Tuesday, August 13, 2013

ANNOUNCING NEW WOVEN WOMEN LOCATION...

Woven Women
Hello Woven Women!

CynthiaStiverson.com is our new home!

We are still moving into our new virtual home, but I hope you will take some time to come and take a look around.

If it looks a bit strange with lots of empty rooms, that's because we're still unpacking and setting up house.

Sooo, just be patient and be surprised. Each time you visit, I hope it will feel more and more like home to you.
 
I will update you with more info as we settle in. But, for now...
Come take a peek and tell me what you think!!!

You're welcome to visit...even when I feel my house is not quite presentable! That's just how it is with FRIENDS!

HUGS!

We are Woven!
~Cindy
CynthiaStiverson.com


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Woven Makeover: GREATER TOGETHER!!

We Are Woven, watercolor by C K Stiverson
I'm very excited...
Woven is undergoing a make-over!

You can expect to see a new logo & new look this summer...
An entirely new site.

I'm so excited.
Hope you are too!

It's all for you and for your gal-pals.
Girl, we go so good together.

God wants us to do "greater things than these"!
And we are so much GREATER TOGETHER!

Stay tuned for the unveiling,
And I promise to begin blogging regularly again soon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

WEAVINGS: In It To Win It!!

Abba Father,

I am so at peace with my life and how You are leading and how I am following,
     attempting to be obedient
and You are rewarding and I am surrendering,
     treasuring every moment, living in the present, happy to be alive
and embracing the life you have given me,
     knowing this is not the end but the beginning of a new journey
and adventures lie within my grasp but I am no longer grasping,
     I am letting go and letting You take me to places I've never been
and those places lie deep within where Truth resides
and when I allow You to do a deeper work on the inside,
     You expand my territory on the outside
and when I trust You more with the inner workings of my life,
     You trust me more with the greater things that You have long planned for me to do,
and it is no longer I who live,
     but Christ who lives within me...
and this is a running sentence
     because I am throwing off everything that hinders me and the sin that so easily entangles me and I am running with perseverence the race You have set before me,
and I refuse to run aimlessly--
     I am in it to win it!

References:
Colossians 3:15, Psalm 18:24, Isaiah 46:10, Philippians 2:6, John 16:13, 2Corinthians 11:10, Ephesians 2:10, Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 12:1, 1Corinthians 9:24-26


Sisters,
I just need you to know that I am fully committed to this relationship with my Savior. I am entering this race as one intent on fulfilling the dreams and plans God has for my life. I vow to no longer allow disobedience, insecurity, fear, nearsightedness, or negativity hinder me from believing that I am all He says I am. I can do all that He has for me to do..."I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength"(Phi. 4:13)! I am in it to win it, girlfriend!
Love, love, LOVE,
~Cindy

How about you? Are YOU IN-IT TO WIN-IT too?
If so, let's encourage one another by leaving a simple comment below or at Woven Women on FB with your commitment:
    "I'm In It to Win It!"


Sunday, April 21, 2013

WEAVINGS: uP With the Sun!



Ah! I am enjoying this Sabbath moment in my new office~
  • the freshly decorated space (my boy helped hang my artwork yesterday)
  • the more comfy love seat (I understuffed the overstuffed pillows.) who knew?
  • the Spring blooms on treetops across the street
  • the plump red cardinal viewed from above on my front steps (connecting me with my friend in NC, who shared the same view from her office window in our phone convo yesterday) ~sweetness!
  • the sunrise shining through my office window...
Ah! The Sun! That huge ball of flaming yellow, shining her rays across my face against those understuffed pillows. Enough radiance to light an entire planet, yet she feels so personal this morning--perfectly positioned outside my window, looking in as I look out. And she begins to fill the room with her presence...

And as I rest my eyes on the wall beside me, at my fave new artpiece, I read...
"She was learning the most beautiful thing of all:
by letting her light shine brightly,
she was giving others permission to do the same.
SHINE!"
And the Son speaks to me through the sun.
And together, on my love seat, on this Sabbath morning, we embrace Spring.
On the outside and on the inside.



