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Episode #41 – Cross Roads in Central Park

September 30, 2007

with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow

(J)  Well, Martha, we can say that the fall has not found New York yet.  We didn’t bring it with us because we don’t have it in Georgia either, but I have to believe that it’s as hot if not hotter, you know.  It’s just, because of all the concrete and everything like that, we don’t have the breeze.
(M)  But we have found our way to Central Park, the oasis of New York, which we love Central Park.  I think we stumbled upon some of God’s purpose, John, on our way.
(J)  Let’s hear about it.
(M)  Ok.  We were walking down Fifth Avenue.  New, today was the funeral of two fire-fighters that died in the fire two days ago at the World Trade Center, a wrecked area.  Our friend in New York had warned us that the streets would be blocked.  Well, we started passing thousands and thousands of…
(J)  I couldn’t believe how many there were.  There were just gazillions of fire-fighters.
(M)  The city of New York fire-fighters that had come to the funeral.  Oh, it was just so touching.  And then we came to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and over the loud speaker was the funeral service.
(J)  Right.  Right.  Right.
(M)  …out into the streets because all the officers were in the streets.  We passed the truck that had the flowers for the funeral.  We passed the hearse and it just became so poignant.  We both were about in tears.  And the prayers… we listened to a bit and we just kept walking.  And I was just so moved that all these men on the street in their dress blues were willing to die for the safety of others.  Frankly, John, I have to tell you.  It broke my heart that so many men and women, who are believers, will not die for the Lord in the smallest everyday matters.  Oh, it just…  I thought, God, what’s wrong with us that we do not know the cross?  These men go in knowing they could die and these two beautiful young men died in the fire and that’s their job.
(J)  This is their daily experience of life.
(M)  Yes.  Yes, their daily counting the cost and we as believers will not give up a single right.  I’m just exercised about it.  So, we continue to walk and be in awe.  I passed a soldier and an Army man and a fire fighter chatting together and I thought, there they are, those who are willing to go into service and those who are willing to serve in the cities.
(J)  Men with a cause.
(M)  Men with a cause and a willingness to lay down their lives.  And it makes them noble, just that, and they’re dying for history and people and cities and national causes.  And we need to know the cross for the Lord.  We need to die daily as we’re commanded to do.  And so, there is nothing else that causes us to lose the Lord except the cross.  The cross is the cross.  It’s the cross-roads for every person.
(J)  Sure.  Sure.
(M)  And the willingness to die is what we are called to do.  We have so little, really, crisis and the cost He asks us to pay is so miniscule, so little.  We are reformatting the website and one of the things we have in our logo is the cross hidden in the word Shulamite.  I told John I want the cross to be in us, not a banner of some kind, but in us every day. 
(J)  It’s the hidden life.  It’s the life that no one else knows.  It’s the people that don’t get to see what your cross is or what you’re dying to, you know.  People very close to you might see it, but you know something?  That’s between you and the Lord. 
(M)  There are a few people will write me every now and then and say I can’t imagine the price you pay for the revelation you have.  And those are people know the cross anyway. 
(J)  They’re smelling the cross in you.
(M)  Yeah, but we’ve come to love the cross, haven’t we John?  We love the resurrection on the other side of it too.
(J)  That’s right.  It’s life. 
(M)  So we walked on and we came to an Apple Computer store, which is fun and we’re very much Apple people.  So we go inside and there is a New York fire fighter that wanders in to hear a teaching on the new IPhone.  And I said, John, John, I wish I had a thousand one hundred dollar bills and I would go give them, pass them out down the road to these fire fighters.  And then I thought I do have one.  I have one with me.  And I don’t tell this because I don’t think it’s even generous and it doesn’t really matter.  But I just want…  I just in this experience I have come to appreciate New York as a real heart of our nation, John.  We disdain it sometimes because we love to come.  We love to go home, because we live in such beauty and such a rural area.  But New York is America.
(J)  Yeah, and it really is.
(M)  It is a heart of America.  The enemies know that so they struck at the heart.  So I came through that whole experience with a new love for New York.  But anyway, I wrote on a little card and got a hundred dollar bill and gave it to the fire fighter there and just walked away.  And that was such fun. 
(J)  It was.  And he didn’t know at first.  And I looked back at him and then he recognized what you did and then he just was like going, oh my gosh what did you do?  He was looking, you know, with a big smile on his face, not, you know…  It was just natural.
(M)  I hope it was joy.  It’s nothing.  A hundred dollars is nothing, just nothing.
(J)  Here it’s lunch.
(M)  Right.  One . For one.  And if I’d had more it would have been such fun to give more.  So that’s our purpose for here is…
(J)  Well, the purpose till we know it right this minute.  It’s only coming on noon and we have another seven hours before we leave to go to Belfast, well Dublin.
(M)  Yeah.  So we’ll continue our journey and take you with us on it.  We’re sitting here in front of a beautiful lake in the middle, skyscrapers towering over behind it and a white swan.  What was that?  A little rat that ran out?…
(J)  Sh! Sh!
(M) Ok, back to the beauty.  (Mega laughter!)  Well, we’ve never been here in the heat of summer…
(J)  All creatures great and small…
(M)  Well, I think he saw us and ran.
(J)  Oh yeah!  I’m glad that he wasn’t in my hotel bed last night.
(M)  We’re kind of the country mouse come to the city.  Do you know that children’s story? 
(J)  I do know that one.  That was the city mouse coming to the country.
(M)  There you go.  And we are the country mouse because we go around taking pictures just like children aren’t we in the city.  So we don’t care if we look like…what?  Hicks?  But God bless New York City.  God bless the people here, and God bless His move of the Spirit here, which is really really huge.  Those who will stay here and serve, God bless them.  Those who will serve Christ here, God bless them.  God keep them and God keep this place that You established, that belongs to You.
(J)  Yeah.  It’s a…  I mean it’s amazing…
(M)  Well, you go down the street and you hear all kind of languages.  You see all kind of creatures great and small, and human creatures great and small.  It is a melting pot.  It really is.  And I come here to enjoy what I enjoy, occasionally.  But, I’m leaving with a different sense.
(J)  There’s a backbone to this place and the backbone is, you know, not every time.  People don’t know what the backbone is, but it’s the people that are serving to make this place run.  Let me tell you something.  If you think of just sewage and sanitation alone, that makes this place run. 
(M)  And we have the benefits of the financial structure that’s here and all the…  We’re having lunch with one of… an analyst of money in this country.  This is huge on any scale.  It’s a huge financial center and the enemy knew to hit that. 
(J)  Nature is coming to us.  We just saw two large warf-rats running..
(M)  …playing…
(J)  ..playing…
(M)  …jumping in the sidewalk and playing quite at home. 
(J)  Quite unaware of us.  (Laughter)
(M)  Okeydokey!!!
(J)  I think it’s time to leave Central Park and go to the restaurant with air conditioning.
(M)  There you go.

