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2020 Times Square Church Holiday Event Calendar

Times Square Church Holiday Event Calendar – all virtual live streams and possible replays. I’ve enjoyed every performance I’ve attended at this church. May you also be enriched by the wonderful messages of the season.

TSC Calendar


Friday, December 18, 2020

A Youth Night Christmas

Times Square Youth

7:00PM

Online on YouTube


Sunday, December 20, 2020
tsc.nyc | Facebook | YouTube

7:00PM

Find Out More


Thursday, December 24, 2020 

Silent Night: A Christmas Journey

An Original TSC Film

12:00PM

Find Out More


Thursday, December 31, 2020
tsc.nyc | Facebook | YouTube

11:00PM

Find Out More

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Holiday Delight: Alvin Ailey’s Virtual Season!

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Paint & Praise: Your Blessings Require Work

I’ve been in several transitions this year. All big deals. One transition is moving from New York City to Tucson, AZ. I began the process nearly two years ago and I’m now approaching the final curtain call on my time in NYC. This week I’ve been painting and prepping my Harlem apartment for viewing and sale.

I’ve been so busy this year that I have not focused on sitting at Jesus’s feet and soaking in the Word. I’ve been busy running here and there, doing this and that, thinking through scenarios, trying new things, letting go of everything that doesn’t work, quitting my job in NYC, moving across the country, looking for work in Tucson, returning to NYC to manage issues, taking a summer temp job in NYC, starting a national call for submissions for a new book project, launching a pro photographer career, etc. Just stuff. But this week, enclosed within the four walls of my East Harlem apartment in Manhattan, painting and prepping it for sale, the transition became a concrete change. This process is near completion. There’s very little else to do on my end. The to-do lists have stopped clamoring in my head. It was just me and the walls. And gospel music.

And God. He just came on in.

I’ve been assuring people there is nothing I will miss about NYC once I’m gone. I didn’t want to return. In fact I was quite despondent for a few weeks when I got back to the City. The peace of the desert was simply glorious. So no, I won’t be missing NYC. I don’t plan on looking back after I’m gone for good. Neither has leaving my apartment been necessarily sentimental because I didn’t think I had made any special memories here.

Over the last few days, God has reminded me why my time in NYC has been sacred. I’ve long considered my time in NYC to be on-the-job-training for whatever God has in store for me. This is the place He chose to bring me to an understanding of Who HE IS and Who I AM in HIM. He’s been romancing me this week. Gently walking me down memory lane.

Sometimes all we remember are the hardships or the sour taste difficulties leave in our mouth. I know I’m blessed, but I rarely think on the many ways God has blessed my life. He’s given me many hardships. I remember those. He’s brought me through them all. I praise Him for all that. But the intricacies and intimacies are forgotten. He reminded me that He doesn’t only perform His Word when I call on Him. His Word is performing in my life every moment of every day. He is present always. He wanted this time with me. He wanted to end this season the way we began – with me looking to Him, focusing on Him and His Word. Seeking His guidance and instruction every morning through each evening.

The last few days have been sprinkled with spontaneous worship and deeply moving intercessory prayer. I didn’t see any of it coming. But I know it has all been by His design.

The below video is one of the spontaneous praise moments. I knew it was time to share a portion of this process with the all-consuming goodness of God. Be blessed.

Your blessings require work. Please excuse the loud off-key contributions to the song playing in the background. 🙂 The message is worth the wait. Snippet of Trust in You by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy

 

Trust in You by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy

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Song & Verse: Nothing to Hold On To & Abba by Leon Timbo

This weekend I finally spent some quality time within my congregation. I’ve been streaming, skipping, traveling, and visiting – generally not all there. Not all anywhere. This whole year, I’ve been scrambled. Doing too much. All over the place. Not able to write, or journal for that matter. Not even settled or centered enough to edit my Desert of Solitude manuscript.

Yesterday I was determined to sit in the morning and afternoon service. I was equally determined to spend time editing my manuscript after the services. I did both. It felt like a productive day. The end of the first service turned into a spontaneous prayer meeting. Needed it. Needed it all. I prayed. I released. I sang. I wrote. I hit repeat. Picked up groceries on the way home. Cooked myself a meal. Slept like a baby. Woke up on time. Got to work around the time I should (can’t fix everything in one day!).

