Thursday, June 03, 2004

Back from the Back Woods of GA

Well, I am not 'really' back yet, I am sitting in the Atlanta airport GateA16 waiting for my flight back to paradise, Pembroke Pines, FL!!! I miss my men. I miss my bed. Ok, now for what ya'll want to know. The gathering of women for the Emerging Women's Leadership Initiative was pretty good. My fears about the "rustic" physicality of the place was confirmed and it took me back to the days of youth ministry...no, it was 'that' rustic but it was rustic enough for me. 'nough said. I survived. However, the gathering was neat. Interesting women from all over, doing things all over, way out of the box and some neatly in the box but all truly innovative in one way or another. I have some great pics which I will post in album as soon as I get home, well maybe not AS SOON but soon enough after I get home. Also I will share who I met and how I thought they were so cool. Jen, Holly, Grace, Kelly, Heather all did their best and one can't ask for more than that...I thanked most of them before I jumped in the shuttle to go back to the airport and relive the ride that almost caused me to regergitate (?Sp) when I first got to "resort". There will be pics, more detail on what went on and the future in less than 2 days...Ya'll come back now ya here...

Posted on Thursday, June 03, 2004 at 04:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Ready?

Here I am at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. My brother-in-law drove me to airport at 9:15 am even though he is staying with me on 'vacation'. That was selfless. Thanks Marc. I hate to leave my family. My men...those three men Hiram, Sam and DJ...the ones that make me so happy to be alive--the ones that give meaning to my life. I am doing the airport 'thang' you know...writing this blog on the net while seated in a crowded airport. Contemplating, life as I know it right now...family, friends and faith. Aye...here I go again. When I have time to think...I reallllllllly think...deep....help can any one get me out of here...oh no...they can't...it's my brain. I am excited about meeting so many terrific women, I am scared that the "rustic" reported by Kelly to Jen (see her site www.jenlemen.com) is going to look like the campo days in my grandma's cabin on the mountains of Naguabo, PR. Please Lord, no. Ok, so I am a little vain..."too rustic" is scary for me ok! As my friend Betsy would say, "yo soy muy fina para eso". God is still working on that part with me. BUT ANYWAY, isn't it something that the journey's we need to take in our life are always alone. Without those who bring you the most comfort and joy. I miss my men terribly when I am gone. This is Sam's last week of school and next Monday he will be 7!!! I remember when he was born...wasn't it yesterday?

I am feeling a whole sort of emotions today. Maybe because I start a new job on Monday? Could it be. YES! You know that weird period of trying to get accustomed to the new dynamics and culture in a new place? I need prayer. Anyway, here I go...I board in a few minutes and will be on my way to Atlanta. As I said yesterday, I expect great things. Since the place is "rustic" I may be incognito for a few days. If you don't see me post by Friday, send out an alarm...the bears may have eaten me.

Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 31, 2004

My hope on Emerging Women Initiative in Atlanta

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Dale Carnegie

I am getting ready to leave tomorrow AM to the Emerging Women's Leadership Initiative event in Atlanta. I am honored to have been invited, since none of us ever really think we are doing anything special. We just do what we can't help but do, so someone noticed...that is nice really. And while I've read on blogs and heard others say nice things about me and trust me, again, I am honored..I want to say that it's not about me. It's about all the others that I will meet there. As I read the list of people attending, I can't wait to laugh, share, dream and yes, even cry together. Everyone is so unique and gifted. Everyone has their own story to share about the sum total of their experiences in both the sacred and secular worlds that have made them the wonderful women that they are.

It was the new blogger introduced by Jen Lemen, Sarah's site that I was reminded again how women's friendships are so important to our lives. I have had the great blessing of meeting Edna a fellow sojourner just in the nick of time for me [before I went crazy]. I have other women as friends and I long for other women in my life that are sincere in their love of God, family and of peculiar people [I am peculiar]. My hope is that in Atlanta, I will connect deeply with some and learn from all and vice versa. I believe for most of us to even want to get to "this" place, we have embarked on the journey inward. I know I did. Dag Hammerskjvld was the one who said "The longest journey of any person is the journey inward." We can't be who we are not. Faking it can only be done for a little while. I have a feeling those who journey for deeper things are done with the faking...I do not expect to meet any posers in Atlanta. I do expect that every woman I meet in Atlanta, has purposed to live their life so that people will be better off for having known them. I am going because I am more interested in them, then in me hoping they are interested in me.

I will report on what happened from my perspective but I know this is a 'God thing' so I expect "great things."