(Martha and John have returned from their trip from Europe)
(J)  Well, Martha, we’re back from Europe now and we’re now only discovering what exactly happened at the beginning of the trip when we were stranded so to speak in New York.  And so as an addendum to this podcast that we did in Central Park, we now are in air conditioning and away from warf-rats and so we wanted to let everybody know the miracle that really went on.  And the reason why we were stranded and the reason why it was so important that praise and thanksgiving went up from that situation, that He was doing something.  He needed that response to come out of us so that He could complete a work that He was doing.  And so you’ve heard a lot of what is going on, so why don’t you tell us?
(M)  Well, I can’t tell all of it, John.  It wouldn’t be appropriate, but God heard the cry of some of His chosen children and it was really a call for us to come, which we did not know.  The Holy Spirit really did a work that we weren’t fully aware of until later, while we were there.  I’m just at this moment quite stunned at how God orchestrated that whole thing.  He delayed the plane in such a way that our expenses were covered.  It was a divine intervention.  I can’t tell the story, only to say that it is an awesome story and that it was crucial that we be prepared to say thank you.  When you say thank you for a circumstance that’s inconvenient, exhausting and an interruption of plans that have been set for months, to say thank you for that is to believe in His sovereignty, and it’s to leap over your own frustration.  We really never got frustrated.  And I sat down and read and you made some phone calls and it was all very peaceful when we were stranded.
(J)  And normally I would have been, like I’ve  said, writhing on the floor.  And I was just totally at peace.  I was like, ok, well, what ever.  We’re stranded in New York.  No big deal.
(M)  It’s God’s agenda we’re on.  So we just wanted to say that there was an enormous purpose just as we suspected.  If we had set our will against God, I don’t think it would have been nearly as fruitful.  It was crucial.  And He even prepared us for that.  It’s the same thing I told about the oil of the virgins.  He prepared us the day before to respond right, and the response was thank you.
(J)  And we were perfectly ready to respond that way.
(M)  Yeah.  We were prepared.  But it’s a huge lesson in saying thank you.  I have said to say thank you when it is not a good situation it opens the heavens.  In this case it truly did.  Sorry I can’t tell the story.  It’s just not appropriate, but the Holy Spirit did quite a work, far beyond what we even knew.  And so it met a need.  A need was met.
(J)  There was someone in need and they were crying out and they were needing…
(M)  And the need was directed specifically at you and me and then we arrived, quite unexpectedly.
(J)  Nor did we have any idea what was going on.  Nor did we even know during the situation that anything was happening, only afterwards.  Had we known that there was something that was transpiring in the Spirit between God and this person…
(M)  Well I did know that the love of God was there in great power.  I did experience that, though there was nothing said about it.
(J)  But you’ve  had that happen before.  You’ve had the love of God come and we don’t know how it does, or what it does or, you know…
(M)  We don’t know how it impacts.
(J)  Right.  Right.
(M)  So, we began our trip with a great lesson.  I just hope we remember it.  May the Lord remind us as faithfully as He did that time.  We just wanted to bring that lesson to fulfillment.
 

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