{shine} - Jeff and Alyssa


739ad53c3670dc8546fac50eb1dc9fedJeff and I had quite the adventure this past week—Philly, Connecticut, & Manhattan. (I think I’m still recovering from culture shock. I loved the east coast, but it is quite different from the west!) As wonderful as each of those places are, we were most excited for Manhattan. (Jeff LOVES Manhattan. He tells me every month we should move there!)

Staying in Connecticut, we boarded a train bound for Grand Central Station early Sunday morning. Chug-a-lug-chug-a-lug. (That’s my impersonation of a train. Man, I may need to work on those for when we have kids.) “Grand Central Station” we hear the conductor announce through his speaker. We are here! As we walked up out of the dark tunnel, into Grand Central Station, I gasped. It was stunning.

As the Bethke’s do, we HIT the town! Times Square, 5th Avenue, Central Park, Union Square, Greenwich Village—granted, there’s so much more we could have seen, but we packed a lot into two days.

One of our favorite things that we did during our time there was attend Hillsong New York. Oh man. Let me paint the picture for you if you’ve never been:

Dark night. Walk up to a club (club throughout the week that the church rents out for the weekend), line out the door, down the block. Walk up steep stairs, dark room; packed room. People from all over the city gathered to worship and know Jesus. Loud, beautiful songs. Heartfelt prayers. Hands raised. Adoration. Convicting, deep, & uplifting message. Humble people who love and serve Jesus. Church. Light in the city. Making Jesus known.

Not only was I so encouraged and challenged after we left, but I’ve been chewing on the message since Sunday. I can’t stop thinking about Jesus and how He came to seek and save the lost. The pastor shared how we are in a battle—and we have to fight. We can’t just gear up and stand in the field; we have to enter in and fight. We as believers aren’t called to be comfortable and safe. NO! Jesus was not comfortable and safe. He came on a mission. We are called on mission. We must wake up every morning and pray, “Lord, I’m Yours. Use me as You wish. I want to fight for you today. I want to be used by you.”

No matter what others say about you. No matter what season you are in life. No matter your job, schedule, abilities…God has placed us where He has to be used—to love with abandon & to make Him known.

We don’t have to be qualified—He is.

We just have to be available and willing.

As we walked around the city on Monday, I was in awe of the sites, but more importantly my focus was locked on the people. The beauty of the city is that you are forced to see people- you walk everywhere & take public transportation where sometimes you are pressed up against strangers. People from every culture, various languages—all with one thing in common—we are in desperate need of a Savior.

My heart broke for the city of Manhattan, for the state of New York—for my neighbors here in Tacoma. Unless they know Jesus, they’re without hope. Whether they are wealthy living on 5th Avenue with a view of Central Park, or poor living in the Bronx with no window to look out of. And same with us. We are in desperate need of Jesus.

He knew that. He planned from the beginning to come and save us. He came. He paid the price of our sins. He rose again, reigning on high. And he is calling us to Himself. He is calling His children to go—and to share Jesus.

My heart is still heavy today, and I can’t stop thinking, “Lord, how can I make you known, how can I love people with abandon, right where I am, where You’ve placed me? As a housewife living in Tacoma—Lord, use me. I don’t want to just be in the battle—I want to fight. I want to be about Your kingdom coming—to see people as You see people, to see their hurts, their needs—to be Jesus to them.”

I know this can be a heavy message. But seriously- how can we impact the world for Jesus? We are the light to this dark world. How can we shine for Him? How can we share His hope?

From my brief time at Hillsong, I witnessed that they were bringing hope to a hopeless city. They are “killing it for Jesus” as Jeff says! Thank you Hillsong for being such a sweet example to us.

So let’s shine today beloved. We are called out on mission to make Him known, to share His hope and His joy—to the person at the lunch table who needs a friend, our elderly neighbor who lives with her cats, our classmates & lab partners, our family members, fellow employees and the barista at Starbucks.




How can you be a light right where you are at?