5 Ways to Enjoy New York City’s Waterfront

5 Ways to Enjoy New York City’s Waterfront

If you’ve crossed the “Top 50 Things to do in New York City” off your list, that’s great. I bet it was amazing. But there’s so much more to see and do. Start by enjoying some of the wonderful things waiting for you on the city’s waterfront.

1. Take in the New York City skyline from across the Hudson River in Jersey City. It’s a short PATH ride from the World Trade Center station. There’s a riverfront walk where you’ll have unmatched views of Manhattan (night time is incredible). There are coffee shops, cafes and affordable hotels there too.

2. Walk through Battery Park City and stroll along the Hudson River Park esplanade. This tucked away part of the city is quiet and unpretentious. The waterfront is a great place to get your steps in, and you won’t be far from the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Inside, the Lox Cafe has some of the best babka and bagel sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.

3. Go to the beach. On the subway. Did you know there’s real beach access in New York City? If you want some sand under your feet and wave action, check out Rockaway Beach at Jacob Riis Park. There’s a boardwalk, plenty of food vendors and other amenities. It’s also the only legal surfing spot in the boroughs.

4. Check out a revitalized South Street Seaport. Since Superstorm Sandy, this area has been transformed. No longer a tacky tourist trap, you can enjoy some terrific shopping, dining and entertainment at this historic pier close to the Brooklyn Bridge. 10 Corso Como is not to be missed.

5. Walk around Governor’s Island. The 7-minute ferry ride is free and you’ll be rewarded with a 2.2-mile walking loop that gives you gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan. It’s only open from May-Sept. and is a car-free zone. Enjoy!

God Is Where You Left Him

God Is Where You Left Him

Sometimes people think God abandoned them. Or He’s ignoring them and doesn’t care about their circumstances. Admittedly, I’ve hopped on that thought train a few times, too. When problems persist — or get worse — it’s tempting to wonder if God stopped paying attention to you.

I’ve learned, though, that any inconsistencies I perceive between God and myself are not faults of His. Scriptures tell me He is a rock of stability, omnipotence and permanence. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. He cares about the big and the little things in my life. His eye is on even the sparrow and He hears every thought I have.

I’m the one who varies and wavers.

When I can’t find God, I have to retrace my steps. He didn’t go wandering off. I always find Him at the place I last encountered Him. God is right where I left Him! Maybe I stumbled at one of His commandments or let doubt leak into my mind. Sometimes the cares of life get distracting. I may float off on a raft of selfishness. Or of impatience.

Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.  Jeremiah 2:32 (KJV)

Once I return to my senses and mend my broken fellowship with the Lord — by confessing my faults — He forgives me. We pick up where I left off. If I veered away because I didn’t want to obey (like Jonah), peace flows like a river again if I follow through. What a wonderful, merciful Savior we have!

Your Mind Is like a Garden and You Need to Pull the Weeds

Your Mind Is like a Garden and You Need to Pull the Weeds

I admire my friends who grow healthy food gardens. I treasure the jars of jam, sauce and pie filling that arrive in the fall. Every bite is a gift. They work hard to tend their gardens and haul in the produce. Transforming it into delicious preserves is a big job too.

I know how hard it is because I’ve kept gardens too. Some of them were lost causes. I can blame my poor results on heat, caterpillars, fungi, and drought, sure. Ahem, my friends deal with those things too. I can also blame it on a lack of expertise, which is true. But the internet offers plenty of sage advice about growing food, so ignorance is easy to resolve.

The baseline reason my gardens fail to thrive is that I fail to commit to them.

 

Beware of busy

 

I get busy with work, family, church, errands, reading … stuff. Meanwhile, the garden is out there soaking up sun and rain. It’s busy too. A week can go by and I scarcely think about it. But it’s been there, and it’s been growing. It’s great to go out on Saturday morning and see bigger tomatoes or snap peas ready to pick.

What’s not great is to walk over and see how much bigger the weeds have gotten.

Weeds are what get between me and gardening bliss.

It never has to be this way. In spring, when enthusiasm is fresh and the air is crisp, it’s fun to rip those tiny weeds out of the ground. It only takes a few minutes!

But as the weeks press on and the temperature goes up, the novelty fizzles. That’s when trouble starts. Once I decide to put weeding on the back burner for a week or two, my next trip to the garden is a bad scene. Two weeks worth of rain and sunshine turn into weeds high and thick enough to make me feel overwhelmed.

Being overwhelmed breeds procrastination. Inertia, passivity and undisciplined neglect are the offspring of procrastination. I know this too well.

As my garden goes, so goes my mind. The best time to pull negative, self-defeating, false or injurious thoughts out of my head is when they pop up. I need to do it when they’re small and their roots are shallow. If I let them go, they grow. 

