A Winter Musing

A Winter Musing

“In winter, are the trees bare? Yes. In winter, are the trees barren? No.” – Alicia Britt Chole This past Saturday I woke up in the middle of Upstate New York to a chilly 24 degrees. I had driven almost three hours to be there to minister at a young adult retreat. It had been a busy season of traveling and events. And it was already the last month of the year. Somehow December had snuck up on us. It didn’t feel like it at all, but it was on full display that day with frost all around. There was a heaviness in the frigid air and a dreariness that only winter brings. I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I love the holidays, but find the cold to be miserable. Snow can be enchanting, but who really enjoys shoveling? But that’s the thing about seasons. It always comes with both the negative and the positive. When it comes to the seasons of life, there is a positive to find even in winter seasons of the soul. Much of my journey the last few years has been learning to embrace the process. But recently God has been teaching me how to take the next step beyond embracing the process to actually enjoying it. Winter shows us that God isn’t in a hurry or ever in a rush to bring forth new life. In mercy He brings a divine slowness that saves us from our hectic busyness. He has a time and purpose in all that He does. So why not enjoy it? He brings a divine slowness that saves...
Beyond the Walls of Church

Beyond the Walls of Church

by Andrew Min The essential vice of man through history has been to please himself, to bring himself joy, to accomplish his own will, to receive his own glory. But when a person meets Jesus, everything changes; the Holy Spirit breathes a miracle into their soul, the curious reorientation of their entire life, turning it upside down. In the heart of a Christian, God plants a simple, small desire, a quiet Voice, that says, “I want to serve You, God. I want to do something meaningful for You. I want to do what makes my Father happy.” Your life is no longer about loving the things that that bring yourself pleasure, but to bring pleasure to the One you love. Surrender is no longer a reluctant yielding, but a joyful offering. It’s the upside down, backwards nature of true love, the beautiful foolishness of carrying the cross. It’s extraordinary. It’s silly. It’s divine. And the worldwide Kingdom revolution is going to begin with this holy desire. But I’m frustrated by the idolatry we practice as believers toward the position of pastor. I feel like a subtle lie persistently influences our church world, a thought that most of us would never explicitly agree with yet somehow continue to propagate: a person’s love for God is measured by their involvement in church. When you first start loving God, you become a greeter for Sunday service; and then when your love for God grows, you become a small group leader; and then if you’re really passionate about Jesus, you’ll be a volunteer staff to give announcements and plan events; and one day,...
Standing in Truth

Standing in Truth

Like most people in NYC, I have a go to spot for my daily needs. There’s the one coffee shop I go to every morning. There’s the nearby deli where I get all my sandwiches. And last but not least, there’s a small window storefront that I go to for my sodas. I can’t help it, but I am a soda addict. Anyways, I go there so much that the owner and I recognize one another instantly. He knows what I want before I even say a word. We usually have small talk here and there, but nothing beyond that. This is New York City after all. Everything is about quickness and efficiency. So most times we see each other, and without a word, he grabs a Diet Coke, and I put the money out, we say thanks and go on with our days. But this one afternoon, I came to the window and saw the owner moving some things around. He then looked at me and started sharing how he’s getting older and about his bad knees. He went on to share how he needed to get some work done on both knees, but couldn’t because no one would take care of his store. In that moment I wrestled with whether or not I should pray for him right there. But I didn’t. I told him I was sorry, and I walked away thinking maybe God will give me another opportunity at the right time. As I kept thinking about it, I felt discouraged and muttered to myself that I was nothing but a coward. Wait, what? Where...
Taking Fun Seriously

Taking Fun Seriously

by Natalie Walker Our wedding was in two days. It was ten o’clock at night, and we had a million things left to do on our checklist. Yet, my fiancé and I found ourselves standing in an aisle at Home Depot debating how much we should spend on a plastic tarp, dishwashing soap, and a garden hose. The need, of course, was urgent. We were picking up supplies to create a slip and slide at our rehearsal dinner. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely confident in our plan. The wedding funds had been spent, and the details for the weekend had all been arranged. My bride’s mind began to play out every worst-case scenario that could possibly go wrong: injuries, scrapes, scratches. I could picture myself walking down the aisle to my groom, only to be met with some kind of freak facial injury because we just had to have that slip and slide. Right about the time I was encouraging my future husband to drop the soap and make a beeline for the door, I stopped to remind myself why we were doing this in the first place. We knew that the ceremony would be sacred, and that the reception would be memorable. But, we also knew that this weekend was our first chance to make a statement about who we were, and who we wanted to be, as a married unit. And, we wanted to be fun. During our engagement, my husband and I came up with a list of five core values that we hoped to prioritize and embody, one of which was fun. It’s not...
Healing Rooms: It’s Time

Healing Rooms: It’s Time

written by Josh Kim HEALING ROOM ORIGINS Just two months ago in May, Pursuit NYC launched and hosted our very first Healing Room service where we worshiped in His presence and went after physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational healing. It was an amazing time of worshiping and contending for God’s healing in people’s lives. For us as a team, it was a very special moment because we were finally seeing one of our dreams come to life. When our team was dreaming about Pursuit NYC back in 2013, and everything God wants to do in this region, one of the things on our list of dreams was contending for healing, especially physical healing. We wanted to be passionate about God’s healing because we simply believe that God is Healer (“…for I am the LORD, who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26) and He wants to heal people today. That is the heart behind the Healing Room services – nothing more and nothing less. We believe that God is who He says He is, good and powerful, and He’ll do what He says He’ll do. We believe that God is who He says He is, good & powerful, and He’ll do what He says He’ll do Click To Tweet GOD IS WILLING TO HEAL TODAY There are many people in our lives and in our world who are suffering from all types of diseases, illnesses, and injuries. I, myself, grew up with and still deal with sun-allergies. As I was growing up with this skin condition of being allergic to the sun, I questioned the nature and character of God, particularly...
Why We Need One Another

Why We Need One Another

One Sunday morning at church, I saw a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a quite a bit. All of a sudden, I was overcome with deep compassion for him. I, of course, loved him as a friend and a brother in Christ, but this was unique. As I pressed into what that was, God started speaking to me about him and opening passages from Scripture to describe where he was. Now I had no idea if these verses were relevant or not. I wasn’t sure what was going on in his life, but I decided to just share with him all of these things in faith. As I shared this with him, he had tears well up in his eyes. He responded by saying how spot on everything was and that those Scriptures were ones he had actually been thinking about recently in the past week! We were both in awe of God, and I was tremendously encouraged and thankful to be used by Him in that way. My friend continued and said this moment showed him just how much God loved him, that he wasn’t alone, and that I definitely knew how to hear from the Father. Yet when it comes to my own life and the unknowns that come with it, there are times I feel as though I’ve never heard God before. At all… That I just don’t even know how. How do I even start hearing from God? How do I even know it’s God? Do I really know how to hear from Him? And the questions and doubts go on and on. And...