Truths

Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.

Lamentations 3:19-24

This scripture passage is very important to me. Two summers ago, I was going through something that I had never gone through. I was at Sky Ranch and felt completely abandoned by God. I wasn’t experiencing Him how I usually did, and I wasn’t sure what I did wrong. Throughout the last few weeks of the summer, I would meet with my mentor about what was going on. This is one of her favorite passages, and it is a great reminder about God and His love for us. Basically, you’re experiencing affliction and aren’t too happy about it and just being very honest in prayer with God about it. Then, verse 21 starts with ‘But,’ meaning that the complete opposite is fixing to be said on the page. Hope is found in the Lord, knowing the promise that His love never fails and is new every morning. He is faithful when we aren’t. He is everything; we don’t need any more. 

Why do I bring up this passage? Well, number one, my roommates and I went to see Gangster Squad last night for a paper. I closed my eyes through half of it – when the guns came out or the mob leader was fixing to destroy someone. During those moments with my eyes closed, God said to me, ‘Isn’t it nice that when you’re with me in heaven for eternity, you won’t have to close your eyes?’ That got me to thinking. What about me deserves to be saved from the scariness and death that is hell? Nothing, yet He wants me anyway. In the midst of the dark theater with mobs going at it and scary bloody things, the promise of heaven brought such joy.

So, when the movie’s over, I’m so amped from all the action I could punch someone. I’ve got that much adrenaline and have sat in a mob movie for two hours – deal with it. Anyway, we end up trying to take home a different train that ends up at a different station than we usually take. We had taken it once with our professor, and it was piece of cake. This time, not so much. We get out and have no idea were we are. We pull out Siri, and things just get crazy. As we’re walking back, we spot a van trailing us – like a creepy van. So we run into a hotel lobby to wait it out and make sure our directions are accurate. Well, once we watch the van park, we decide it’s safe to leave and walk the three blocks up to the street our apartment is on. Once we cross the street, the van’s lights come back on, so we take off running … in below 20 degree weather. We get to our street where there are people (there hadn’t been any people walking where we were) and decide to speed walk the rest of the way home. Honestly, I have never been more scared in all my life. When I got back into the apartment, I just sprawled out on my bed, ice cold air still all up in my lungs and a nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach. Still shaking, God showed up again. The parable of the lost sheep rung loudly in my ears. In those moments of the night, I was lost and scared. When I was six, God picked me up and took me to be with Him in safety and love. My testimony isn’t about how crazy I was before I met Jesus because what hoodrat things could I have done by the age of six? That experience last night made me more thankful for my relationship with God because in that moment when I had never been more scared, I was reminded of God’s goodness and love for me.

God has been pretty clear this weekend, which is really cool.

I saw my first Broadway play Friday – Mary Poppins. It was fantastic! Even though the temperatures have not been my cup of tea, all that I’m experiencing up here are gifts from the Lord. 

One of the classes I’m taking up here is Faith and Works. On Thursday, we talked about our passions. Background: things have happened in my life that make it hard for me to truly dig deep and open up. Basically, I have trust issues. When I had to truly look deep and evaluate what my passions are, it was harder than I expected. Usually, I just pick what is expected of me, but what is that? Thinking of my passions is going to help me in the job hunt that’s going down now. If I can’t open up to myself or others, even let God have 100%, what am I doing? My first post was about courage. This morning, I listened to Ben Stuart’s talk at Breakaway about courage. We must dwell in His love, opening up to Him – and He will make us brave. The courage I seem to have is rooted in people’s opinions of me. I do what I do to please others. Why don’t I do what I do to bring glory to God? Do I resist evil or tolerate it? Why don’t I do something about it? In my final semester of college in New York City, it is time I do something about it. Please pray for myself and the other ones here that our courage is founded in the love of Christ and that while we’re here, we look to make a change in things around us for God’s glory not our own praise. 