 

Learn to spot the most dangerous weeds

 

Upsetness, misunderstanding, bitterness, offense, self-pity, selfishness, unforgiveness, resentment, withholding, withdrawing, anxiousness. Those thoughts set up root systems and proliferate.

If I don’t eradicate my unruly thoughts, they’ll overtake the good ones. They’ll drain the soil of my soul and ruin its fertility. My mind will get choked and fail to thrive. Emotions will overtake reason. Poor choices will be made.

Unwanted seeds can lay dormant for a long time, only germinating in ideal conditions:

  • Being hurt or mistreated, feeling hurt
  • Failing or perceiving failure
  • Rejection
  • Being oppressed or feeling oppressed
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Fearfulness
  • Dealing with difficult circumstances beyond one’s control
  • Negative peer or cultural influence
  • Believing lies

Weeds can ruin a good garden.

Last season, I actually kept up with the weeds. It was touch and go after we returned from vacation — it rained 12 inches while we were gone! The weeds were tall and I was disheartened.

My husband knows my tendency to give up when weeds get out of control. He mercifully pulled out the tiller and thrashed my weed problem. I loved those cleans rows and I love him!

I got back to my weekly weeding routine. It wasn’t long before I was rewarded with healthy plants and ripening food.

I have a routine for weeding my mind, too. It took a few years to establish and wholeheartedly commit to it, but it works.

God had a brilliant idea when He appointed Adam to tend the Garden of Eden. It’s such a great teaching tool!

Job Didn’t Listen to His Wife

Job Didn’t Listen to His Wife

Job lost almost everything — children, health and property — in a matter of days. His life is THE case study on dealing with adversity.  You’ve heard of the patience of Job, right?

Instead of caving to the agony of his circumstances, he said, “Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, ESV).

In all this, Job didn’t sin or indict God foolishly. His body was smitten with sores and he sat down among the ashes. He felt confused and grief stricken. But he refused to entertain his wife’s suggestion that he curse God and die.

He said, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10, NASB)

What was up with this guy?

How did he stay anchored to God through a psychic hurricane, tsunami, and tornado combined? What did he know that we don’t?

 

Job’s secret

 

All through his life, Job walked and talked with God. The two were friends and companions; they knew each other. And Job’s suffering opened a door for him to know God even better.

Job chose, of his own free will, to keep trusting God. He could have decided to join forces with his wife, accusing God and feasting on bitterness and anger. We all have that choice when trials and tribulations come our way.

I’ve faced it, and more than once.

In the aftermath of his disaster, Job sat silent for a week. Then he started a long conversation with some friends who had gathered around him. After that, God showed up to talk to him.

What did Job learn?

  • He recognized that his human limitations made it silly to project stuff on God. God’s ways are far higher than ours.
  • When something bad happens, he found out, some people assume it’s because of something we did. (Yes, bad things can and do happen because of bad choices we make. In those cases, there’s a cause-and-effect relationship between a choice and its consequence. A consequence might be slow in coming, but it will show up.)
  • Job found out, as righteous as he was, that he was still frail, prone to deception, and in need of God’s mercy and grace.Best of all, he found out that his Redeemer lives: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye SEES You” (Job 42:5, ESV).

The book of Job ends with him forgiving his accusatory friends and asking God to forgive them, too. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10, KJV).

 

It all turned around

 

Job journeyed through doubt, fear, and unbelief on a level few others do. He came through it with his faith intact.

Better than intact, actually.

His faith gained a depth and a richness and a stability that he wouldn’t have gained in continued ease.

On the other side of the valley, Job was a man who could be trusted with more blessings than he had before. He and God both knew that his heart was steadfast. It had been refined and forged.

And what about Job’s wife? We know that Job had 10 more children, and the rest of his life was even more blessed than before. The Bible doesn’t mention her at the end, but also doesn’t mention another wife. Can we assume she shared her husband’s happy ending? I hope so!

Job was a hero. We could use more heroes like him.

Treasure Box

Treasure Box

Father’s Day 1999

You are to me a treasure box,
And in wonder do I gaze
At the riches beyond description
Whenever the lid is raised.

Wisdom sparkles and shines at me,
God’s truth — so bright and clear,
His Word in your heart in abundance,
So much that I hold dear.

Every word of love you speak to me
Gets etched upon my soul.
I clasp it here and on it lives;
Your treasure becomes mine to hold.

I’m thankful for what you have given me
And what still lies in store.
Eternal grace, eternal love.
Indeed, my house shall never be poor!

Epilogue: My father passed away less than a month after I gave him this poem for Father’s Day. Mark Sheagley lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 56. I miss him but am so grateful for his legacy of faith in God.