Artwork by Kelly Rae Roberts

_________________________________________


Cindy Stiverson
I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.
 
So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author/activist Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving the Lord with all my heart and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life!
 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WEAVINGS: Setback? Adventure!


Ever get an answer to prayer that was not exactly what you had in mind? I've been praying for God to revive my adventurous spirit. This is what happened...
 
Last week my daughter and I had a joint speaking engagement in Poteau, Oklahoma. We flew from Columbus to Atlanta, then on to Fort Smith--at least that was the plan.

The plane began to shake, rattle, and roll as we traveled through a thicket of cloud cover. Then the captain's dreaded announcement. Air Traffic Control did not give clearance for us to land. We were rerouted to Little Rock "due to tornadic activity".
 
After landing, the airline announced there would be no flights to Fort Smith until morning. It was a 3 hour drive to our destination. What would YOU do?
  • Ask our host to drive 6 hours round trip to pick us up (a 3 hour wait in the airport)?
  • Rent a car and drive 3 hours through the storm?
  • Wait for the morning flight with the risk of being late for our speaking engagement?
While trying to figure out our best option, Nicole was charging her phone and communicating with our sponsor. I was running back and forth for the latest update. As I approached the gate to be sure that I had heard correctly, a tall gentleman with a Southern drawl looked down at me and asked,
"Ma'am, is that your daughter that you're traveling with?"
I said, "Yes." And the adventure began! He offered us the back seat of a rental car to Fort Smith. His company would foot the bill. He had already teamed with another man from the flight. Sounded like a good deal to me.

It felt like such a role reversal when this mom went back and checked with her daughter about getting into a car with two complete strangers in an airport! But quite honestly, that did not hit me until we were loaded in the car and driving into a hail storm.
 
In the eye of the storm, I began to question my scruples! Driving bumper-to-bumper, we began to share our stories. The driver was an industrial salesman from Nashville. The passenger worked on the Alaskan pipeline but lived in Poteau (what a coincidence?). They were so moved by our story that they could not stop asking questions. They said they had never heard anyone talk openly about sexual abuse. Who would've guessed? This was the first stop in our Breaking the Silence tour.
 
Two hours later, we stopped for dinner. By then, we were laughing and tormenting each other as if family. And we ordered dinner: family style! They shared pictures of their children, talked about their church, wives and lives. They were so kind, true gentlemen. It was obvious both men were Christian.  If we had any doubt, it dissipated when one of them prayed for our meal... and also for us.
 
As I sit here in my office, it all seems surreal. I see how God prepared the way before we even got off the plane. One of the men sat in front of me, though I never saw his face. The other sat across the aisle from him. I noticed him and even asked Nicole if we had met him earlier. She said we hadn't, but there was a familiarity that was unusual. He seemed safe. So, when he approached me in the airport, I felt as though I already knew him.
 
Not only did God prepare the way, he reassured us along the way. When we walked into the restaurant, K-Love Christian radio was playing some favorite worship songs. A reminder that he is always with us, that he will make a way for us.
 
And the bonus? That little restaurant served some of the best Italian food I've ever eaten by the most welcoming waitress I've ever met while dining with some of the best company I've ever kept. It was simply divine...a scene I will not forget.
 
Have you had any God-adventures lately? Or is life feeling way too predictable?
Do tell! We'd love to hear from you!

This song was playing in the restaurant while we shared dinner...a favorite of mine!



_________________________________________

Cindy Stiverson
I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.
So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author/activist Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving the Lord with all my heart and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life!







Saturday, April 6, 2013

WEAVINGS: Woven Weekend...The Testimonies

Woven Women's Weekend 2013
 
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser...has been hurled down.
They have overcome him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony."
Revelation 12:10-11
 
 
My heart grows weak and my voice still trembles when I speak of the response at the altar during our Woven Praise & Prayer service. God was tilling my heart, preparing my testimony weeks prior. It was a community effort. He used those close to me to remove my gravecloths and the finale of that was my message on Friday night of our Woven Weekend.
 
