AUTUMN IN NEW YORK
God gives the best gifts! October is one of them! I have always loved New York City, and New York City in the fall is the best! I have been there many times and enjoy the fast-paced excitement of a city filled with things to see and hear. In our earliest days of ministry, Dr. Stephen Olford was the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. He invited me to do music on his weekly television special and while he was pastor in NYC, we actually videotaped the programs at CFTO-TV in Toronto, Ontario, CANADA. However, I was also often asked to do the special music for Sunday services at Calvary Baptist. Ron and I would drive to this beautiful location (just a block or two from Central Park) and stay in the Salisbury Hotel which adjoins the church. In fact, on one of those occasions I ran into and met in the lobby the famous piano virtuoso, Van Cliburn, who resided in the Salisbury and had gifted Calvary Baptist Church with a Steinway concert grand piano. Every time I sit down at that piano I think about that meeting.
And I thought about it once again this past weekend when I was back at Calvary to solo and lead worship for a ladies’ conference at the church. The speaker was my friend, Carol Kent, and what a joy it was to share in ministry with her. Many of you know that she wrote books entitled I Lay Down My Isaac and A New Kind of Normal both of which chronicle what she has learned from the journey she and her husband, Gene, continue as they visit their only child, Jason, in a Florida prison where he is serving a life sentence for murder. If you ever have the opportunity to hear her or read her books, be sure you do so. Check out her webpage CarolKent.org. God was pleased to bring ladies to a first-time commitment to Christ during this conference. What a gift to me to be a part of this blessed event.
So, my friend Lu and I took advantage of these days in the Big Apple to do lots of walking, some sightseeing, and just a teeny bit of shopping and eating!!! [Just HAD to have a bagel.:)] The weather was picture-perfect and as we “subwayed” past lower Manhattan and through the “Village” and then continued to walk south on Broadway we recalled another picture-perfect day in the fall of 2001 when these same streets were choked with ash and debris as people ran for their lives, fleeing the devastation of the World Trade attack. We finally reached beautiful little Trinity Church and looked to our right and there it was...a brand new tower bathed in sunlight, bristling against a crystal blue sky, standing tall and proud...the symbol of so much sadness and at the same time of so much hope. It was a moving experience and if you haven’t been there you must go! What a weekend! The best of it all is that there are women who will join us in Heaven as a result of Calvary Baptist Church. It is a tower of hope, too. The Gospel has been preached there for centuries! God gives such good gifts and I wanted to share some of them with you! Check out the photos below. And visit the church if you get to NYC (123 W. 57th). Ron and I enjoy a friendship with Senior Pastor Dave Epstein and his wife, Sandy.
I hope your autumn is filled with so many blessings. Love...Diane
DIANE CALVARY BAPTIST
CAROL KENT, DIANE, LU
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