pushy. There's other religions too. Let everyone have a chance to choose for themselves.
I hung around Times Square a while longer, finding nobody to be easily approachable because those that were sitting around were engaged in active conversation and those that were walking were going somewhere. Maybe I'd have better luck if I found Broadway. I didn't realize at the time that Broadway and 7th Avenue cross in the Square.
So I headed up 7th Avenue thinking I'd cross over on some other street further north and go to Broadway. I went the wrong way and ended up in Bryant park (South of TS.) where there were a lot of clustered little tables that had a lot of people so it would've been really awkward to just approach a random table because then I would have to single people out and almost stalkerishly pop up and ask them to do the video. I was a little bummed so I called Matt and talked to him. He said he would call some people he knows up here to see if I could help with their ministry or do something with them. So I prayed and whined to God some. A short while later I saw a lady with blond hair and a green shirt. God said that's the lady but walk past her and keep walking that way. I did, and I ended up on Broadway.
I found out which way was north from a bus map, and walked past all of the cool theaters and stuff. Then I decided to go to Central Park. It was cool but again nobody seemed like they were open to being approached by some guy with the camera equivalent of a fully loaded turbocharged 4 cylinder car. (It can hang with the big boys, but it's still a 4-banger.)
I left there to head back to the Square when Sam called me back from when I tried to call earlier. I whined to him about how I wasn't getting anything at all for the video. He told me to just sit down, be chill, and try to be friendly towards the people around me. As we were talking I sat down on a bench. A few seconds later an older black lady sat down right beside me. God was telling me that I obviously needed to talk to this lady. I told Sam I needed to go.
I turned to the lady and said "Hello. How are you doing today?" She turned and smiled and with some thick accent that I never heard before said, "Wonderful. Wonderful. It is a good day today. Is yours good as well?" And so the conversation started... We talked for a while and somehow got onto the topic of God and spiritual things. She seemed a little "off her rocker" but agreed with everything I said. I think I agreed with most of what she said too. What I could understand anyways.
I found out her name was Josephine and that her family moved to New York from Haiti when she was 14 years old. She said she has lived here for 40 years. That would make her 54. When I told her I used to live in NC she said so did her son but now he lives in Virgina.
As we were talking she saw my camera and asked what I was filming. I told her about the video and asked if she would tell me if she thought Christians were doing a good job of being Christians as a whole. She started about it before she even said I could tape her. A lot of what this lady was saying about God and life was really good. I wish I had the camera on and pointed at her while we were talking. But she finally said I could tape her. So I did, and she had a lot of real good firey stuff to say. And it really encouraged me. We talked some more. I prayed for her and we went our separate ways. I was just so excited that I got to talk to someone. And I was even happier about what we talked about.
I made my way back to Times Square a bit later where I saw this guy holding a small folded piece of cardboard. God told me to talk to this guy, so I waited until he sat down on the ground, pulled a cup out of his bag and unfolded the sign to reveal "HUNGRY. PLEASE HELP. GOD BLESS" All I had was that dollar I saved from earlier so I gave it to him and sat down beside him to talk to him.
His name is Kevin. He told me that he used to live in SC where he had a paint business that went under. He was trying to get to Albany where his parents said he could stay if he could get there. He admitted that he had a drinking problem and that's a good bit of why his business went under. He was begging earlier today when a guy gave him a case of beer. He said "I really appreciated the beer, but I could really use that money for a bus ride to go home. I want to get out of here. I don't like it here. I only need 31 dollars, but nobody here will help me out. This sign only works for food." I told him if I had more cash on me I'd help. And we talked a little more. He then said thanks for talking with him but if there's two people here nobody's going to give anything. I prayed for him that God would show His love, bless him, and break the alcohol addiction.
As soon as I walked away God said "You don't have cash but they will take a card at the station." I was like "Really? But I don't even know where that is and I don't even have an income myself."
This was going on in my head when I got two or three blocks down and heard someone yelling, "Help feed a homeless family tonight! Feed the homeless! All it takes is some change to get a homeless person something to eat tonight!" I thought, "This is great. These people are collecting money probably for a shelter or something. Maybe they can help Kevin.