Well, this was kind of a heavier blog post, but after a morning spent with God, I felt like this was more important than a count of how many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I’ve had since I’ve been here. Thanks for reading, y’all!

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Work

Today was just one of those days. I got to work at nine, took a five minute break to eat my PB&J and then continued working until five. I was going nonstop, but when it was time to send my boss the email checking off what I had done for the day, it was as if I had barely done a thing.

That, plus the COLD walk to the subway station and then home, added up for a grumpy Krista when I walked into my apartment. After just chillin’ out for a bit, God revealed a truth to me that I have known for a long time but that truly made sense in the moment. 

Ephesians 2:8-10

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, iwhich God prepared beforehand,that we should walk in them.

Yes, I know that this verse is said a lot, but how many times have we truly looked into it? Verse 8: It is by grace you are saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  

Okay, cool. What is grace? It is the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires for us to have it. We did nothing to earn it. So, by this thing hat we cannot earn, we have been saved.

Notice the word saved. Do we ever say something like – Thank you so much for saving me from eating my favorite kind of ice cream ? If you have, something’s wrong with you. Y’all, when we use the word saved, it’s from something bad and sometimes scary. Think about the Avengers. They saved the earth from the freaky looking aliens and homeboy with horns on his head. Nothing about that is good. 

So, what is faith? Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. People, prove to me that you have a heart. If you tell me it beats, I’ll tell you Biebs is inside you playing his drums. If you show me an x-ray, I’ll point to Photoshop. The only way you could truly prove to me that you have a heart is to take it out of your chest and hand it to me (which would be absolutely disgusting.) That’s faith. I sure hope I have a heart and I’m certain of it. 

Check out the next line. THIS IS NOT YOUR OWN DOING. Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, that my salvation is not based on what I do. If it was based on a day-to-day basis I’d be toast. This is such a burden for some people though, thinking that they have to carry the weight of perfection on their shoulders. Think of perfection like a basketball game. You play the entire 40 minutes and have to make every shot you take, have no turnovers, snag a steal or seven, be perfect from the charity stripe, not foul (that part’s hard) … and cross a dude over so hard that he falls to the ground. Perfection, people of America, only exists in Christ. 

Next phrase: it is the gift of God. Think about the presents you got for your birthday. What did you do to deserve them? Nothing. You should pass them along to your mom. Seriously. All we did was bust out all blue and alien-like and scream. The key here is that we don’t deserve it. Who am I that God would want to make me His own? 

Paul finishes it out in verse nine reminding us that our salvation with God is not dependent upon our works. 

So, after a day of work (full of golf…yuck) and extremely cold weather, I am reminded that I don’t deserve a day full of playing pick-up ball in Harlem (don’t tell Dad) or 80 degree weather running in Central Park. When I take that perspective, man do things change!

Expressed

Since I worked seven days straight, my boss gave me today off. So two other girls and myself decided to hit up the Museum of Natural History … aka the one from “Night at the Museum.” In order to get to the Upper West Side, we had to ride a train down to Harold Square and then transfer to a different one. We felt good about it until we stopped at 125th Street and we were supposed to get off at 81st. Basically, we got expressed. What that means is that there are two different kinds of stops: local and express. If it’s an open white circle on the map, it is an express train and every train will stop at it. If it’s a closed black circle on the map, it is a local stop and only a few trains stop at it. So, we got off at 125th and then got on a different train going the opposite direction. 

Y’all, praise the Lord that I don’t have to worry about express and local stops with God. He’s always there for me and His will is perfect. He isn’t out to put a local sign on His train and then make express stops. I can trust Him to direct my life; however, let’s be real, I don’t always do that. Instead of trying to figure things out myself and getting lost many times along the way, I should trust in the Creator of more than I can imagine and give up my control.

