Sunday, April 29, 2007

Trip into Manhattan
Here are some pictures of my and Martha's trip into Manhattan. I have wanted to go to Manhattan, and especially Central Park, with her for a while and it was a tremendous answer to prayer we had the opportunity.
Martha on the train into Grand Central Station.
After arriving at Grand Central Station we walked through Midtown to Central Park.

The Queen of Midtown in Central Park !

Martha on a bridge in Central Park.

Terry on a bridge in Central Park.

The engaged couple on a bridge together in Central Park!
Not only on the same continent!
Not only in the same time zone!

Martha outside Columbus Circle, just outside Central Park, as we wait for her brother to get out of work.
After we met up with Martha's oldest brother Dan we all got the subway and went Down Town. From there we caught the Staten Island Ferry and got dinner in Staten Island, kind of...
We found a little Sicilian restaurant. We had a great time but it was hard to get our food.
First, Dan got served the wrong meal. Second, after half an hour they told us they did not have the Manicotti Martha and I ordered. So I ordered the Salmon (knowing it could not compare with fresh Tassie Salmon) and Martha ordered the Stuffed Egg Plant. After another 20 minutes or so a big plate of shrimp arrived at our table. I told the waiter it was not ours, but then I remembered Dan was supposed to get Zucchini and Shrimp with his Pasta (he did not actually receive the dinner he ordered). I waived the waiter back over to the table and asked him if it could be Dan's Shrimp. The waiter said no it was for a separate order. So I brought the Shrimp up to the counter and informed a waitress that this was not our order. She apologized and had it taken back.
Not long after that Martha's Stuffed Egg Plant arrived. Then our waitress came to our table and told me the Shrimp was for me because they ran out of Salmon. I said that was alright and that I did not want the Shrimp. The manager came over and offered me a Tuna Pasta dish they were working on. I told him that I was fine and did not want anything. He looked like someone had stolen his puppy.
He then offered us coffee. Dan and I both thought coffee sounded pretty good and he joyfully and promptly brought us coffee. He seemed excited the restaurant actually had something they could serve us. He returned with the coffee. He then wondered if we wanted some desert. I was planning on ordering desert, when Dan and Martha were done, so I ordered the Tiramisu. The manager seemed even happier that there was actually food on the menu we wanted and they actually had. If only it were true.
He came back to our table and apologized but there was no Tiranisu. He asked if he could give us a couple cookies ("biscuits" for our Ozzie friends) instead. One was a chocolate cookie and other was a Date cookie. The cookies were delicious, but they were not quite Tiramisu.
When our bill came they only charged us for our drinks. It was a little annoying but it was a great time too, and the people did there level best to help us. It was too bad they did not have the food on their menu.

Martha on the ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island.
The Statue of Liberty is just over her right shoulder.
By the time we finished waiting for our food not to come and Dan and Martha ate what they did not order, we went back to the Ferry. By the time we got back across to Manhattan it was around 10:30pm and we missed the train out of Manhattan. So we walked the streets of Manhattan until around midnight and took the Subway to the train out of Manhattan.

Martha riding the "Bull," symbolic of the U.S. economy (we hope), not far from Wall Street.

Martha and I with the Bull.

Martha's oldest brother Dan whispering financial advice to the Bull.
We hope the Bull listens.

Martha by a sculpture of Alexander Calder in Manhattan.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dear friends and family,

I had planned to add another post last night, with some of the wonderful pictures I have of Martha and I in Central Park, but have lost the cable I use to transfer data from my camera to my computer. I have hunted through all my things here twice over and it so where to be found. I assume it is likely somewhere in North America. The Lord willing I'll pick up another cable in the next few days, so pictures should not be too long in coming.

I feel like I am beginning to settle back into things in Launceston. I have had a few phone calls and visits from people in the church, which the Lord has used marvelously to reorient me to the work here. Though I am settling, I just do not think I will ever feel "settled" until Martha is here with me.

Everything seems strangely hollow without her presence. I cannot find the words to express it.

