Saturday, March 21, 2009

Greater Things Have Yet To Come, Greater Things Are Still To Be Done In This City

Went on a prayer walk with Relevant Worship Ministries in downtown Buffalo tonight, the first one I've been on in a while... probably since winter break, I don't even know why I stopped going... I guess school and life and stuff got in my way, scheduling, you know? I know, that's not the best excuse, but it happens sometimes. I'm so glad I went though, I almost forgot how much I love this city, and how God's working in it. Seriously, God just showed me so much about this city that I already knew, but now I see it in a new light, it's hard to explain, I guess it's more a renewal of my inner feelings about Buffalo. I always find myself come February and into March, saying "I freaking hate Buffalo!", not because I actually hate this city, but because I really don't take too well to cold weather, and it wears on me over the course of 5-6 months... frankly I just get sick of it. That's really no excuse to say I hate Buffalo, because honestly, I love it, I love this city and it blows my mind.
I've been sitting around waiting for spring, it almost becomes an excuse, no, it has become an excuse, mentally I'm telling myself "I'll do it when the temperature gets above 50". It could be anything, spending more time with God, dressing cute, visiting people, (like ones who live "all the way on the other side of campus") getting to the bank on a Friday after I get my paycheck instead of the warmest day of the next week, complaining about how poor I am in between. Seriously, it's like this disease I get every year. On one hand, I can say at least I'm hopeful, I guess a lot of people go through this and sort of fall into depression for half the year, but I at least no that spring will come, and that keeps me going, that gets me through, but that's not enough, like I said this shouldn't be an excuse.
The prayer walk amazed me though, no, actually God amazed me, and the crazy part is, I didn't expect him too, at least not there. I mean, God definitely always shows up at prayer walks, which is amazing in itself, but I guess they've become sort of predictable. Go to the same places, pray for the same things, hope to catch a glimmer of what seems like snail-pace progress. Honestly there's been times where I've wanted to say "God! What are you waiting for? Just revive this place already!". What I failed to see in these moments is that he is.
We focused our prayers this evening on this upcoming summer's outreach at Thursday in the Square (for those of you that are not familiar with Buffalo, this is a weekly free summer concert series, that has become another excuse to get drunk for most of this city) Relevant did some pretty amazing things there last summer and though I did not actively participate in it, I had such a passion for what they were doing and prayed for it often. I can't wait to see what God's going to do this year.
One of the most amazing parts of the prayer walk was when a man approached our group mid-prayer and told us he just wanted to share a testimony with us about how God is real. He shared an incredible story with us that really encouraged us. He told us how he was sleeping in an abandoned, boarded up house one night, and that everyone he was with had left. He was completely drunk, passed out in a tiny room on the third floor of this house when someone set fire to the house, thinking he was someone else. He explained that for some reason he woke up, even though he was so drunk he doesn't see how that was even possible. When he awoke he was trapped in the room, flames were surrounding him on all sides as he tried to make it to the door, all different parts of his body were catching on fire. He told us he stood in the middle of the room and tried to inhale the smoke so that he wouldn't die from being burned to death. He said he knew from growing up and what his parents and the church had taught him that God was real, that Jesus died and rose on the third day and that Jesus died for him. He said he told God that in these moments, told God that he believed and that if it was his will for him to die in this fire, so be it, but that he did not want to die, he did not want to die with people thinking he was a drunk and a crackhead in an abandoned house in Buffalo. He said that the fire around him was alive, and there was not even enough space to swing your leg in the small area he was standing in, but that in that space, there was no flames. He told us he had been in the inferno for about twenty minutes and that suddenly after praying, he saw a hole in the wall, just big enough for a person to crawl through, a hole that had definitely not been there before. He compared it to the burning bush, saying that the fire was all around it, but there was no fire in this hole, that he jumped through the hole and landed on concrete without breaking a bone. He gave all the credit to God, and told us he just had to come talk to us and glorify him. It was beautiful, and it hit me. I had been asking God to 'show up' but he's been showing up. I don't know what I was expecting, some sort of 'lightning bolt' to hit this city making everyone and their mother a Christian, closing all the bars, and filling all the abandoned buildings, but God's been working in a million smaller ways, all over the place. I mean if God is working through a burning crackden, where else is he working? I bet if we just looked, we could find a million of these stories all over Western New York!
I love that through this ministry we truly are a unified body. I love that we have conservatives and charismatics and high schoolers and grown adults, people from all walks of life coming together to pray for our city. We don't see denominations, we see people that share our love for Jesus and our love for this city. Our prayers encourage and inspire, we lift each other up with our city, often unintentionally. God's really been showing me just how unified we are... seriously, a dozen of us went to Spot Coffee afterward and different people in our group separately knew at least 3 different people in another group of Christians. It was crazy, we all joked "only in Buffalo" and perhaps that's true. Sometimes I feel like I know every other Christian in Buffalo though the few ministries I'm involved in, I'm always finding these weird, random connections, the kind God sets up. My roommate connected with an old friend of hers from a previous college and found out she goes to our church. One of the girls we sat with shared an amazing testimony about how she left school for a semester as a result of God's working in her life. It has dawned on me that God is this automatic bond that brings people together, I already knew this, but it's suddenly become more real to me, like I see him as this glue that holds the body together, overcoming race, class, gender, denomination, political views, age, everything! and he's using that in Buffalo! He's using that to bring us together and change this city!!
I could go on and on, but everything just connects together and falls into place for me here, I can't imagine it happening anywhere else. I can't imagine any other way to find warmth and light in this seemingly endless winters, I can't imagine leaving, at least not forever, I might miss what God's going to do!