We got out of the subway at the corner by the museum. We decided to race each other to it but then stopped after a couple of steps because people were looking at us funny. We went in and got our tickets from a guy that was pretty excited that we were from Baylor. He’s a huge Brittney Griner fan. Anyways, we walked through pretty much everything and ended up sitting on the steps outside, exhausted. 

Our adventure started out in the African animals section followed by the ocean section. There were so many pictures of the beach that I tried to make myself forget about the impending doom, aka high temperatures in the 20s, for this week. We ventured through and saw Rexy and the head that asks for gum in the movie. I was on guard for Teddy Roosevelt or someone to come up beside me and strike up a conversation, but that didn’t happen. 

When the day was over, my friends and I decided that we need to make separate bucket lists: outdoor and indoor. So, if you have any suggestions, hit me up!!

And since I’m nice, here’s a link to my Facebook album for pictures from my first week in the city. 

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.10151383401381520.517853.516996519&type=1

 

 

Time

Well, this past weekend has been anything but restful. Here’s a little rundown. After I got off work on Friday, two of my roommates and I went to the Museum of Modern Art to watch a film required for class. We didn’t expect for many people to be there, but we were wrong. After getting our free ticket and walking to where the film was, we discovered the wait was two hours long. At this point, it was definitely supper time because our stomachs were growling so loud. So, we went to Astro Diner on the corner of 55th and something before hitting up a place for some cupcakes. We went back to the MoMA to discover that the line was still two hours long. Since I had to work this weekend and we didn’t want to pay for it, we decided to stick it out in line. By the time we got to the front of the line, we were beyond grumpy. When we were escorted into the dark room, three columns of couches awaited us, instead of your usual theater seating. I have discovered in my week here that personal space isn’t a high priority for these people. Anyway, we finally busted out of there around 1am. When we got down to the subway, the doors were closing to the train we needed to take home. After some yelling and running, the driver opened the doors for us. So, that was Friday. On Saturday, I had to be in the studio at 12:30 for an afternoon full of basketball at the CBS Sports studio. When I walked in, I was introduced to Seth, Tim and Greg … aka Seth Davis, Tim Brando and Greg Anthony. They stayed in the room where social media tweets updates, so that was cool. After an afternoon of college basketball, which is never a bad thing, one of my roommates and I went to see Silver Linings Playbook. It was a different film and is not one of my favorites. There were some moments I enjoyed, but there weren’t a lot. Finally, yesterday one of my roommates and our RA started the day off with church in the upper West side. It was not my cup of tea. But anyway, when it was over, we grabbed some groceries at a nice place before coming back to the apartment. We had a paper due at 9am this morning, so I wrote it yesterday afternoon before I had to go back to work. I was in the studio yesterday for the AFC Championship. And that, people of America, wraps up the weekend.

Especially after watching the lovely Clock movie on Friday, I have been made aware of time. (BTW, the Clock was made by Christian Marclay. It is a whopping 24 hours long. It is composed of different clips of many different movies when the characters talk about what time it is or there are shots of clocks.) Anyway, what I realized is that time is something we always feel we have enough of, yet we find ourselves restricted by it.

My favorite book of the Bible is 2 Timothy, Paul’s last letter to his dear Timothy. Paul doesn’t write about how to preach to others or what the Gospel is. Paul writes about living life with urgency. Especially after this past weekend when time was limited, I am reminded that I must live my life to the fullest. Yes, that phrase is super cliché and appears on tons of wall art, coffee mugs and t-shirts, but it’s true. We never know when God is going to call us home. He gives us life for a reason: to glorify Him. So let’s do it.

With a busy schedule, that’s easier said than done. In New York, away from the Bible Belt, it’s so important to be intentional in my relationship with God. This city can either make you or break you. Period. Please pray for myself and the other people in New York this semester, that we may do His will and glorify Him while we’re here. And for those who don’t know Him, pray that God will bring them to Him soon.