I invited 80+ women to do the same. Silence is golden. Their written testimonies spoke volumes as they intermittently walked forward. They did not sheepishly lay their cardboard testimony at the cross. No; they stopped, stood before their sisters in Christ and publicly displayed their filthy rags before us. Then we celebrated God's redeeming response as they shared the opposite side of their board, placed it on the altar, and took on a garment of praise.
 
That space became Holy Ground. Dismantling it was like removing a sacred burial ground. God had met us there and our lives were changed.
 
I have a box that we've been tripping over as we settle into our new home...this box contains the sacred secrets of my sisters. My Boy rolls his eyes every time we have to move it out of the way to get to the attic.
 
I'm bringing it out of the attic today--sharing the sacred--because we were not meant to be hidden. We were made to SHINE.  Here are a few of our victories!
 
 
EMPTY NEST/NO DIRECTION...PURPOSEFUL LIFE!
 


Fearful...Confident He CAN

 
Unloved, Stupid, Unworthy, Alone, Fearful...
Loved, His, Confident, Professional, Speaking to thousands

 
Struck by infertility, Trying to conceive for many years...
Now we have a beautiful 2 yr old and trying for our 2nd baby! God is good and He is hope where there is none~!

 
Constant worry and fear...LET GO AND LET GOD!
JUDGEMENTAL...With Christ's Love: ~acceptance ~loving
 
DIVORCE...WHOLENESS
 
Hatred, Unforgiving, Unloved, Lost...Love, Forgiving, Loved, Found

 
TRUST IN MEN...God Has Opened My Heart!

Loneliness, Lack of Trust, "You're NOTHING!"...
I'm loveD and a Child of God, GOD LOVES ME!!
 
 worry, impatience, pride...FULL SURRENDER!


So hard to be unequally yoked...Bring him to You Jesus!

ANGER...Forgive Others!
 
 
Worry about Family & Finances...Trusting in God, Debt-free
 
TOLD I WOULD NEVER COMPLETE ANYTHING, I WAS A QUITTER...
HAVE FOLLOWED CHRIST FOR 25 YEARS!
 
Darkness...Guidance & Wisdom
 



 
BETRAYED, Not Good Enough...
God will never leave me nor forsake me!
To God I am EVERYthing! I am His Princess!
 
FEAR: That I am Living a Life without Purpose...
HOPEFUL: Through Prayer--GOD will open my eyes because He knows I have a purpose

Sin of Lying...Forgiveness!
 
Leaning on own understanding, confiding in someone other than spouse, not putting God's will first...
TRUSTING GOD FOR EVERYTHING, RENEWED LOVE FOR GOD & SPOUSE!
 
FEAR... FREEDOM IN JESUS!
 
 
Depression, hurt, anxiety, panic...JESUS IS HEALING!
 
ANGER from dysfunctional childlife, low self-esteem...
Peace of the Lord, knowing His unending love for me even when I did not feel it
 
Broken, No Future, Unhealthy & Diseased, No purpose,
Will never be good enough to marry...
FOUND MY PURPOSE & CALLING!!
I am here to guide my family
 
 
Cruel Words and Names! Tearing down of self confidence...GOD'S LOVE!!!
  
Given up at birth--rejection, not wanted, unworthy, not loved...
Found my FATHER--
Child of God! Worthy of His Praise!!
-LOVED!


Guilt, Resentful, Anxious!, Shame, Told I will not amount to anything...
"I AM" A Daughter of the Most High! :) 

Anger, Worthless, Resentment, Judging others, Temper, Impatience...
Under Construction: Walking by FAITH, not by sight, His love never fails!!
 
 LOSS, FEAR...Find COURAGE!
 
Worthless, No one cares about me, Divorced because of me, Unforgivable...
I know God now! God loves me, forgives me. Reconciliation in progress, God helps me to know I'm not worthless--I'm special
 
Worry...Anxiety...
FREEDOM IN CHRIST!
 