Top Image Credit: The Buffalo Alphabet Project - Faces Of Buffalo
Bottom Image: Me :p
For more on Relevant's Ministry, check out their facebook page

Monday, March 16, 2009

Emo Cow

Pretty funny in a stupid sort of way. Worth checking out if you know someone in the scene and don't mind swearing (this is the only one that didn't swear... haha and it WOULD be a dashboard lyric... not that I listen to Dashboard and would like know or anything... :p)
...and I just brought the IQ level of my blog down by like fifty points...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Oh, The Beach

One of my favorite things to do is go to the beach and take pictures. I love looking out on the lake on my city, the place where I live and serve, the place that I can't explain why I love, but I do, the place I pray for and see this weird amazing hope for, and it looks so lovely from across the lake. It's also a great place to reminisce, to dream of summer days and late summer nights with friends, when life seemed simpler. Day, night, summer, winter, rain, sun, the beach is always beautiful. There's something amazing about it in the winter though (yes, it's still winter in Buffalo) When the lake is frozen, blue and still, when driftwood and snow mixed with sand pile up on the beach.
Today was the first real warm day we've had, it was gorgeous and after church roomie and I stopped at the beach on the way home, it was lovely, there was a little patch of sand in the middle of the beach between the two snowbanks, (which have melted quite a bit)
I sat on the sand pretending it was summer and roomie wrote in the sand with driftwood. We got some great shots too, it was all very lovely.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bubble Wrap

I stopped home tonight to get my mail and received a wonderful joyous package in the mail!! Punk Goes Pop Volume II!!! YAY!!! (and also, Punk Goes Pop Volume I which was free with the pre-order of the aforementioned CD)I may possibly write a review on it and post it here soon, but I barely have time to breath let alone blog these days....