After lunch today, I put on YouTube at my desk. Sometimes I let the gospel and praise songs play randomly. I’m able to listen through my phone headset, so not to obvious. Except, occasionally, when I give myself away with raised hands, humming, laughs (in place of shouts), verbal amens and hallelujahs. When Nothing to Hold On To came on today, I had to pause. It halted me in my seat. I stopped swaying and listened intently. I’m certain I’ve heard it before, even though it sounded brand new to my ears. It could’ve been the voice. I wasn’t familiar with Leon Timbo’s voice. The lyrics and the voice reached deep into me. There was clutch at my heart and no immediate release. I had to write it down before it ended: Leon Timbo, Lean Not on My Own Understanding. Then I headed to the Ladies room.

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven
I give it all to You, God
Trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me

I want to be beautiful.

That thought spun around my mind and the tears began to flow. They’re still flowing as I write. Life used to be so beautiful. So very lovely and full of hope. Endless possibilities. But I got stuck in a miasma of nothingness. Emptiness. Futility. Routine that bears no good fruit; only bitterness and resentment. What beauty can come from such an existence?

Yet those were the words that cracked open my heart today and released the dam of tears.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart
I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open

One of my edits last night read: “There are certainly those who are content to dump their trash into my ears, mind and life, but those same people choose not to share any measure of their joy or happiness with me. By and large, people have only chosen to sow their darkness into me, even as I attempted to sow my light into their lives. I now have the knowledge, understanding and strength to reject all such offerings.”

There’s nothing I hold on to, ‘cause I’m holding on to You.

When editing another piece titled, “For those who demand everything and give nothing freely,” I was led to add words from Luke 6:27-36. What I wrote on my draft was, He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, as your Father is merciful. This here is why my heart was in a vice grip in the ladies room. I had more to release. I hadn’t let go. I was holding on to nothing while begging for everything – for life. Fixated on the darkness, while searching for my joy and light.

I think that’s part of the reason the first line hooked me, I lean not on my own understanding. I’ve been caught in a loop and unable to see beyond the current cycle.

There’s nothing I hold on to
I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven
I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open

Nothing I Hold On To

Nothing I Hold On To
Written by Will Reagan and United Pursuit
Performed by Leon Timbo

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven
I give it all to You
God trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me (3x)

There’s nothing I hold on to (4x)

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven (2x)

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open (2x)

Abba

Abba
Written by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser
Performed by Leon Timbo

You’re more real than the ground I’m standing on
You’re more real than the wind in my lungs
Your thoughts define me, You’re inside me
You’re my reality
Abba, I belong to you
Abba, I belong to you

You’re closer than the skin on my bones
You’re closer than the song on my tongue
Your thoughts define me, You’re inside me
You’re my reality

Abba, I belong to you
Abba, I belong to you
Abba, I belong to you
Abba

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Song & Verse: Morning Medley (God Provides, Made a Way & Worship Medley)

A good day to you all!

God Provides by Tamela Mann

God provides, so why do I worry about my life
When you come to my rescue a thousand times
Every other voice it is a lie
God provides

God provides
In ways I can’t explain and can’t deny
The little that I have he multiplies
Just when I feel He won’t show up on time
God provides

He’ll come through
When the clouds of doubt rain down on you
And test everything you thought you knew
Now you finally see what God can do, for you

So tonight,
Close your eyes
There’s no more need to fight
Watch God provide

God provides
It’s hard to say when there’s no food to eat
Or what you see feels all that life will be
And will this be another year of misery, for me
But my faith, can’t survive on just things I see
And my feelings can’t control my destiny
See God I only want what you believe, for me

So tonight,
Close your eyes
There’s no more need to fight
Watch God provide

God provides (yeah, he will provide)
God provides (before your eyes)
God provides (oh, He will, He will)…provides

So tonight,
Close your eyes
There’s no more need to fight
Watch God provide

God provides (He will provide)
God provides (before your eyes, He will)
God provides (whatever your need, I know that He will provide)

God provides (yes, He’ll step right in, in the nick of time, yes He will)
God provides (He’ll open the windows of heaven)
God provides (and pour you out a blessing, you won’t have room to receive, yeah)

So tonight,
Close your eyes
There’s no more need to fight
Watch God provide

Made a Way by Travis Green

Made a way
Don’t know how but you did it
Made a way

Standing here not knowing how we’ll get through this test
But holding onto faith you know best
Nothing can catch you by surprise
You’ve got this figured out and you’re watching us now