I found the source of the yelling. Then I introduced myself to a hefty lady wearing a blue sweater and beanie who let me know with a look that my introduction was unnecessary and she did not want to introduce herself at all. I told her about Kevin who was just up the street a couple of blocks. "I gave him the last dollar I had on me. Maybe you guys could help him get out of here." (They had a large jar full of cash.)
"He should be doing what we're doing." I was confused.
"He's doing his thing and we're doing ours. You see, I'm homeless too and this is how I get my food. If I do help anyone out, its because I know where all of the shelters and resources are."
Just then some guy yelled at me from about ten feet away.
"What are you doing to help out!?"
"I gave the guy the only dollar of cash I had on me."
"Yeah, but you have money in the bank?"
"What? I'm trying to help people. I'm just trying to get the guy home to h-"
"I'm not trying to be aggressive with what I'm sayin', but you got money in the bank right?" (The whole time he's yelling at me.)
"Well yeah but-"
"Don't be pointin' fingers man! Don't be pointn' fingers! You got more than that cash you gave him so leave this lady alone. You might have made her miss the guy that's gonna give her five thousand dollars all because you're asking questions!"
I turned to the lady and said "Sorry I'm just trying to help people out." And I walked away.
I walked around the block trying to avoid that corner again, and thought about what God was saying to me from so many angles. He then reminded me of the rich young ruler, the poor widow, and how many people in the Bible didn't have money at all but were used by God. I went back to where Kevin was.
Before I got to him I prayed that God would give me peace either way about this. Then he reminded me, "What is a bus ticked compared to the kingdom of Heaven?" So I started walking towards Kevin. As soon as I did I had peace about it. I caught up with him and said we're going to the bus station. He gave me the number to call to find out where it was at and exactly when the bus leaves to Albany. That took forever. I finally made it to an operator, but I could barely hear her because of all the street noise.
While we were walking, Kevin filled me in on his whole story. He grew up in Albany and moved to SC. He had a paint business, got married and had kids. Once his business got going good, his wife decided to leave and take the kids. The court gave her everything, including the house and even his paint truck with many of his tools inside that they wouldn't let him get out. So of course he got depressed and spent the rest of his money trying to drown away his sorrow. A few months later he lost his paint business and everything else. His parents said he could stay with them to get back on his feet if he could make it to Albany. He hitchhiked his way all the way to NYC, but got out there because the last guy he rode with got a ticket doing 120. He thought he could find someone to help him here, but was here a week and nobody did at all. On top of that someone stole his bag that had most of his stuff in it the second day he was here, including his cell phone and ID.
I told him my crazy story about what got me here and the video and all. He said he'd do the video. I waited until after I bought his ticket though. Before I recorded him he said something about being into Christianity. He said something on the video like Christians must be good people because one helped me out. And not much more than that. It really touched my heart to hear that.
After the video, I asked him why he claims to be a Christian. He said because he follows Jesus and tries to do the right thing. And Jesus died for his sins. It was clear that he heard it all before, but it wasn't clear that he really accepted God's grace and love for him through faith in Jesus. So I just reminded him about how God loves him and how he can get closer in his relationship with Jesus. And that God can break the addiction to alcohol if he would ask God and seek God's heart. I prayed for him and gave him a hug before I left him at the bus terminal.
The whole time I was at the terminal, Chad was trying to call me so we could hook up for dinner. I met him and Jay. We ate at the ESPN zone and I told them about my day. Jay said since God used me to bless Kevin, that he felt like God wanted to use him to bless me. And he payed for my meal, which was actually a little over half of what I payed for that bus ticket to Albany. I love how God does stuff like that!
We hung out some more in Times Square, but it was past midnight so they went back to Queens. I hung out there and didn't get back to the hotel until 1:30ish where I talked with Matt and Sam for quite a while on the phone. I took a shower and didn't get to bed until about 4Am.
note. Like I said before, I wrote this as if I wrote it that night and will post it as the day it happened. It is really the next night, but so I can keep my dates straight I'm changing the "post date".