So I popped the CD in the computer and listened to it as I started/finished a discussion board post for my poetry class that was due at midnight (which naturally I submitted at 12:16) As you can probably tell by my procrastination habits, this was a very stressful hour of rushing to complete an educated sounding commentary on Keat's Ode to a Nightingale and Ode on a Grecian Urn. So after I completed my brilliant, masterful work of literary goodness I wanted to burn off a little of this stress, you know, cool off before reading the last 5 chapters of Wind in the Willows which according to my professor I might as well not show up for class tomorrow morning if I don't. So, I turn to an age old, simple and joyous stress reliever, something that had been tempting me all night, beautiful, translucent bubble wrap lying on my bed next to the opened CD wrappers and US Postal Service envelope. With much anticipation I pop the first bubble, no sound, must be a dud I consider. Second bubble, no avail, I am soon reduced to clawing at the bubble wrap, squeezing it as hard as I can, sitting on it, and of course, dropping my poetry textbook on it. Not the tiniest little popping noise!! I ask you dear readers, (if you even exist, which I question often) What's the point?!?!?!? (Don't you dare give me some smart-alack answer like "to protect the CD's from the abuse of the United States Postal Service" I swear I'm not in the mood)What on earth is the point of bubble wrap that does not pop? and what of the irony that encased within this pointless plastic was two CD's addressing the genre of 'pop'? Why has a classic form of stress relief failed me, in fact causing more stress? Why I'm I further procrastinating by blogging about something so ridiculous? Is this the future of bubble wrap?
The world may never know, but for now, virtual bubble wrap shall have to suffice.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Glamour Magazine's American Icons

I'm a big fan of fashion spreads, I love it when somebody takes clothes and really makes them into art, I love it when you can really see the vision someone had come to life and Glamour Magazine has met this standard in their latest issue. These photo's are a stunning, timeless tribute to women that have really shaped our nation in the past 70 years or so. While I don't agree with some of their choices, I really think over all the project is a great collection of images and fashion. Some of my favorites include:

Alexis Bledel as Rosie the Riveter I think Alexis Bledel is beautiful, she's got a very pure, almost ethereal look about her, and it's strange seeing her as someone so bold and tough, but I think she really brings something to the character of Rosie the riveter. The balance of her softness with Rosie's iconic muscle baring image really makes a statement on the true essence of a woman.

Emma Roberts as Audrey Hepburn
Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely adore Audrey Hepburn, her beautiful silhouette adorns the wall of my dorm room and I've been caught imagining I'm Holly Golightley on more than one occasion. I'm having a little bit of trouble with Emma Roberts portraying her, but that's my own skewed vision of seeing her as an eternal child from hours of watching Unfabulous with my little sister. I do however, still find this image beautiful, and a wonderful tribute to one of my favorite icons. I'm also a huge fan of the pink balloons, because really, what is more fun than pink balloons and a killer pair of pumps?

Alicia Keys as Michelle Obama Ok, I have to admit, I might have a girl-crush on Michelle Obama (we'll define girl crush later, but if you think it sounds awkward, it's really not)I just love her, she seems so real and down to earth, that's what I love about the Obama's in general, I can see the people behind the politics in them, and let's face it, the woman's got style. Michelle Obama is a truly inspirational woman, she loves and cares for her family and people everywhere, and you can see that she has genuine love and affection for her husband. I've notice many politicians wives tend to be figureheads, or married more out of convenience, society, or as their own political foothold, but they are truly in love and that's beautiful to me. I love that she also takes political fashion to a new level, something that we haven't seen since Jackie Kennedy, she is not however Jackie, she has her own individual sense of style that is classy, and sophisticated yet still daring that she makes her own. She never looks unprofessional, but never unapproachable either. I think it is really awesome that she is a strong woman who is providing a great role model for today's girl to look up too and Alicia keys does a wonderful job of portraying her in this spread, as someone who really has her own individual sense of style she was a wonderful choice to portray the first lady.

Overall, Glamour's artical is a great tribute to iconic fashion and inspirational women throughout the era's. Others include, Hayden Panettiere as Amelia Earhart, Paula Patton as Billie Holiday, Camilla Bell as Mary Tyler Moore, America Ferrera as Dolores Huerta and Emma Stone as Carrie Bradshaw. For the full slideshow of larger images, and quotes on what the models have to say about the icons they are portraying, you can check it out for yourself at

Monday, March 2, 2009

InterVarsity Blog

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Buffalo State is a super awesome growing group that I am proud to be a part of! We just put a blog up and you should check it

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