Normal

Hey party people! I feel like my posts are so boring during the weekdays because I’m in the office for eight hours. So there’s that. But, when I left the office, I met up with my roommate and we walked to Columbus Circle to check out Whole Foods. We weren’t expecting much until we hung a right two blocks up and saw a huge glass building. In it was a mall with fancy stores. Across the street is Central Park, but we couldn’t really see anything because, duh, it’s night time. Right before we walked inside, it suddenly smelled like home … because there were horses with carriages. Also, there were some trees outside of the shopping center. Since it’s winter, there were no leaves on them. In place of the leaves were small white Christmas lights. It was really pretty.

Anyways, we go into Whole Foods and start to look around. For the record, I had no clue that it was all organic stuff so I was really confused by all the names that I had never seen before. The prices in there were ridiculous. Five bucks for six sticks of string cheese in a package. Eight bucks for a small container of chocolate. It was nuts.

Then, we came home and learned about the library the program has upstairs. And then, we came back to our apartment and cooked some Chef Boyardee ravioli. I’m tellin’ ya, today was full of crazy events, making for a super exciting blog post.

Let’s think about it. What I think is normal could be a serious upgrade for some people. When we were walking toward Whole Foods, there was a homeless person under a bundle of coats and blankets on the sidewalk. All you could see was its shoes barely sticking out from underneath. 

On days like this, it’s so easy to take things for granted. How many people get the chance to come to New York and test out their dreams? How many people get to be with a group of people that care about the wellness and safety of each other? How many people get to come home to a Diet Coke in the fridge?

It’s time like these where I don’t feel like I need God, let’s be real. When things are going smoothly and becoming routine, I feel like I’ve got it and it’s not a huge deal. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t wake up without Him willing it. I don’t breathe without Him willing it. I don’t move without Him willing it. I don’t speak without Him willing it. I don’t figure out which way the train is going without Him willing it. I don’t walk to and from work safely without Him willing it. I don’t eat without Him willing it.

When you start to break things down like that, you realize how important it is to truly live every minute of your life. No matter where you are, don’t take normal days for granted. What is normal to you is neither controlled by you nor is it the worst thing in the world. Think about it. That place could have just looked at the bare trees like what normally happens in the winter; however, it decided to add those lights to really make them sparkle.

What should we do to make every moment in our lives sparkle? Live it in His will and live it well.

Fo’ Real

Y’all, today was so cold. I’m not sure how the rest of this winter time is going to go… Okay, that’s my complaining sentence.

Anyway, at work today I pretty much stalked college mascots on Facebook, telling my boss whether or not they were active on it or not.

“Sparky’s on Facebook!” “What does he say?” “Come to the basketball game!” “Alright!”

Yup, that was the conversation, me yelling from my cubicle and her yelling from her office.

Why is this relevant? Isn’t it cool that we serve a God that is 100% real? And he’s not some fat dude sitting criss cross apple sauce.

Anyway, class tonight was a struggle to keep the eyes open. I was tired after work, and the room was at the best temperature possible. Our professor isn’t stupid, so he opened all the windows. No worries though, we didn’t see a dude get knocked out today. 

During class, the professor played clips. For example, before one he told us to watch and see how many times the white team passed the basketball. After getting some of our answers he said, “Ok, who saw the gorilla?”

What? The whole time I had my eyes on the ball, and I never saw the gorilla stroll through the screen. His point was that we never see EVERYTHING. Our eyes actually make up for things we don’t see. This only goes to prove how imperfect we are as humans. It’s so obvious how magnificent God is because His eyes never miss a thing, even though His children are all over the place.

Sorry this post is short and scattered, but it’s bedtime for Bonzo!

Secondhand

Y’all, I have never been around this many people yet feel so introverted. I don’t think that’s really the right word I was looking for, but it’s late here and I’m watching college basketball while chowing down on some milk and cookies. (If I don’t gain weight this semester, I didn’t fully experience the wonderful cuisine of New York.) Anyway, I walk .6 miles from the subway to work every morning and evening and then ride the subway. What’s amazing is that everybody just keeps to themselves, looking high and low, no where close to having the potential of making eye contact with you. 