While time to continue on with the work here.

Love through Christ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dear Friends,

Just wanted to quickly let you all know the Lord has given traveling mercies and I have made it back to Tas safe and sound.

Hope to post a little more later on tonight.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Little More News

Dear friends and family,

Greetings from Grand Rapids Michigan, my old home town.

I left my dear Martha and New Jersey behind this passed Monday. My days in New Jersey with her and her family were all to brief. I would like to recount some of the happenings of the previous week (canceled flights, delayed flights, given up flights, first class upgrades, had a day in Central Park with the greatest woman in the world, attempting to eat dinner on Staten Island at a Sicilian restaurant with no food, planning our wedding, etc.) but it will have to wait for a later post.

Since I arrived in Grand Rapids I have been trying to spend as much time as possible with friends and immediate family. I have had a busy couple days and more are sure to follow.

The wedding I hope to perform is Friday, DV. I am greatly looking forward to it. I had dinner with the couple last night, as it is now very early morning Wednesday April 18. It was wonderful to spend some more time with them and thank them once again for flying me back for their wedding and providing a way for me to see my dear Martha again.

I have only had a brief time for reflection so far on this trip. It had been my hope and prayer to use this time away from the SPC Launceston to reflect and evaluate the Pastoral work I have done there thus far. Though I have not had much time there have been many things passing through my mind and heart of late:

1. Some thoughts on how to improve my sermons and preaching.

2. Some thoughts on what texts to consider together with the congregation.

3. A remembering and reevaluating of what I thought were the "big spiritual
picture" and "Kingdom needs" of northern Tasmania.

4. The Dutch have been way too Theologically prideful, especially in the past 200
years, and they need to revisit the Westminster Confession, Catechisms, and the
Sum of Saving Knowledge in depth.

5. Grand Rapids and Michigan is very familiar but it is not home anymore. I do not
belong here.

6. Tasmania may not be as familiar but is home. I belong in Launceston.

7. I miss the SPC Launceston.

I could get more specific but it would take a lot more time, the thoughts are under developed, and I am not sure the Blog is the best place for the details.

I hope to depart for Launceston on the coming Monday and then it will not be too long before I marry my marvelous Martha.

Love through Christ,


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dear friends and family,

Just a quick post to let you all know that I have arrived safely in New Jersey and am enjoying some blessed time with my wonderful wife to be, however much of my mind and heart is back in Tas with the Southern Presbyterian Church of Launceston.

I hope to be posting a little more later.

God bless.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Hello friends,

I'm sorry it's been so long since I wrote. I really appreciated the birthday cards that came my way a while back. It has been a busy time, but thankfully God continues to give grace for the day.

Terry is on his way to the States! I am so excited to see him, and in God's providence Terry was able to come to New Jersey the week of my spring break from school. It is wonderful to be on break and attend to some cleaning, planning, and quality time with my fiance!

It has been unusually cold for April here in the States. Last Thursday, Friday and Sunday it was flurrying tiny bits of snow during the day. Of course, we did have some really warm days before that....

Speaking (or blogging) of weather, I'd like to share a Google video that I saw recently and found intriguing. The title says it all: "The Global Warming Swindle." The Great Global Warming Swindle - Documentary Film It's long (1:15), but worth seeing. Over the course of the video, I found myself getting angry at the cruel effects of the dogmatism surrounding the issue. It also made me reflect on how little we think through issues, letting political authorities rather than true experts form our opinions on important non-political issues. Let me know what you think if you take the time to watch it.

The rest of the week will consist of (DV):
a double date with some friends who are also in a long-distance relationship
a little historic and scenic drive with my younger siblings
a few honors events at college
a midweek prayer service
a doctor's appointment
a meeting with our wedding coordinator
a day trip to NYC
lots of talking with Terry
grading and lesson planning for school

Well, I'd better get some cleaning done today before Terry comes. My desk is in an abysmal state and is not fit to be seen... or even worked on, really.

Until next time!