 
This is a sampling. I am so very proud of these women and their courage.
 
Thank you Lord, for reminding us where we've been and showing us where you want to take us. Thank you for revealing who we are to YOU! To God be the glory forever and ever! Amen.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

WEAVINGS: Woven Weekend...a month ago??

Where, oh where, has the time gone?

Woven Worship Leader Melissa Anderson
 
I'm looking at my calendar--and my blog--and I can't believe a month has passed since our wonderful Woven Weekend. And, yes, I am belated in posting about our magnificent Saturday of the event.

As we planned the event, I wondered how we could possibly follow Friday night's Praise & Prayer Service. But God had it all worked out. WOW!
(ThankyouMelissaAnderson!!yourockedoursocksoff!!)



 
ORGANIC.
 
Woven Weekend 2013
Everything about our weekend was as natural as breathing. Friday night beautifully opened our hearts to receive exactly what God wanted to do in us on Saturday. It was the breath of the Holy Spirit that broke down every wall and allowed our hearts to melt into the oneness of His love.
 


HEALING.

Cindy Stiverson, Founder of Woven
In the morning session, I spoke about "What Would Jesus Wear?" In the story of Lazaras being raised from the dead, Jesus told the people gathered there to help him remove the burial cloths.
 
We partnered together in asking God to unbind us, to remove our burial cloths, that layer of bondage and spirit of despair that God wants to replace with a garment of praise. Galatians 5:1 became our emancipation proclamation:
"Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you."
 
 
The testimonies after this activity were spontaneous and unforced, an unfolding of hearts. Some of our women announced that they had discovered their soul mates that morning. They partnered with someone they didn't know previously and discovered they were of one heart. Beautiful!

Some were mother-daughter teams. Imagine the freedom and healing God accomplished in these precious relationships.
 
AFFIRMING.
The Holy Spirit's presence brought such peace and unity. It was ever so present in a simple activity of awarding one another with words of affirmation. There were long trains of women throughout the building, writing on each other's backs! It was a riot!

SERVING.

Our final project was putting together beautiful Baskets of Blessings. These Easter Baskets were delivered to the families of children who attend our church's after school program. Each family received a basket filled with items for their Easter meal, along with a spiral ham. They also received a basket filled with bunnies and candy and fun stuff for the children.


PRAYING.
And praying. And praying...

We began in prayer. We partnered in prayer. We prayed as a group. We closed  by praying for the families who would receive our "Baskets of Blessings".
May our prayers be unceasing...


Christ has risen from the grave...
and He has removed our gravecloths! Hallelujah! The Lord God Almighty reigns!





 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

WEAVINGS: Woven Night of Worship!



Broken.

That was the word I heard most as a result of our Woven Weekend Praise & Prayer Service last night. And we truly were!

God had been "breaking" me for the past two weeks leading up to this event. I believe Woven Worship Leader Melissa Anderson would say the same. There was no doubt He was seeking honesty, transparency, brokenness among His daughters. And that is what He accomplished.

I cannot even begin to express the wonder and glory of the evening. This photo is a beautiful representation, but nothing can capture the beauty of our God and the glory of His Holy Spirit in action. We brought our "filthy rags" to the Lord and He replaced them with a "garment of praise"!

Hearts were opened by the music, broken by my testimony, and changed by the grace of God. We tried to put it into words. The cardboard testimonies remain at the cross as a small piece of evidence of the "greater things than these" that God has promised to do in and through us.

Our hearts are overwhelmed with HIM.

"This is what Woven is!" One of my first year leaders proclaimed. "I really didn't know what Woven is, but now I do."

What a beautiful weaving of hearts; women openly sharing, caring, loving. And the good news: there's more to come! We get to spend today together.