So, what could come secondhand in the city full of people but is yet so individual? Smoking. It seems as if everyone and their mom smokes in this city. Walking back from class tonight, I had a funny taste in my mouth. I then realized that I was breathing through my mouth because my nose was running and we were walking past countless people lighting up. It’s gross. You could go so far as to say it’s inconsiderate, exhaling the nasties to the people walking all around you.

Well, that got me thinking. How will I impact those around me as I walk to and from work and around the city? Do I just want to be some blonde girl who looks like a lost little duck? No. I am here for a reason that God will reveal whenever He wants to. The options are limited. If I make eye contact with someone and smile, like everyone does in Texas, a dude could think I was scopin’ and hopin’. Which I’m not. 

My goal: I want the love of God to come through me somehow and affect people like the cigarette smoke. Not like the nasty side effects, but the kind where you can smell it all around you and you can feel it all around you. I want the lost people of this city to come in contact with my Jesus, so however I could be of assistance would be fantastic. I don’t deserve to be a part of it but would be happy to oblige if I could. Please pray that I will be vulnerable to God so He can do whatever He wants to with me and through me during my semester here.

Anyways, cool and darkly weird things happened today. I have ridden the subway three times by myself and haven’t gotten lost; however, I haven’t mastered the whole ride with no hands. Work went by quickly, and class was really fun tonight. The darkly weird happened when one of my roommates and I were waiting for another roommate in a coffee shop by our classroom before class was starting. She came in and told us she saw someone get hurt. She heard two dudes arguing; one of them threatening to call the police. The other one told him he better not. Then, she looked behind her toward the fight and the guy who threatened to call the cops was unconscious on the ground while the other took off in the cab. Do we know what happened? No. But I feel like I’ve truly experienced New York now: eaten pizza, rode the subway, saw the flashing lights race toward an unconscious dude. (We should probably be praying for homeboy.)

Mom, Dad, other people who are ready to fly up here and take me home now that I’ve mentioned that, it ain’t nothing but a thing. I survived Waco. ‘Nuff said. 

Anyways, to end this entry on a positive note: make sure you’re following HoopsonCBS on both Facebook and Twitter and NFLonCBS on Sunday. Why you ask? Because, yours truly will be tweeting updates from the West Virginia/Purdue and UCLA/Oregon basketball games on Saturday and the AFC Championship on Sunday. Let it be known that I’m not allowed to tweet the Kansas/Texas game because I was sassy about my dislike of the Longhorns, and I was still grumpy, despite the large Starbucks cup in my hand, about the Baylor loss last night.

Peace out girl scout! 

First Impressions

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

 
Galatians 1:10
 
 
Today was my first day at my internship at CBS Sports. I felt like a winner because I didn’t get lost at all and I rode the subway all by myself. I had to go through training for a certain Twitter thing, write an article on something in social media and send out some tweets about shows that air on CBS.
 
Instead of wearing Nike sweats, a t-shirt and my Air Maxes, I was in a black dress, a pink blazer, black tights and boots. Obviously, I was trying to make a good first impression with my appearance. Then, I wanted to start out on the right foot with the work I was given. 
 
Why do I try my best for a silly internship that will last a semester when I slack off on my relationship with God that lasts a lifetime?
 
Off the spiritual note, it’s real talk. I’m so tired. The roomies and I are waiting to watch Baylor take on Kansas on ESPN. Our first night of class is tomorrow (it goes from 7-10:30). 

Surfin’ Subway

While riding the subway all over the place today, I’ve discovered two different things.

1. My balance has improved and I could totally surf in the X Games.
2. Everyone on it is mean muggin’. 

The facial expression of the riders is not the disappointment that they’re riding the train, but a darn good way to tell everyone else not to mess with them. In the biggest city I’ve ever been in, it is also one of the most private. Think about all the emotional stress a person would go through if he tried to reach everyone he saw through conversation.

