Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Big Apple-Leann style!

I was recently blessed to be able to spend two days with my dear friend, Leann. She was one of "my Young Life girls" until she graduated last year, and now I call her "friend." I'm so proud of her! She is a wonderfully amazing dancer, and she's studying dance in New York City now. I miss her friendship and her childlike faith terribly, and I am amazed at how much she's growing as a person and as my sister in Christ now that she's not tucked safely under my wing! I just love this girl to death!

I took Leann and her roommate to my favorite Italian restaurant in Little Italy, La Mela, where we chowed down. Leann and I then mad rushed to The Met and oogled over the famous artwork we saw! The next morning, I was so excited to worship with Leann at her new church home, C3 Manhattan! WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! God's Church was alive in New York City-right in the New York Times building! Listening to their Australian pastor was such a sweet treat for me! He preached from the book of Matthew (Matthew's theme being how Jesus was KING and LORD!). A little peek into the sermon from Matthew 7:21-23 reminds us of how God defines salvation: 1) We must recognize Jesus is LORD! He is KING! And we must, therefore, allow him to be LORD and KING in our lives. That's not all! 2) We must do the WILL of God to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! And, 3) We must have a friendship with Jesus! Check out how, in vs 23, Jesus would say to them, "I never knew you." HE-LORD AND KING-wants to KNOW---US! Team that message up with hearing "BRILLIANT and ELECTRIC" with this oh so Australian accent and some MAGNIFYING worship, and you get where I'm coming from! So, to put the LORD in the place where He belongs, a place HIGH UP, a place where we can ESTEEM HIM and MAGNIFY His name! To put Him in a place where we will bow down in worship and humble ourselves before Him, is His very desire!

After church, Leann and I went to Alice's Teacup! (Big, very serious pause) Next time you are in New York City. DO! NOT! LEAVE! without eating here! Teatime with Leann was so great! And, the scones, cookies, cake and tea were so VERY, VERY delicious! I took a bit of a cookie, and pondered to myself that "This must be a magic cookie straight out of Alice and Wonderland" before I gave Leann "The look." The "I could never eat anything for the rest of my life just to savor this flavor" look. And, just to top off the cookies, when I tasted the cake, I actually got goosebumps! HAHA!

After teatime, we went to The Cathedral of St. John the Apostle. Amazing. The outside of the cathedral was beautiful. No detail was left undone. I was touched when I saw this detail in one of the pillars outside. I can hardly believe it's been almost 10 years. It was a very somber reminder that I was in NYC. After spending some time outside marveling over the details of the cathedral, we entered to the angelic voices of a children's choir preparing for mass. My breath was taken away. The inside of this structure was nothing short of magnificent! I wanted to drop to my knees in worship. I felt SO small inside this building that must have had 50 foot ceilings or better. Every detail was amazing! And, I thought back on the sermon we had just all came together! God is even bigger than that cathedral, and the power and majestic-ness inside that cathedral was a drop in the BUCKET compared to the power and majesty of MY KING! Here are a few more pictures from inside the cathedral

If you walk around the cathedral to the back, there is a quiet garden (yes---it's quiet! In the middle of the city!) with PEACOCKS! What a fun suprise!

After spending time in the garden, we meandered through Central Park chatting on our way back to pick my stuff up, and the time I had with her was over. I used to see this girl three times a week (or more), so my 24 hours with her were not enough, but it was precious! Thank you, sweet Leann, for hosting me and showing me YOUR New York City! I can't wait to come back for another taste of Wonderland! :)

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