But when it looks as if we can’t win
You wrap us in your arm and step in
And everything we need you supply
You got this in control
And now we know that

You made a way
When our backs were against the wall
And it looked as if it was over
You made a way
And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way
You made a way

Now we’re here
Looking back on where we come from
Because of you and nothing we’ve done
To deserve the love and mercy you’ve shown
But your grace was strong enough to pick us up

And you made a way
When our backs were against the wall
And it looked as if it was over
You made a way
And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way

You made a way
When our backs were against the wall
And it looked as if it was over
You made a way
And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way

You move mountains
You cause walls to fall
With your power
Perform miracles
There is nothing that’s impossible
And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way

You move mountains
You cause walls to fall
With your power
Perform miracles
There is nothing that’s impossible
And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way

You move mountains
You cause walls to fall
With your power
Perform miracles
There is nothing that’s impossible
And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way

And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way

And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way

You made a way (x4)

Don’t know how but you did it
Made a way
Don’t know how but you did it
Made a way

Don’t know how but you did it (x4)

Don’t know why but I’m grateful (x6)

And we’re standing here
Only because you made
And we’re standing here
Only because you made a way
And we’re standing here
Only because you made

You move mountain (x4)

You cause walls to fall (x4)

You cause chains to break (x4)

Giants fall (x4)

‘Cause you move mountain
You move mountain
And everything is easy for you
‘Cause you move mountain
Yes you move mountain

Mountains are moving (x4)

Strongholds are breaking (x4)

‘Cause you move mountain
You cause walls to fall

With your power (x4)

You perform miracles (x4)

My son is breathing
My son is living
My son is breathing
My son is living

When the doctor said no, you said yes (x2)

When they pronounced me dead, you said not yet, ah aha
When they called me dead, you said not yet

You perform miracles (x2)

The Worship Medley by Tye Tribbett

I Love you forever. I love you forever. I love forever. Lord. (Repeat)
Will worship forever. Will worship forever. Lord. (Repeat)
**Alternate between the two verses**
Glory To God Forever:
And we give…Glory to God. Glory to God. Glory to God Forever
Glory to God. Glory to God. Glory to God Forever (Repeat)
I Love you forever. I love you forever. I love forever. Lord.
I Love you forever. I love you forever. I love forever. Lord.
I Love you forever. I love you forever. I love forever. Lord.
I Love you forever. I love you forever. I love forever. Lord.
Will worship forever. Will worship forever. Lord
Will worship forever. Will worship forever. Lord
Songwriters: Jonas Myrin / Marty Sampson
The Worship Medley (There Is Nothing Like/Glory To God Forever) lyrics © EMI Music Publishing
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Song & Verse: Head to the Heart by United Pursuit

This song is so pure. So very real.

My heart is open wide | I will receive your light.

There’s no shame | in looking like fool | When I give you what I can’t keep |To take a hold of you

Many times on our journey with God into the Depth of His Heart and the Breadth of His Spirit, we begin to think we know the way. Like tottering toddlers, we recklessly push away the encouraging hand and storm forward in our excitement. We become so confident in God’s abundant grace that we assume we know the next move. And we begin to forage ahead on instinct, on prayer, on hope… but perhaps without permission, guidance or grace.

More than words | More than good ideas | I found your love in the open fields

Our tottering leads to a continual rediscovery – of God’s Love, Provision and Protection. Without repeatedly being confronted with the limitations of our bodies, our understanding, our feelings, our experience, our energy, our capabilities – our humanity – without constantly coming back to God’s good will and good thoughts for us, we would not grow in faith and strength or dexterity. We have to test the boundaries of our existence to even begin to understand the totality of who God Is… and to appreciate who we are in Him.

From the head to the heart | You take me on a journey | Of letting go | And getting lost in you

No matter what any given day holds for me, I trust in God’s love for me. I trust in His provision and His good thoughts for me. The details of any day may get me down or float me high, but this overarching reality keeps me moving forward on level ground.

Be blessed as you go.

