Subject: West Side Update - January 12
January 12, 2015
“I found myself in NYC by accident,” says Amanda Geisinger. “As a joke I applied for an internship here that I didn’t want and didn’t think I’d get. But then I got it, I loved it, and I got hired!” She’s now been here for seven years.
“I never expected to live here, and I definitely never expected to become a Christian here. That journey started out seemingly by accident too,” says Amanda. “In college I had a professor who, for some reason, thought I was a Christian and invited me to her church. She sparked my interest, but when I later moved to NYC and wandered into Redeemer for the first time, I was still an avowed atheist. I had no friends here, I had never heard of this ‘Tim Keller’ character, and the only thing I disliked more than going to church was going to the dentist.
“But despite my cranky skepticism, it was at Redeemer that I was respected and cared for, and I came to switch cosmic teams—primarily through David Bisgrove and his evangelistic Q&A series, Uncorked,” she says. “It was through that ministry that I met both Jesus and my New York City ‘family,’ a couple on the UWS who invited me into their lives and have loved and cared for me since my wobbly first days as a Christian.”
Amanda is an interactive designer and illustrator, primarily for children. She lives in Hell’s Kitchen and loves the neighborhood’s visual texture. “My favorite thing about the city is its inexhaustible supply of visual interestingness and beauty,” she says. “In real life I’m pretty boring—I spend most of my time drawing. When I’m not out hunting for beauty in the city, I’m chasing it down in my sketchbook. I like to illustrate for fun, and I also use drawing as a means of meditation on scripture and for prayer.”
As a church of Jesus Christ, Redeemer exists to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world.
As I mentioned in last week’s Update, the New Year is often a time of new resolutions; a time when we strive for added discipline and order in the midst of the routine chaos of our lives. It’s a reminder that at some level we all have what some have termed a “rule of life”; that is structures, habits, patterns and rhythms of daily, weekly and yearly activity that we follow, usually without much thought. For the Christian therefore it is important that your "Rule of Life" includes the intentional cultivation your relationship with God through the study of scripture and the practice of prayer. As the 17th Century Puritan Thomas Watson wrote:
“A Christian without meditation is like a solider without arms… Without meditation the truths of God will not stay with us; the heart is hard, and the memory is slippery, and without meditation all is lost.”
There are many approaches to regular study and meditation of Scripture, many of which can be found here. You can also click here for Redeemer’s web resources on prayer. I also would recommend Derek Kidner’s Commentary on the Psalms as it has been an invaluable resource for me. Of course, private prayer and scripture reading are just one part of any good “Rule of Life.” There is also the need for community, regular worship and service, not to mention rest and recreation. So as you begin 2015 let us collectively commit to deepening not just our knowledge about God, but our love for him.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2
Rev. David Bisgrove
Thank you for your generous year-end gifts!
Begins Thursday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m.
A new divorce care group is beginning to minister to women in any stage of divorce (separated or newly-divorced). Women will come together in a safe environment for mutual support and a fresh start by diving into Scripture, prayer and a divorce recovery workbook. While the group will allow for connection to those going through similar circumstances, the main theme of the gatherings will be the heart's response to scripture and prayer. Our hope is that through exposure to the work of the Holy Spirit and reminder of God's character, gospel change can occur in the midst of each woman's journey. Enrollment is limited. For more information, please contact email@example.com or 917-206-1359.
Here is a highlighted opportunity to serve the city with Hope for New York. As always, you can check HFNY’s volunteer page to search a full list by neighborhood and service type.
Serve dinner to UWS homeless community
Here are some highlighted events happening across Redeemer. For a full listing, see the Connect.
Questioning Christianity starts this week
Calling, Part 1: Faithfulness in the Present
Winter West Side classes kick-off this month
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27-28
Sunday Morning Prayer
Visit redeemer.com/prayer for additional prayer resources and tools.
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