Posted on Monday, May 31, 2004 at 07:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Unlearning Church

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We had our BBQ "event" today in our backyard since most have to go back to work on Tuesday and we wanted to hang with no time line. It has been fun having the family over. One interesting thing that happened is when all the adults went out to visit an artist friend, I got to talking with my nephews and niece. In the picture, Matthew (18), my son Sam (7), Stacey (23) and Timothy (24)--they started to talk to me about the "church" and their issues with it...it is funny how when they are around me and no one is around, they actually talk to me about their stuff. The major theme that came out of our discussion is that they are not 'feelin' the church as they know it but it doesn't mean they don't want God. They have learned what church should not be and now it is time to unlearn church and learn relationship with God and others. After my talk with them I felt like this is who God is calling me to reach, young people like them, who had it with McChurch and want prophetic witness to Christ's presence in our communities of faith that are unique and transformational. It is not about copying someone else's methodology of "doing" church. Yes, we can learn from one another but we have to realize our call is unique and so is our gift and it is specific because it is for local implementation where God has planted you. Anyway, I am in the middle of doing a paper for class but wanted to take a moment to say dare to "find your own flavor" there is a generation out there waiting for it.

Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, May 28, 2004

Pray for My Friend

A good friend, Felicia Scott is in need of prayer as she had her appendix burst 4 days prior to finding out and it is a miracle she is alive today. A woman of God to this generation, she is author of Thrive 7 Strategies for Extraordinary Living. She is in the hospital now in NYC and in need of healing. Check out a recent article of her's in the NYC Christian Citywide paper, the Love Express on Cellophane Christianity.


Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 at 01:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Family

I have my husband's family over from NYC over for the Memorial holiday. We always eat alot when family is over. I also have two assignments to do for my two classes...I am in the home stretch. I am in my final core course and begin my dissertation work in the Fall. Aye..so much to do, so little time. Beautiful day in South Florida. My friend Edna got her apartment I am so excited. We have such good talks her and I and I've never had such a supportive and genuine friend. I thank God for her. I look forward to the new people God will put in my life in this South Florida adventure. On another note, I am worried about "things"...my organization [LPAC], the church plant [where will we meet to starters], pending lawsuit [when will it be over finally] BUT with all these goings on in my brain, I feel good today. There is a quote that states "Most of us can, if we choose, make this world either a palace or a prison." I choose to make it a semi-palace LOL. My nephews are outside in the pool splashing around and I really do need to go and get ready to face the world [the nail salon lol].

Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004 at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Dreams Sometimes Do Come True

Fantasiahttp://idolonfox.com/contestants/fantasia_barrino/index.htm won today...I didn't think she was the best [as I was a Latoya fan] but out of the two her performance was dynamic. Listen, she had me crying yesterday AND today. Wow. [Words to song]...Love keeps lifting me higher. Have you ever reached the end of your rainbow. Found your pot of gold. I believe! Listen, how many of us lived this moment with this 19 year old today. Young, teenage mom. Raised in the church. Made some mistakes. Today her life changes...forever. She overcame obstacles. She worked hard. She believed...she won. Maybe we don't stand on stages, perhaps no one knows our names, but as we go forth to do whatever it is that God has purposed in our hearts, we too will sing this song. Perhaps not as good. But the "I believe" moments will come. Mine came when my son stop going in and out of the hospital [I practically lived there for 2 years] and it came again when he allowed me to forgive some serious betrayals by the people closest to me [trust me I wanted to get ghetto and hurt some folks, hey I felt that but I didn't ok!], and then again when I brought my house [6 months sooner than I the year I thought I would need when I never really thought it could happen to begin with]...and I expect some more around the corner...but they are better appreciated when we go through the obstacles. I know, I know I hate to go through stuff too...dag, I wish there was a better way...but God's ways are surely not ours [thank God]. In a TV interview on ABC, she told the public, "thank you for accepting me for being me!" Isn't that what we all want? So congratulations to Ms. Barrino. And to those of you who read this...congratulations to you too...I am sure you have a story to tell and as you continue to remain faithful to God, HIS love well lift YOU higher and the angels of heaven will be cheering you on with every obstacle you overcome until His coming. Yeah....I believe!!!! Do you? Your moment is coming.

Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at 10:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Accepting our humanness

"If we deny our weakness-if we want to be powerful and strong always, we deny a part of our being, we live an illusion. To be human is to accept who we are, this mixture of strength and weakness. To be human is to accept and love others just as they are. To be human is to be bonded together, each with our weaknesses and strengths, because we need each other. Weakness, recognized, accepted, and offered, is at the heart of belonging, so it is at the heart of communion with another." --Jean Vanier, Becoming Human