I love you, Woven Women!
~Cindy



Thursday, February 28, 2013

THREADS: Lucy's Story

MY HEART IS BREAKING FOR OUR WOVEN SISTER LACY. Her baby LUCY was born 6 weeks premature. Her story is below. PLEASE PRAY! She has even provided the beautiful prayer following this story. JOIN THIS MOVEMENT OF PRAYER!
~Cindy

LACY & LUCY'S STORY...

My Dear friends and family, February 27, 2013.

These are times when you can’t be ashamed to ask for an outreach of help. When you have to set your pride aside because the despair is so great, and your left feeling alone on your faith. All I know, is to keep my faith in God. To keep trusting in Gods’ plan. I am calling on all the children of God, neighbors, brothers, and sisters, I pray that this reaches you! I ask that we all join together in faith, in spirit, and in prayer. The hearts’ of my family are breaking in this hard time of desperation. We are suffering heart ache for my daughter Lucy, our 17 day old, precious baby girl.


Lucy Reign Hamilton was born on 2/10/13, she was 34wks 4days, 6wks premature. She stayed in the NICU for 8days, doing beautifully, she came home on 2/18/13. On 2/23/13 around 11:30pm she stopped breathing. By the time she got to the hospital, they were able to get her heart beat. She was life-flighted to the Children’s hospital in Columbus Ohio. Due to severe damage from lack of oxygen, she was put on a respirator, it sends oxygen to her heart, keeping her alive, our baby is on life support now.


The last 4days I would not put on anyone. All of the tests are done, and modern medicines’ telling us that there is no hope. That the damage is too great. They are telling us that Lucy, this beautiful, precious child has no brain activity. Though this is going on, I will NOT stray from God, nor has my faith wavered! My eyes look to God in our time of need. Nothing is impossible with God, and the power of prayer is real and alive, and with us. We as parents have found ourselves in one of the hardest situations to be faced with. This Saturday, March 2, 2013; between 11pm-12am, we have decided to take our precious baby Lucy off the respirator, making it 7days from this horrific event.


We are asking that you to light a candle to symbolize unity, and pray this prayer with us in this hour of darkness, bringing us together as one. I pray that we unify as warriors of faith, soldiers of God, creating an army of prayer to surround Lucy! Thank you for your support. God Bless, all of you.

Pray these words with us
“Dear Lord Jesus, we come to you now in these sad times, asking you for complete healing over Lucy’s mind, body, and soul. We ask you to smile down upon Lucy, renewing her with your Holy Spirit. God, we believe in you, your son is alive in us. By the power of prayer, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we look to you now to answer our plea. With the power of unity, we bring fourth with courage and strength, this prayer, to deliver Lucy. If it is that of your will, we ask you to bring her back to us whole. Let this child live and thrive and flourish. We are putting our faith in you Lord, when hope on earth is lost. You are the doer all things. God we thank you, for your unconditional love you have for us, for you are an awesome God. We lift Lucy up to you now, in Jesus name. You know our hearts’ Lord. We ask that you touch this situation with your perfect healing and love . We thank you in all that you do. In your precious name, Amen.”

Thursday, February 7, 2013

WEAVINGS: Moving


WEAVINGS: Moving
by Cindy Stiverson

Moving.
The word conjures up images of boxes...upon boxes...upon boxes. Our worldly goods packed for protection to get to the next location. It's quite an awakening to see all your "stuff" in the form of a box. Labeled, of course, to know which box contains which stuff. Unbelievable how many boxes that requires. Unbelievable how much stuff we accumulate.
 
MOVING.
What I am getting a grip on today does not fit in a box. Label me sentimental. The emotions I am feeling cannot be stuffed. As I've reminisced on the love seat in my upper room these past few mornings, I realize how much I will miss this space. My hubby carved this room out of the attic space above our garage. We never dreamed it would be likened to a small chapel and become my office, where words would be written that would travel around the globe: my beginnings in blogging, my first published works, my Woven lesssons, my speaking engagements.  We had no idea the amount of prayers that would be prayed in this room, the immense peace that would be found here, the intimate moments I would spend with my Lord. I will miss this space. It cannot be duplicated.
 