We went out again on Friday. We were going to go to Jacksonville again, but God made it to where we had to do it in Fernandina. So we're walking around hoping to make eye contact and maybe people will find us like Tuesday. Nothing happened. So then we decided to sit and look intriguing with the camera. People kept walking by. And we were like "Ok God what's the deal? Give us who you want us to speak with." This WHOLE TIME there was a table of old people sitting there talking. God said "Approach them." So we did, and this little old lady gave us a good little word of yet again encouragement. But the men she was with were very scientific and did not want to answer the question. That set off a chain reaction of different interviews that God blessed us with, including another lady who basically said it should all be about love- God's love.
It also gave us an allegory of the Church. We can't parade around or even sit and look good and still be effective with the gospel. We need to take it to people and actually talk with them. We need to love them, which was also a theme I was finding through all of these answers.
During that Friday, we realized we were getting a lot of people who grew up in church and knew it all of their lives. And those who hadn't didn't want to say anything because they knew they were in the Bible Belt and feared people's reaction. So we were thinking "wouldn't it be cool to take this to NY? There's a huge mix of people there." God steps in again…
Saturday Sam and I got together with some people and had an awesome time of prayer until like 2am. Yet something else that we had not intended or expected! I got on facebook when I got home and as soon as I got on a friend of mine from NC IM'd me and asked me what's up. I told him a lot and asked him what was going on. He said "well I'm going with a team to NY to meet about doing a crusade there. Hey! As a matter of fact, do you want to come with me? Meet me at my house on Tuesday and we'll leave Wednesday morning. You can ride and room with me. Just make it to NC."
I got to his house on Tuesday and he said that the people he was doing the planning meeting with weren't comfortable with me coming because they didn't know me or whatever. I was actually kind of upset. He said, "I didn't know it was going to be like this, so with my employee discount I'll get you your own room in NY. you just can't hang out with us until Saturday. If you're ok with that?" I'm more of a chill person so I said lets do it. The only room he could get me was ONE in Manhattan. And he'll be in Queens. Too far away to hook up until Saturday. This almost sounds messed up right? --> I'm going to be in NY city for the first time. By myself. Doing a video.
After I prayed about it a lot by myself and with others, God showed me from five thousand different ways that this is what he wants. That way he could use me and grow me into something so much more than I can ever imagine on my own.
While I was praying I asked God to show me who to speak to and show his love to in NY. He gave me three specific people. A black guy with a red shirt- be careful around him. A guy with spikey blond hair, a black shirt and a chain. And a blond lady with a green shirt. I thought "Wow did I just make that up or did God just give me a specific vision?" SO I tried making up more people in my head like that but nothing came. And Sam and I prayed for a while over the phone. Praise God for all he does and is still doing in us, his people, by the power of his love and Spirit.
We finally got here tonight. Chad put me in the hotel and left for Queens. Right beside my hotel on 36th street is "Metropolitan Community Church." I thought "How cool is that? A church beside the hotel. And its not too late. They look like something is going on. Its Wednesday." I decided to check it out after I got settled in my room.
I walked up to some guys standing outside and asked them if they were part of this church. They just looked at me kind of weird. One guy said something in French, and the other guy mumbled something about "they meet on Sundays." Then a girl (maybe a little older than us) walked out. He said "She's the one you want to ask if you want to know about this place."
So I ask her "What do you guys got going on?" because people were going in and out.
"Are you gay or bi?" (with some Austrian sounding accent)
I said "no"
"Then this is not the place for you."
It is a shelter for gays/lesbians/bisexuals (who seemed to be in their teens and 20's).
Then she asked me why I was here in NY exactly. I said I really don't know exactly why I'm here. Then this english black guy started talking to me, and asked if I wanted him to show me around. I said sure and he was telling me all about his busy life and how his dad is a musician and they're from Oxford.
His name is Chritsof. He asked me what I was doing in NY alone. I told him the short version of the story. He said we'd go as soon as he spoke with someone about something. He was trying to get his stuff from the shelter, but the person that knew it was HIS stuff wasn't there. I started praying about what God wanted me to do because going to the bars in "The Village" with this guy just didn't sound like the best thing to do. About that time I noticed he was wearing a RED SHIRT.
I talked some more with him and the girl and he realized that if he wanted to stay in the shelter tonight he had to be in by 9:00 and it was 8:45. I told him I was tired from the trip anyways. He said he would be there tomorrow afternoon and to text him if I wanted to do something. So I'll probably talk to him tomorrow.