I don't know what it is about me...I go to bed at night comtemplating life and I wake up contemplating life. Jeesh. As my husband would say, I need to "take it down a notch". But I can't help it. That is me. Lately, in my conversations with people everything we've discussed leads back to our humanity and how the church needs to make room for all that makes us human...the good, the bad, the ugly. It's funny because I have some close friends who always ask me to "talk about my fears" because from their perspective I look so strong and they can't imagine me having fears. Of course, I have them I tell them, I just don't go around asking people if they have a few minutes for me to discuss my fears with them...actually they would have to give up more like a few hours! But I think in going through the major dramas of my life, the acceptance of my humanity came out loud and clear. I mean, I think the universal church [and please I know not all churches are like this but most are unfortunately] does not know how to deal with their congregation's humanity. We can't always be preaching about the things that make people happy by gearing everything around seekers [so not to offend] and we can't always be preaching "you're doomed, doomed, I tell you!" So where is the happy medium? I don't know but I think we need to be addressing more real life issues even if it is uncomfortable. I talking speaking about poverty, faith and the lack thereof, what it really means to walk as a disciple, adultery, fornication, pornography, addiction and all that...and how it all again comes back to the person we are when no one is looking. We, the corporate church, are so good at putting on masks and saying [or at least implying] we got it all together that we create a bigger gap between us and those who seek Jesus through our ministry. I hate all the politics involved in christendom. Why does it have to be this way? I know, I am going on here, but these are me thoughts this morning as I drink my cafecito [coffee] with my low-carb bagel...I feel like crying. Lord, help us to accept our own humanity as we become part of the lives of others who seek you. Let us get off the high horse and pick up the towel. Help us to accept ourselves AND OTHERS as they are [John Ortberg would say with their "AS IS" tag]. Let me go now and finish my cold coffee. But I'll be back.

Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at 07:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Affirmations from Beyond

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

As I dare to go forward with this new church plant, I have received various words from others beyond my closest knit friends...why is it that we need for other people to see it in us before we see it in ourselves? I'd like to share some of these words...

Pastor Liz
We had made plans a long, long time ago to come and visit you and Hiram and the boys at your church. We always knew, ,,,,,so, like Noah, we built the ark and waited for rain. God bless you as you walk out just a little bit of your destiny. We always saw the seeds within you. You were pregnant with the beginning of that dream for a long time. God bless you and your family richly. Martin Bowman
-- Friend

"You are not what you think you are. There is a glory to your life that your Enemy fears, and he is hell-bent on destroying that glory before you act on it." [Waking the Dead p.33] -- Pastor Enid Rios Rivera [sister-in-law]

Angie says:
I'VE BEEN WAITING.......God has certainly called you to plant a church, I have been waiting for you to hear from God on the timing. You knew it was coming, but I am blessed to know that you purposed in your heart not to get in front of God. God's timing is always perfect. We love you dearly, and trust God's best for you and your family. Love, Angie I have cc'd Martin. He's one of your big fans.

Liz,

Your blog was very inspirational and warming to read. I feel like I know you so much better, even Hiram. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your precious family with us! Both you and Hiram have been a
blessing to myself and Betsy. We need more of this real life candor. Everyone has a real life story chock full of problems and issues. But not everyone is transparent enough to let the world know that they are
imperfect humans whose righteousness comes not of themselves but from God, a perfect God who does all things well! May the Lord bless you and continually guide you on your journey. Bendiciones, Frankie Gonzalez
Graphic Designer & Friend

I put this in this blog to showcase the fact that when you share your dream, God finds a way to confirm that you are not crazy. LOL. One of the key factors to dealing with risk-taking, growing spiritually, being all God wants you to be is in working on US. Individually. I have to know who I AM by God's definition of me than by what anyone or any book or author says I am. These are tools and they are helpful but in any endeavor we seek to do for God, the buck starts and ends with us and our attitude about working out our "stuff" so that we can have emotionally healthly churches. [I definitely want to be "healthier" as a leader, as there are enough out there who aren't and are doing serious damage to the gospel--healthier because I don't think we will ever arrive at healthy on this side of the kingdom]. Everything...books we read, seminars we attend, groups we go to, spiritual direction we receive--all point us back to US. Affirmations from others are great and truly appreciated but we need to be ok seeing things in ourselves even when we don't get them. Selah.

Posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 at 12:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 24, 2004

Set Up

I just got this email from a well meaning church member on behalf of another church member who is asking for prayer for a child diagnosed with cancer, his name is Darryl. He is at Columbia Presbyterian and his mom's name is Monica Roper. I just have to get one thing off my chest, people in the church GOTTA stop setting people up by stating "God is going to heal", "God is working and all will be well". Lord have mercy. I DO believe that God CAN help WHEN HE FEELS LIKE IT. He decides. Period. With that off my chest, please pray for the mother that she will have the strength to handle WHATEVER comes...because if God decides NOT to heal she is going to be pretty confused about God and his power. Pray for wisdom for this church family that is leading this women to believe the power is in how many people pray. No the power is only, has only ever been with God. Pray for the child yes for God to DECIDE to heal but if not, that the child will go peacefully without much pain [as docs have said death is eminent].

Also pray that Mom Monica will be able to find God in the midst of her darkness and still be able to see the beauty of life regardless of what happens to her son. "Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever." Selah

Posted on Monday, May 24, 2004 at 03:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)