Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty. I have loved this woman since the day I first knew of her. Even as a child, she fascinated me, stirring a longing deep within for "Liberty and Justice for All." Her beauty astounded me. Her majesty--I could not escape!   No matter how many times I've spied her via photo, freeway, ferry, boat, from the sky above or from the shore ~ She stills my spirit in silence and reverence, stirring my heart with a longing for more.   Lady Liberty: A sacred Mother who's values birthed a Nation-- the greatest nation ever born. A search for Purity -- Equality Liberty & Justice for All. She speaks the very heart of Jesus with her words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”   How did she become so tainted, so tarnished? Weathered by the works of human nature. Can we resurrect this Lady, this Liberty again? Can it be accomplished without judgment or division or hatred or exploitation? Can we honestly proclaim forevermore: "One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty & Justice for all". As it is written, "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." ~Eph. 5:14   Happy Birthday!  I love [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:24+00:00 July 4th, 2014|, |0 Comments

Woven: It’s Girl Time!!

I was up with the birds this morning~ they were very chipper and chirping at 4am! I couldn't help but share their joy, their songs of expectation. After a long vacation, I feel like a solar-powered Energizer Bunny! I've stored up lots of energy and Vitamin D: ready to roll with Woven Women! I've truly missed communicating with you. Last night our Woven Team put our heads and hearts together, planning for our upcoming event: GIRLS' NIGHT OUT! Monday, June 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm at REAL LIFE, Newark Naz, 24 Mill Street. We're super excited to share REAL LIFE with YOU! Personal stories, a CHORUS OF PRAISE for our Maker and His work in our lives, and coming together to PRAY for our needs and the concerns of others. At the same time, we've set some dates that you'll want to RESERVE FOR GIRL TIME THROUGHOUT THE YEAR! Here's our tentative schedule of events: Monday, June 23rd, 6:30 GIRLS' NIGHT @ REAL LIFE Tuesday, July 15th, 6:30 GIRLS' NIGHT @ REAL LIFE August/September GIRLS' NIGHT to be determined Monday, October 6th, 6:30pm, WOVEN KICK-OFF November WOVEN MARKETPLACE to be determined Friday-Sunday, February 6-8th, WOVEN QUIET RETREAT @ Sts. Peter & Paul Retreat [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:27+00:00 June 17th, 2014|, |0 Comments

I Will Not Be Silent…

I apologize for being silent. The past 30 days have taken me to Williamsburg, Virginia to speak at the Secrets Conference, then to Las Vegas for the Arbonne International Global Training Conference, and this past weekend to Washington D.C. for the End Exploitation Summit. These events have left me somewhat speechless: not for lack of thought but for lack of time to process the multitude of thoughts. This attempt feels like a tiny stab in a vast darkness, which has produced a more grandiose gratitude in my heart for the grace of God. Grace that sheds light. Grace that exposes darkness. Grace that is greater than sin. It was an honor to be the closing speaker of the Secrets Conference, to shed light on the problem of childhood sexual abuse. I was blessed to be among a team of eight presenters, each bringing a different angle and aspect of this social problem...out of the darkness, into the light. Even greater to be the speaker who's role was to offer HOPE to others. The End Exploitation Summit came as a bookend to the Secrets Conference. A group of about 200 leaders from across the U.S. and a few other countries gathered to grow in our understanding [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:29+00:00 May 22nd, 2014|, |0 Comments

White Flags: I Surrender “My Children”

  White Flags is a new series stemming from our Woven Weekend 2014: FREEDOM. I will be discussing some of the heartfelt needs that our women wrote on their flags, carried to the altar, and surrendered to the Lord. Maybe the answer to someone else's need will uncover your need! TODAY'S FLAG: "I give you my children. They are yours. You are theirs. I release my hold & control."   I remember it so well. My daughter was away at camp. I was home alone: worrying, begging God to take care of my girl. After all we had been through together, I couldn't bear it if anything should happen to her. After all, just one year prior I had lost my husband to suicide. Everything in my life had changed. It seemed I had every reason to be concerned about Nicole, she was only fourteen and a victim of sexual abuse. Suddenly I was confronted with God's response: Don't you trust me with your daughter? Wow! That hit me like a brick! Do you not realize that she was MINE from the beginning. I gifted her to you. Hmm...that put a whole new spin on things! I never thought of that, but TRUTH revealed my inner fears, [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:31+00:00 May 6th, 2014|, , |4 Comments

Secrets: Exposing and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

  Secrets: we all have them. We call them the "skeletons in our closet" of life. They stir shame, guilt, emotions that we can't control or label. We're afraid of "what others will think" if our secrets are exposed. The skeleton is a great metaphor: we feel naked to the core. But when we speak it? It loses its grip. Its power diminishes. We are mobilized toward freedom. We can overcome! The most amazing thing about sharing our story is the discovery that we are not and were never alone. Though we feel like we are the only one, we uncover the truth that EVERY one has a secret, a story; and often, our stories have a common theme. We are WOVEN into a tapestry. Threads of our past intertwine, provide common ground for conversation, for understanding our present situations. As we weave our tales and share our journeys, hope is awakened, freedom comes to light, healing is in sight. I'm inspired by you. I pray you are inspired by me. I don't know what you're specific situation is, but because of my life situations, I can empathize with you. This weekend, I'm both humbled and exalted for this opportunity to [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:33+00:00 April 22nd, 2014|, , |0 Comments