MOVING 
I remember moving here: 42 North Highland Court. We were pioneers setting foot on new land, planting a new church. The cathedral ceiling seemed so appropriate for core group meetings, planning and worshipping before actually launching our Sunday services. Memories etched in the very walls of our home with students, interns, college professors, friends, families who all played a role in the process. We were family. God gathered us and God sent us.
 
Moving.
My "retreat room", where I fasted from civilization as I prayed and prepared to preach. The labor that took place in that room gave birth to new thoughts: God-thoughts to present to God's people. The extra special seasons of our lives when God blessed us with overnight and extended stay guests. That very same room became their respite before moving forward in God's plans. And more recently, it's the visual of grandbabes sleeping amongst the fluff of down comforter and pillows that brings joy to my heart. Oh the memories that abound in this place!
 
We are Moving.
Moving is a good thing. We are expectant of "greater things than these". We are moving closer to our children, closer to our church. We are moving forward in God's plan for our lives. We're saying, "Good-bye yesterday. Hello tomorrow!"
 
WE ARE MOVING.
 
Thereisnoturningback!

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WEAVINGS: Daily Whispers

WEAVINGS: Daily Whispers
by Cindy Stiverson

"Do everything without arguing or complaining,
so that you may become blameless and pure,
children of God without fault
in a crooked and depraved generation,
in which you shine like stars in the universe..."
Philippians 2:14-15NIV1984

I am so busted when I read this passage! I can still remember the first time I discovered these first five words: "Do everything without arguing or complaining." As pastor, I was leading a time of prayer for our church plant, when "Wham!" Someone read this passage and I was immediately convicted. Six years ago and I still remember it. How could such a small phrase carry such a powerful punch?

I'm guessing it's power comes with the fact that we seek, ask, plead, and beg God for direction. Yet, so often when He answers, it's not what we want to hear. It's not what we want to do. It's not really the answer we were hoping for. Usually, this means the answer requires US to do something, when we were really hoping for God to "Just do it!"

We expect God to reveal the masterplan. When, all the while, the Holy Spirit is daily whispering in our spiritual ears to go here, go there. Say these words to this person, give a hug to that person. Send a note. Write a letter. Make a phone call. Tend to business. We want to do God's will? Well, the Holy Spirit is sending us on a mission every day. But we don't follow through.

How do we know it's the Holy Spirit?
 
If we find ourselves arguing with that internal voice of instruction, then we know it must not be our idea. If it's something that would be pleasing to God and would share His love or further His mission, then we also know it's not "the devil made me do it" either. We can be sure that if it's the devil, it will be something very tempting that we will want to do, but we know we shouldn't.

I cannot count the number of times I have wished I had followed through on the prompting of the Holy Spirit. As events transpired, I could always look back and see that God was preparing me for what was ahead. If I had just done what He had whispered in my ear or placed on my heart and to-do list, I could have avoided many hardships and pitfalls.

In the same way, I cannot count the number of times that I followed the Spirit's prompting and was so glad I did! God is so amazing to give us a heads-up! Let's agree to "do everything without arguing and complaining". Just think of the stories we can share!

And to think that by simply being obedient, He has made it possible for us to
  • become blameless and pure
  • children of God
  • without fault
  • shine like stars in the universe
Sounds like a great plan, doesn't it?

To live at this level of obedience, we must get alone with God every single day. Besides praying and presenting our requests to Him, it requires that we also spend time listening to His requests for us. Just like any other relationship, our conversation with God requires speaking AND listening.

Ahh! I am so excited to hear what God has planned for me, for you!
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has planned for those who love him--but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit (ICor.2:9-10)."
Has God placed a God-sized dream on your heart?
We would love to hear how the Holy Spirit is speaking to you!
Leave a comment...

_________________________________________

I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.
So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author/activist Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving the Lord with all my heart and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life!
 

Monday, February 4, 2013

WEAVINGS: Prayer for Justice



This breaks my heart. Does it break yours?