What I take this to mean is that I really need to be letting God’s light shine through me. At Sky Ranch, I told my girls countless times that we are called to be the light in Matthew 5. I would take them outside in the grass and have them lay down and look at the beautiful stars. Then, I would point their attentions to the moon. After asking them where the moon’s light comes from, the point was always made. The moon reflects the light of the sun. When God tells us to be the light, it is nothing we can do in our own power. We reflect the Creator of the world, the God who cannot be explained or exaggerated. 

My own insufficiency was further realized in the church we went to this morning, Times Square Church. It was massive! A man who could be besties with Kirk Franklin led worship on the piano with the choir from Sister Act bumpin’. The preacher got up and preached on John 1 when John the Baptist said to bear fruit or burn. Looking at John 15, He is the vine and we are the branches. The branches get the nutrients from the vine. That’s why He tells us to abide in Him. It was a good reminder that anything that happens up here is nothing I did but from God.

To end this entry, I’ll tell y’all all the fun things that happened today. So, after church, we went to Stardust, a restaurant where the wait staff is full of aspiring Broadway actors and actresses. It was super pricy, and two of my roommates and I got fries and milkshakes for lunch. Then, we rode the subway around town to find our internships. Then, after being on the subway for so long and realizing how many germs are there, I decided to get my flu shot. 

Anyways, tomorrow I begin my internship at CBS Sports!!

I have arrived!

Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage and something great will come of it.

– We Bought a Zoo

When I was in high school visiting Baylor, I heard about a journalism program where you can study in New York City. Even though I only applied to Baylor, this program was a big reason why I was excited about my major. Every interest meeting, I was there. When the application was posted for the 2012-2013 academic year, I filled it out and submitted it. I sent it in toward the middle of January and knew I would not hear until mid-March. During that stretch of time, the fear of failure started to seep in. I told my friends and family that I would just stay in Waco for my senior year. However, one March afternoon I was checking out the sweet shoe deals in Marshalls when an email caught my eye, telling me that I had been accepted to the Baylor in New York program. In two hours, I figured out that this was truly the chance of a lifetime.

So, here I am, after six months of the gruesome task of applying for internships. In early December, I had a phone interview with the social media department at CBS Sports and was offered the position the very next morning. With that taken care of, I had to make the transportation from Nike to professional…even though I’m chilling in my Nike sweats in my apartment right now. 

My family and I then drove to Dallas yesterday so that it would be easier to get to DFW before 6 a.m. I had supper with them and some friends from the Dallas area to both celebrate my birthday and to say goodbye to my friends before leaving for five months. I knew I was flying out the next morning, but it still didn’t really hit me. Then, as I hugged my family goodbye, went through security and turned around to wave a final goodbye, I realized that I was headed to the city that never sleeps…and I need my sleep.

The flight here was a cinch, but I was more concerned about the taxi ride. Secretly, I was hoping that I would land the cash cab and win some moneys. Instead, I had a soft-spoken driver that took me straight to where I needed to go and helped me with my bag all the way to the door.

In this apartment, I live with three other girls. It’s definitely an answer to prayer because we all truly get along. Right now, we’ve got the Packers/49ers game on the television and we’re all into it. More importantly, they all have great morals and are truly women of God. I’m excited to venture through this journey in my life with them.

The two adults over us are also great people of God. Our professor knows that God has planned for us all to be here and is praying that we only grow closer to Him while we’re here. Our RA is taking is to churches and teaching a class on how faith and jobs are truly intertwined.

Honestly, I’ve had a lot of different twenty seconds of insane courage, but I trust the One who planned this all.

Please keep us in our prayers that we not only remain safe while we’re here, but that we use this opportunity to minister to those that we could never have reached.