Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012: A "QUIET" BEGINNING

"I wish I could get some peace and quiet around here!" I often recall (and resonnate with) my mother's remark when she grew weary of her five children (me included!).  It does sound pretty good, doesn't it? If you are wishing for peace & quiet, ask Santa to reserve a room for you at our upcoming CREATING QUIET SPACES: A 24-hour Directed Spiritual Retreat, Friday, January 20-Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Feeling adrift? 
Longing to hear from God, but can't get past the clutter on your desk, on your calendar, in your own mind?
Does your spiritual life lack the intimacy that your heart longs for and God's word promises? 
God is calling you to come away with Him.
He wants to clear the clutter, adjust your agenda, quiet your soul. 
Sounds good, doesn't it?

Here's what you can expect:
Check-in Friday by 5pm. Dinner is at 6pm, followed by an introduction to the 24 hours, including spiritual direction, girl-time, and a tour of Sts. Peter & Paul Retreat Center.
We depart to our private rooms Friday evening around 9:30. Our "quiet time" has officially begun and continues until about 3:30pm on Saturday. Experiential exercises will be available in various locations to help you to connect with God in various ways during your quiet time. We have access to over 500 acres.  Or, if you prefer to stay indoors, there is plenty of room to roam, including a chapel, solarium, library, and parlor.
At 3:30 we gather again as a group to share our experiences and pray together before heading home at 5pm.

Cost is $70 for a private room, retreat materials, and dinner Friday. The food is excellent. (We have our own chef!) Breakfast and lunch are also available at an added (low)cost, but some women prefer to fast on Saturday or bring their own snacks. A microwave and refrigerator are available for our use.

Intimidated by silence?
You are not alone in that fear. After all, the God and Creator of the universe should be a bit intimidating! But, the flip side is this: the Father-God who created me wants to spend time? alone? with Me?! Ummm...let me check my calendar: I think I can pencil Him in!!

As we come together on Friday night, the women are usually a bit curious as to what they will do with all this "quiet" time. When we close on Saturday, they are longing for more!
These are some testimonies from last year's Quiet Retreat:

~"I so needed that time to pray, to journal, to reflect, but mostly to be still. The quiet time restored in me the love that the Lord has for me—what a great confirmation! Laying all my struggles at the feet of Jesus was what I did in those hours of quiet. I have such a peace now—not answers—but peace…"
~"Many people are fearful of silence, but I assure you of this, you will be amazed at what you don't hear and truly more amazed at what you do hear. 24 hours goes by very quickly because the Lord keeps you busy praying, reading His word and whispering in your ears to teach and bring peace and comfort to your heart."
~"I loved the experiential exercises. I got so excited that I could hardly wait to go to the next station."
~"The time with God was glorious and it was like I could not devour enough of God’s word. I was like a little girl at the candy store, ”I wanted to gobble up (soak in) as much of God as I could. Although I love to eat, it was like my heart was grieving when I broke away to feed my physical body!” …REALLY! Break Away.."

As we were leaving, these ladies were all asking, "When can we do this again?"
Now is the time! Reserve a space before it's too late. Space is limited to 12 women.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snack, Shop, and Talk!

Those are the three little words we ladies love to hear! Doing them all at once is even better!

 Our Woven Women's Marketplace & Holiday Social is just days away. I hope you feel the excitement that is brewing! We are praying for God to be so glorified through this event. I believe He is absolutely delighted for us to display the gifts and talents that He has placed within his daughters. Beyond that, He is honored when we take time to get to know each other, and especially when we offer Christian hospitality to our sisters.
 
Ladies, I can assure you that you can invite your friends to this event with confidence that they will not walk away disappointed. This is NOT just another church bazaar. It is truly an invitation to friendship; a point of connection for women. The menu is extravagent and the variety of exhibits is nearly perfect! It is going to be a feast for the tastebuds and for the eyes! This event is for all women. So, invite, invite, invite and come, come, come!
Once again, the details:  
SATURDAY, NOV. 19TH
NOON - 4PM
NEWARK CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE
200 SOUTH WILLIAMS ST
NEWARK OH

Free Appetizers, Desserts, Drinks, & Door Prizes!
CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOUR FACE!
I know it will be aglow with God's grace!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Doctor's Orders from Dr. Seuss!

In the past several months, my conversations have become increasingly consumed with medical terms: diagnosis, prognisis, doctor's orders, and the like. As I confer with nurses and try to understand the needs of my 81-year-old mother, my vocabulary increases as well. New words are beginning to flow from my mouth as though I've known them all along. But I also find myself saying things I wish I hadn't said; and not saying things I wish I had. Have you been there, done that?

It isn't any wonder that the advice of a doctor from my childhood, a doctor who introduced us to a very unusual vocabulary, seems appropriate at a time like this:
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss
The doctor is ordering us to quit pretending. Be the real you. Stop masquerading about as though everything is perfect, including yourself. I love this advice, but I have to say that I also see a flashing red light when I read it. It's a warning that comes from James 1:26,
"If anyone considers herself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on her tongue, she deceives herself and her religion is worthless."
When the pressure of life squeezes in, our emotions default to old, unsanctified, coping mechanisms. Gut reactions. Involuntary responses buried deep within the haunts and hurts of our past seem to pop up like a pimple. If we actually listen to our own words, we find ourselves asking, "Where did that come from?" or "Why did I say/do that?" It's an opportunity for us to see our blind spots, to bring them honestly and openly before the Lord. And, in the midst of all this medical lingo and doctor's orders, we can come quietly before The Great Physician, allow His scalpel to cut away the scar tissue of our heart, and totally transform our vocabulary. You may not become the next Dr. Suess, but your words will flow with a certain whimsy and grace, and bring a smile to the face! 

The doctor's orders?
  • Be who you are...
  • Say what you feel...
  • Listen to your words...
  • Keep a tight rein on your tongue...
  • Invite the Great Physician, our Lord Jesus Christ to change you from the inside out!
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." ~Psalm 19:14