Lord Jesus, show us how we can participate in your mission to "proclaim freedom for the captives and release  prisoners from darkness." ~Isaiah 61

Holy Spirit, anoint us that we may join you "to bring justice to the nations". May our heart and conscience not rest until we "see your righteousness shining like the dawn"!

This is an open-ended prayer. Will you keep it going?
Keep praying...keep speaking...keep seeking... to make a difference!

There will be no AMEN until this prayer is answered! Be the answer.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

WOVEN WEEKEND: Baskets of Blessings


We’re bringing a fresh new approach to our Woven Women’s Weekend this year at Newark Naz. Your leaders are excited: we are certain you will love it as much as we do!

The Agenda
You can begin to unwind Friday evening, March 1st at 6-pm. Come right on time for our Social Hour and enjoy some snacks just to whet your appetite, a Spring Boutique in case you’re in need of some retail therapy, and greet the girls because we want to make new friends and catch up with old ones!

A Praise & Prayer Service begins at 7-pm with our Woven Women of Worship, led by none other than the beautiful voice of Melissa Anderson. Imagine the beauty of our sisters singing, praising, and worshipping together. Now add praying to that picture! God is going to be so glorified and He will truly give rest for our weary souls.



Saturday we begin again at 9:30am for a day you won’t want to miss. A Woven Session with worship, Woven lesson, and discussion aimed to getting to know God and getting to know each other. All the while, our hearts will be woven into a tapestry of love” by the very hand of God!

A delicious Brunch (prepared by your Woven Leaders, YUM!) and more time to shop the Boutique will lead us to best closing ev-er! Baskets of Blessings will be our service project to reach out to children and families in our community. Imagine the joy of making Easter Baskets for those in need. Our satisfied hearts will depart at approximately 2pm.

The Place
This year’s Woven Weekend will be held at The Firehouse, a location of Newark Church of the Nazarene, 71 Maholm Street, Newark, Ohio. This is just a few blocks north from the corner of Grant & Williams St. There is no venue like the warmth of this space! It was built for community and you will begin to relax the minute you walk in the door.

To Register
Chocolate Bunnies & Money is all it takes to get you to this retreat~ you get to choose the amount! Pick up a plastic egg at the registration desk. Return it with your monetary donation inside accompanied by a packaged chocolate bunny. These will be used for our Baskets of Blessings! Sign up at the table in the foyer or on the Connect Card or by contacting ME (Cindy). Registration begins today, February 2nd through February 17th.

Don’t hesitate because we can’t wait to spend this time together…with YOU!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A QUOTE-WORTHY QUOTE

"Somewhere I heard a story about Michelangelo's pushing a huge piece of rock down a street. A curious neighbor sitting lazily on the porch of his house called to him and inquired why he labored so over an old piece of stone.
 
Michelangelo is reported to have answered,
"Because there is an angel in that rock that wants to come out."
 
Every person has the task of releasing angels by shaping and transfiguring the raw materials that lie about [us]....
 
How we do this...is determined by the discovery and the use of our gifts."
--Elizabeth O'Connor, Journey Inward, Journey Outward

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

CREATING QUIET SPACES: Dream Dreams



CREATING QUIET SPACES:
"Dream Dreams"
~by Cindy Stiverson

The Lord provided the theme "Dream Dreams" for our Quiet Retreat this year. Acts 2:17-19 was the inspiration behind it:
"In the last days," God says, "I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters;  your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. When the time comes, I'll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they'll prophesy...And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved."
It's true: we gathered there to "call out for help to God". We came to Him with our specifics. But He made clear that His desire was, and is, to open our eyes to the bigger picture. God doesn't want us to get so caught up in the small details of our lives that we miss the grander scheme of a life lived for Him: the life made available on the Day of Pentecost, the day when these words in Acts were spoken.

God's answer is BIGGER than our specifics.