Holy Week: Love Is the Greatest

  "And now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13   "AND NOW!"... This subtle, yet dramatic conclusion to the legendary chapter of love brings us to our destination of Holy Week. Today, we still grieve the bloodied, empty cross. Tomorrow, we celebrate the empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus Christ! This trio of virtues will not only prepare us as we await Christ's return, they will accompany us there. Hope keeps us focused on God and His promises. It's not dreamy imaginings or wishful thinking. Hope is solid confidence in the Lord. Faith is hope in action. Faith is our belief in Christ. Faith reaches fulfillment when we enter our heavenly home, when we see Him face-to-face. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1NLT)." Jesus said, "Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these... (John 14:12NLT)." "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Gal. 5:6b NLT)."  Love is our motivation. Love is the greatest of virtues; the greatest commandment. Love will last forever; it is the governing and uniting [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:35+00:00 April 19th, 2014|, , |1 Comment

Holy Week: Love Unveiled

"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete,  but then I will know everything completely,  just as God now knows me completely." ~1 Corinthians 13:12NLT It makes me laugh to read the first line of this verse. I'm picturing that first-thing-in-the-morning glance in the mirror. More puzzling than pretty! That must be why I tend to avoid the mirror until I've had a cup of tea and time with Jesus. Then I'm up for the challenge of a new day in this not-so-new body.   I love this image of the bride's mirrored reflection through her veil. It vividly illustrates the veil imagery in scripture. Moses wore a veil after meeting with God on Mount Sinai, because the glory of God radiated from his face. He covered it so that the Israelites would remain faithful even though the radiance faded away.   In the temple there was a veil, or curtain that set apart a section called The Holy of Holies, where only the priests were allowed to enter. They were the only ones who could come before the Almighty God on behalf of the people.   And, on this memorable day in history which we call Good Friday, the veil is significant [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:37+00:00 April 18th, 2014|, , |4 Comments

Holy Week: Love Perfected

"But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish things behind me." 1 Corinthians 13:10-11 NIV   "Why do we suffer?"   As a pastor, church leader, minister, I have been asked that question many times. My gut reaction? "Why wouldn't we?" When I try to imagine the suffering of Jesus, I wonder how we could ever think that He should intensely suffer, and we would lead perfect painless lives. It seems I have that perfectly logical thought one minute, and the next minute I am the one suffering and asking God that same "childish" question, "Why must I suffer so? Why is my life marked with such pain?"   Today is Maundy Thursday, which seems the perfect day to ask that question. Today we remember events leading to the crucifixion of Christ: The Passover/Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples, His arrest, suffering, and trial (Read Matthew). Serving the meal to the disciples, Jesus spoke these words, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God (Luke [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:39+00:00 April 17th, 2014|, |0 Comments

Holy Week: The Lunacy of Love

Joan of Arc's Death, by Herman Stilke "If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing."  ~~I Corinthians 13:3NLT Giving. Sacrificing. Dying. For the sake of love. At face value, it may seem absurd to think that you would do these three things for any other reason. But, think again! This "sacrifice of the body" is translated in other versions as being burned at the stake. It brings to mind the early martyrs of the church. It also paints a picture, like the one shown here, of the young heroine of the Hundred Years' War in France in the early 1400's. Joan of Arc had divine visions at the age of twelve, calling her to lead her homeland to freedom. By sixteen, this peasant girl moved in her perceived call of God. Weaving her way through hostile territory, she gained entrance to the French Royal Court and landed a private conference with Charles VII. Charles was inspired by her testimony and her determination to carry it forth. Yet, it was Joan's motivation that became frontline in this battle. Was she a saint or a sorceress? The future of their country was at stake. The [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:41+00:00 April 16th, 2014||0 Comments

Holy Week: The Law of Love

  "If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing." ~I Corinthians 13:2  As we enter Holy Week, our thoughts are drawn to the plight of Jesus. He was and is The One, the long-awaited Messiah. He was the fulfillment of prophecy and He was prophetic. He understood all of God's secret plans. In fact, He was God's secret plan. He possessed all knowledge. He had faith that could move mountains. He had all of these gifts and abilities. But it was His love that changed lives. It was His love that got Him in trouble. It was His love that led Him to the cross. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, we see hecklers in every crowd: the Pharisees. It was their religious position, or disposition, to protect and enforce the law of the Jews. They were religious to a fault. They were legalistic to a fault. They imposed so many rules and regulations that the people became slaves of the law. They tried to impose their laws upon The One who came to fulfill the law. Jesus refuted the [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:43+00:00 April 15th, 2014|, , |2 Comments