Archive for December, 2019

New York, baby!

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

With Pastor Mike at dinner – that giant salad on top of a pizza was what they assured me was a personal-sized pizza, lol!

The incredible set they built at Shelter Rock – the books also had storybook images projected across them the entire time.

My beautiful friend, Linda, leading worship before I spoke at Christ Church in Port Jefferson, NY.

The beautiful new sanctuary at Island Christian as we were setting up.

The Women’s Christmas Brunch at Island Christian.

I was back in New York for three Christmas events this past week, all out on Long Island. I used to live out there when Nathan and I were first married and both in graduate school. So it’s always fun to get back to my old stomping grounds, and catch up with old friends and see what is happening with ministry!

I was staying at the guest house at one of the churches, so I got there first and ended up going out to dinner with the senior pastor and his wife, Mike and Mary. They are just fantastic, and I love being with them and hearing all that they have going on for the Lord! Plus, they took me out for pizza and I got a “personal” pizza that was seriously enough for my family – it was pretty hilarious when they put that in front of me!

The next morning I did the women’s Christmas brunch for Shelter Rock Church in Manhasset. I haven’t been there before, but their team was lovely and so easy to work with. Someone had built the most incredible set for their theme, “Storybook Christmas.” I talked about how so often we have these expectations about the perfect “storybook” Christmas which are almost always impossible, but that the true story of Christmas is Jesus’ birth, and that gives us our happy ending because that story is true.

The next morning I did the services at Christ United Methodist Church in Port Jefferson. My dear friend, Linda, is their worship pastor, and they did a lovely job of worship and then gave me the rest of the service. I talked about the true meaning of Christmas and about John 10:10 life, abundant life, that is possible because of this greatest gift of Jesus at Christmas. I also shared some of our story. There was a New York cop sitting in the back, and I made him cry! #goals. It was a great morning, and so fun to be back at this church again. And one fun fact – this is the church where I originally met the family who inspired the song “Your Child.” So amazing to see where God has taken that song, from such a small beginning (see it here).

I had a free day, so I spent some of it with my friend, Linda, and some of it just writing and working. Since I had the little guest house at the church, it was a bit like having a writer’s retreat, which I really loved! My life is never quiet, and that was a lovely little interlude.

Finally, on Tuesday I did the women’s Christmas brunch at Island Christian Church in Northport. This is Mike and Mary’s church. They’ve completely redone the sanctuary since I was there, and it is so beautiful! I was so happy for them – I know that was a rough time since they had to move out completely from the space for months and they are a big church, but it’s going to be so much more functional and usable. The time there was also just wonderful. This church has been such a blessing to me over the years, and I’m just grateful and thankful for them!

All in all, an amazing trip, and now I’m ready to try to wrap my head around Christmas for our family of eight, and all the extended family that goes with it!