It reminds me of a walk on the beach. I get so deep in thought that I find myself walking with my head down, staring at grains of sand and broken seashells. Waves are crashing within inches of my feet. Yet, I have to literally awaken myself and redirect my vision to the vast beauty of this immense ocean that I so love. In that moment I am always caught by surprise that I could ignore something so grand and so beautiful, the very purpose of my walk in the first place. I realize that I am so caught up in each step that I am missing the big picture!
 
God wants to open our eyes to the BIG picture.
 
There is an overarching God-response that addresses every need. It happened on the Day of Pentecost. Prior to that day, only individuals hand-selected by God and called by God had direct access to Him through the Holy Spirit. God shared His dreams, imparted visions through His prophets, priests, partriarchs, kings. But 50 days after the resurrection of Christ, God implanted the Holy Spirit into the soul of every believer in Jesus Christ. The results? Prophecy, visions, dreams, salvation made available from God to "every kind of people".
 
God wants to open our minds to DREAM DREAMS that are BIGGER than what we can accomplish on our own.
 
We go through our daily grind day after day after day. We can't wait until the weekend or Spring break or vacation. But we don't look any further ahead than that. We limit our vision. We become nearsighted. We live each day focused on the grains of sand slipping through the hourglass, watching the clock and wishing the day away.
 
It breaks God's heart when we settle for the beach and sand and broken shells. He wants to show us the beach, the sand, the ocean, and beyond.  
 
Do you have a DREAM, a VISION, a GOD-SIZED PLAN for your life? I have been amazed how few women actually have dreams for their future. It's never too late to adjust your focus. God would just love to show you the BIGGER PICTURE He has in mind for YOU!
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can conceive what God has prepared for those who love him--but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” I Cor 2:9-10  

_________________________________________

I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.
 
So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author/activist Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving the Lord with all my heart and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

WEAVINGS: Be A Friend



WEAVINGS: Be A Friend
by Cindy Stiverson

I still remember the day I walked into my daughter's second grade classroom to meet her teacher, Miss Mary. I scanned the room, determining what type of person she was and if this was a place where my daughter would be safe. My eyes landed on a poster that looked much like the image above. Soft fluffy kittens sweetly nuzzled amongst the limbs of a precious puppy and boasted a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE A FRIEND IS TO BE ONE
 
For me, this was God's handwritten-answer-in-the-sky-style of response to my prayers. I was a lonely woman. And, for those of you who know me, it's probably very hard to believe but I felt friendless and hopeless.
 
I prayed that God would send a friend.
 
Though it was 1988, the impact of those words are fresh in my mind. My marriage was all-consuming. My husband at that time was controlling, abusive, predictably unpredictable. I had to account for every minute of my time. He managed, manipulated, isolated me from friends and family. Being the people person that I am, I was dying a slow death. A pale, weak imitation of myself, the blood was slowly dripping from my body. I was in need of a transfusion.
 
I prayed that God would send a friend. Instead, He told me to be a friend.
 
This rattled my world, awakened my senses.  I turned the words over and over in my head. It seemed I was in second grade again, this seemed beyond my level of comprehension. Was it really that simple? Was it actually my fault?
 
I began to put this equation to the test. It helped regain a sense of control over my life, to take responsibility for allowing others to rob me of my independence. I stepped outside my comfort zone and extended friendship to others. A smile. A hello. An introduction. Small talk. Baby steps. All the while, carefully treading the eggshells in my home.

By the end of the school year, Miss Mary predicted that my daughter was destined to become High School Homecoming Queen. Her prophecy was fulfilled, but that was such a small speck on her spectrum of accomplishments. And her mother who modeled how to be a friend? By middle school, I was President of the PTO, slowly breaking free from the chains that controlled me.
 
In the virtual world, Facebook, Google+, Blogspot, Twitter...everyone is begging for friendship. But virtual and reality are two totally different worlds. Virtual is only a selfish, simulated, hypothetical copy.
In the real world, there are so many women praying that God would simply send a flesh-and-blood selfless type of friend. Are you that woman? Will you BE a friend?

"A friend loves at all times" ~Proverbs 17:17


_________________________________________


I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.
So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving the Lord with all my heart and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life!