Ponderings for August 29 2019

Random thoughts while Sue and I put the finishing touches on an anniversary trip to New York City:
 
Forty years…whoa! I know it’s cliché, but wow, did the years fly by at warp speed. Good years. Hard years. Those years can be mean and, if you’re not careful, you can grow hard with them. Don’t. If you’re married—keep at it. It’s worth the hard work. If you’re not married—don’t turn it into an idol you just have to have, but, on the other hand, let me tell you it can be a wonderful gift from God.
 
Don’t believe stereotypes like all New Yorkers are unfriendly. Not so! Sue and I didn’t meet one unfriendly person here. We got lost, we asked directions, we were blocking traffic while reading maps and guidebooks. And they were as friendly as can be! Don’t believe stereotypes (about any person or people group). They’re all made in the image of God and deserve dignity and our respect.
 
Art—everywhere, art. So many museums in New York! So much beauty and so many famous works (paintings, architecture, statues) all in one city! Not really into art? Ponder these words: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—think on these things (Phil 4:8). A good grid to evaluate the art you experience.
 
Mortality—that, too, was part of our New York trip. Not only because Sue and I have been at this marriage thing for forty years and the clock is ticking, but because mortality was here in other ways, too. We went to The Dakota, John Lennon’s home in New York. We stood right at the apartment entryway where he was murdered in cold blood. We visited the 9/11 Memorial. Two huge reflective pools are there, honoring the 2,753 who died in the World Trade Center attacks. Mortality. I am grateful for and believe more firmly than ever that our Lord Christ vanquished mortality by his death and resurrection. And he freely offers eternal life to all who would trust in him. “O death, where is your sting?”
 
This Sunday we begin our next sermon series, Pray WITH Trinity. We will all be choosing one day a week in September to commit to prayer. Watch social media and come on Sunday prepared to pray WITH Trinity.
 
See you in a few.
Pastor Paul