LaShawnda

Head to the Heart

by United Pursuit

I open up to you
This love that makes me new
Oh may my heart receive
This love that carries me

From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you

From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you

My heart is open wide
I will receive your light
You give me faith like a child
In you my heart runs wild

Cuz there’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I can’t keep
To take a hold of you

There’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I can’t keep
To take a hold of you

More than words
More than good ideas
I found your love in the open fields

[Repeat 3x]

From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you

From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you

There’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I can’t keep
To take a hold of you

There’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I cant keep
To take a hold of you

And take a hold of you
[Repeat 4x]

©2015 United Pursuit Music (ASCAP) and Capitol CMG Genesis (ASCAP)

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ACAD – Rejection: 1 Samuel 16

David Anointed as King

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely theLord’s anointed is now before the Lord.”[a] But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lordchosen this one.”  Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. TheLord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

David Plays the Lyre for Saul

Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skillful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.” One of the young men answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the Lord is with him.” So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David who is with the sheep.”  Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.


Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 16:6 Heb him

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Song & Verse: Worth by Anthony Brown


You thought I was worth saving
So you came and changed my life

You thought I was worth keeping
so you cleaned me up inside

You thought I was to die for
so you sacrificed your life

So I could be free
So I could be whole
So I could tell everyone I know

repeat chorus (3 times)

Hallelujah
Glory to God who changed my life
Forever

Because I am free
Because I am whole
And I will tell everyone I know

Repeat

You thought I was worth saving
So you came and changed my life

You thought I worth keeping
So you cleaned me up inside
You thought I was to die for
You sacrificed your life
So I can be free

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Prayer and a song

Waking up with a song in my heart, mind and spirit is one of the most encouraging and soothing things I’ve experienced in my faith walk.

Last night I attended our weekly prayer service. I took a long way – a bike ride along the Hudson River Greenway with a pause on a park bench to contemplate the setting sun and my barren life. My spirits were low. My heart was heavy. My mind and my body were extremely tired. Eventually, due to the limited time I had the bike share bike for, I pulled myself from the bench and continued riding until I got to church. I was an hour late but just on time for the message: to ask God to move me beyond my freedom into my full purpose in His service.

I was extremely open and vulnerable by the end of that message, throughout the corporate prayer that followed, the taking of communion and the songs of praise that wrapped up the evening. Leaving the church, I walked to one of my favorite spots in the City, Columbus Circle, to sit and reflect on the city, the people, the lights, the night, and my life. All I wanted to do was cry. I dragged myself home and prepped myself for a nice retching cry to sleep.

The cry didn’t happen. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. When I awoke this morning, the words, “You are my strength, strength like no other, strength like no other reaches to me” were flowing through my spirit and humming in my throat. All I could do was give thanks for the song.

You Are My Strength

by William Murphy is on repeat for the day

Say this tonight: You are my strength. Strength like no other. Strength like no other.
Now lay your hands on yourself and say: Reaches to me.
The strength of God is reaching for you tonight.

You are my strength, strength like no other. Strength like no other reaches to me. [x4]

In the fullness of Your grace, in the power of Your name, you lift me up, you lift me up. [x2]

You are my strength, strength like no other. Strength like no other reaches to me. [x2]

In the fullness of Your grace, in the power of Your name, you lift me up, you lift me up. [x3]

You are my strength, strength like no other. Strength like no other reaches to me.

I declare whatever your struggle is, you’re going to finish strong!
Thank you for being so gracious. Thank you for being so kind.

Here’s Pastor Carter Conlon’s message from the evening: Thoughts on prayer (8/2/16) Don’t worry, it’s short and sweet (15min).

“My question tonight is: What’s keeping you from going that full distance with God? What is it that you’re afraid of? Are you afraid that provision won’t be there? Are you afraid that your message will be rejected when it’s spoken? What is it that causes you to draw back and say, ‘Lord use me for your glory… except for this… or that… or this…but for anything else, God, just use me for your glory?'”

“The problem is that you want to come out of something but you don’t necessarily want to go in… to what God has for you. You just want to stop halfway. You just want to say, ‘I was set free’ for the rest of your life, but you don’t want to be used of God to set others free.”

Reference scripture: Acts 8, 9, 10

Be blessed as you go and remember to be a blessing.

LaShawnda

I love you, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so I shall be saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of perdition assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

~ Psalm 18, 1-6 (NRSV)

 

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Prince on Larry King: Sharing Hope and Wisdom

This is truly a phenomenal interview. I’ve never viewed Prince as a particularly spiritually-minded individual, but he very clearly knew his Source and Provider. It’s very interesting to listen to how he processed and manifested his belief and balanced it with a demanding public image.