So God is using these situations to set up something really cool. When I got here, I could feel such a HUGE spirit of darkness. One that is so huge I've never felt it before. But God is already nullifying that. It's not gone, but its not active. Already I can see God's hand in all of these situations, and I know he has more to bring me into tomorrow. I pray that I will be able to hear what God is saying so that he will use me to speak to those he needs to speak to, using my mouth. And hopefully pray for those I need to pray over. And whatever God needs. He brought me here for a reason. I am alone for a reason.
I'm thinking I'm going to bring the camera to the Broadway strip tomorrow. But that's just what I'm thinking at the moment... I'm so excited.
He is real. He is powerful. He is bringing something about everywhere that will be something so much more than anyone can predict. And it will not start in the walls of churches. It is starting in the streets and on the campuses and in the fields and in the hearts of people. He will use those who would otherwise be considered low in the eyes of the world to advance his kingdom and destroy the wisdom of the wise and the knowledge of those who know so much. (1 Cor. 1:19- 31). God is wonderful and doing wonderful things!
, Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 10:10 PM, in
What People Think About Christians
What Sam and I ran into today was something completely different. We were only able to get two interviews, but they were booked by God. The first was a lady who we met while I was setting up my camera. She was watching over a mentally challenged woman while she was feeding the pigeons by the Jacksonville Landing. She noticed my equipment and asked a few questions about it. I told her why I had it all out there.
We were going to interview random people and see what they thought about Christians. I asked her if she wanted to be our first volunteer. She said yes because she was already a Christian and hoped to be able to say something to the Christian community. Exactly what I needed to hear- She said that Christians should do a better job of setting aside their differences and working together. We need to not look down upon the weaker brother but help them up. "The strong should help the infirmities of the weak." That was just such a blessing to expect a blasting shotgun and find loving kindness.
Sam and I walked around, looking for bus stops where people are not doing anything but waiting for the bus. While we were doing this, we ran into two men who asked us if we wanted to buy an I-pod for 50 dollars (something like that). Once we said we had no need for an I pod they asked if we could spare a dollar so that they could go eat lunch. They were very boisterous and just knew that if we had that nice little camera, that we had some money so that they could get lunch. Then the more loquacious of the two then wondered what we were doing with a camera out there in the first place. We told him what we were doing, and he said he'd answer the question for a dollar. Sam gave him five. But then he said thank you, and that he would've answered the question anyways.
This man's name was Joseph. He first wanted to ask us what we thought of all of the homeless war veterans that were on the streets. I said that I felt sorrow for the mistreatment of such brave men and that we helped out another guy just the other night. When he finally got around to our question, I got way more than what I expected from this homeless veteran named Joseph. This guy gave us a sermon on the gospel with knowledge, power, and conviction that is rarely found even among "ordained ministers". This guy thought we were here to put down Christianity (at first, until he saw that we did not argue against him) with a video so he was going to let us know what being a Christian was all about. He even gave us bits and pieces of his testimony to go along with it. He had just recently been released from prison and freed from the bondage of crack cocaine.
When he finally got around to what Christians should be doing, he hit it on the head. We should not just be feeding people in our churches, but going out and taking God's love and his word to the streets so that people who wouldn't come near to a Church can hear the Gospel. It was much more than that, but only the video can show all of it. It was just such a blessing to listen to this homeless man pour out his heart to us and to be able to share our heart with him. This was true fellowship. After he was done on tape, we prayed together and Sam gave them some more money to help them out.
We were blessed by him and he by us. We were all blessed by God in those thirty minutes. It just goes to show what God has been showing me a lot lately- A movement is coming that will not be spread by those we expect (those who are already out in the public eye). But it will be God using ordinary people changing their everyday lives to be used by him in ways that no one will expect. This wasn't a mega church preacher standing on a street corner, but God working in this man's life just as he was working in that lady's life, and just as he was working in Sam's life and my life. He will use ordinary people to change the world, just as he has many times before.
We couldn't find anyone after that to interview, but God was telling us that we didn't need to because he blessed us in those 30 minutes in the middle of Jacksonville, FL. We just marveled at what God had done. Praise God who brings all good things- Even those we do not expect.