Freedom

Woven: Every Woman on the Planet

"Am I allowed to come to this event? I'm not in a Woven group." The answer is always a resounding "YES!" Woven is the antithesis of female cliques. My tag line "WOVEN IS FOR EVERY WOMAN" didn't seem to be working. Women aren't used to such an open invitation for friendship, and that's exactly why Woven was birthed. To express the inclusiveness of Woven Women, I was divinely inspired recently with this tag line: WOVEN is for every woman on the planet! "Divinely" inspired because it seems that God has aligned the stars and times to expand this ministry. Woven began in 1998 in one church. Soon I was writing, professionally printing, and selling my curriculum to women who were starving for meaningful relationships. Woven took a back seat as I served in various pastor positions and planted a church. Six years ago, God resurrected this ministry when I began attending Newark Church of the Nazarene. It's been beautiful to witness His purpose being actualized: "I want you WOVEN into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God." (Col. 2:2-3) The love is contagious! This small group ministry has evolved into worship events, retreats, extensive community outreach, and now our monthly Girls' Night Out. Women have experienced depth in their spiritual journey [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:06+00:00 November 6th, 2014|, , , |0 Comments

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

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

Freedom: Total Trust

Total Trust. I've been witnessing it from my window. New neighbors have moved into their winter home. A family of three. How they fit in that wood frame house is a mystery. I study their plump physique. Winter has evidently been good to them. Or is it just the way they fluff their feathers? With the snow and low temperatures, how they can they be so satisfied living in this weather? "Chirp-Chirp!" My grandbabes ask, "What's that?" This time it wasn't a new message on my smartphone. It was an opportunity to stop what we were doing, to observe the laws of nature. We obeyed the words of Jesus: "Look at the birds of the air!" We watched them flit here and perch there. We had disrupted their privacy. But if we were very still, what could we see? Lack of worry, not a care in the world. Oh, to be that free! To not even allow the weather to bother me! No coat, no hat, gloves or  mittens! Braving every and any conditions. Whatever the job, working together to get it done. They seem to have already learned the lesson I've been working so hard to embrace: Total Trust. No worries! Let it go! He is in control! matt [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:39:15+00:00 February 18th, 2014|, |0 Comments