Saturday, May 31, 2008

Those Who Trespass Against Us

Those of us who labor in the creative arts ministries will suffer many hurts. Many "walking wounded" are dancing in front of congregations and audiences today. The Lord is a Healer and a Redeemer. If we are injured emotionally, spiritually, or physically, we can begin to walk in complete deliverance right now.

Forgiveness is a thing that we must practice daily. Offenses must come, but we do not have to hold onto them in our hearts and long-term memories. Our ministries will be negatively affected if we do not continue to walk in brotherly love. We must yield our hearts and minds to the Lord daily, so that we may present ourselves holy and acceptable to Him.

Concerning that leader that does not offer support: Forgive them, Father. Regarding those "church folk" who call us crazy: Forgive them, Father. For fellow dancers who shun one another and remain divided: Forgive them, Father. For every ridiculing statement made against us: Forgive them, Father. For each person that does not believe that you have sent us: Forgive them, Father. For every time we have doubted, disobeyed, procrastinated, or condemned ourselves: Forgive us, Father.

Genesis 50:17 (NKJV)
‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

Matthew 6:14-15 (NKJV)
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25 (NKJV)
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

James 5:16 (NKJV)
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sticking Your Neck Out

Many sacrifices are made for ministry that matters. Often, personal finances, time, and talents are devoted to meeting the needs that are not met through offerings or church budget allotments. We become vulnerable when we have to take a risk of personal loss for the sake of the message. If we are not willing to place our treasure in a place, then our hearts are somewhere else.

The neck of the body is what the head rests on. Necks provide support and allow the head to go in its intended direction. Unwillingness to submit is what the Bible calls "stiff-necked." Many stubborn dance participants refuse to personally invest time, resources, or faithfulness to the work. We reap by the same measure that we sow. If we invest little, there will be little return.

Kings adorned the necks of honored servants with gold chains. An ornament about the neck is a symbol of honor and grace. A yoke on the neck indicates bondage. Our actions as dance ministers can result in a reward or a burden. How we handle the work of the Lord will be returned to us. Let us make sure to keep our necks bowed down to the One who is able to set us free.

Deuteronomy 10:16 (NKJV)
Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.

2 Chronicles 30:8 (NKJV)
Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.

Nehemiah 9:16 (NKJV)
“But they and our fathers acted proudly, hardened their necks, and did not heed Your commandments.

Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV)
It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cross it Out

We must all take up our crosses daily. The absence of dancing is a sign of mourning. If we are to rejoice the the Lord always, He will turn our mourning into dancing! Whatever our cross may be, it is not a place of comfort or satisfaction. When the heat is turned up, that is the time that we must endure so that the pure treasure inside of us will be revealed.

Some of the external "crosses" in dance ministry can include negative dance ministry members, sabotaging actions, lack of ministry support, competition, rivalry, verbal assaults, blacklisting, slander, and the like. Internal "crosses" can include self-condemnation, sin, shame, defeat, faithlessness, and more. When we commit our lives into the Lord's care, he will give us the strength we need.

The cross is a powerful visual symbol for many, and is often used in dance ministry presentations. Whether made of wood, sewn on a flag, or painted on a banner, we must lift Jesus up so that men can be drawn to Him. Let each one of us continue to bear the burden and be strengthened for the journey ahead.

Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Mark 10:21 (NKJV)
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Luke 14:27 (NKJV)
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Galatians 6:14 (NKJV)
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Winging It"

When wings are used in ministry presentations, the representation is usually of an angelic nature. The Bible describes cherubs and seraphim as winged, but it does not end there. Many times in scripture, angels are depicted in "wingless" ways. Angels appeared in fire (Exodus 3:2), with drawn swords (1 Chronicles 21:16) , in dreams (Matthew 1:20), or dressed in white (John 20:12). How is it that we may entertain angels unaware if they are always winged and wearing halos?

There are other creative ways to use wings in worship that are not directly related to angels. Other Scriptural symbolism includes wings of doves, eagles, birds, and even the Lord's wings. At times, the wind is described as having wings. As long as we draw our creativity from the Word of God, then we will be accurate in our display.

Wings used in dance pieces do not always have to be literal. Let the Holy Spirit lead with what types of fabrics, supports, and props will convey a Spiritual message. Beyond the wings, the songs used must also be supported by the Word. Let us make sure not to fly off in the wrong direction.

Psalm 68:13 (NKJV)
Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.”

Psalm 91:4 (NKJV)
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

Ezekiel 17:3 (NKJV)
And say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD:“ A great eagle with large wings and long pinions, Full of feathers of various colors, Came to Lebanon and took from the cedar the highest branch.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Malachi 4:2 (NKJV)
But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Time to Remember

Though we do not live in the past, we can use it as a tool. Remembering what the Lord has done will remind us that He still works things out for our good. When we review what the Lord has promised, then we build our faith concerning His calling on each of our lives. Revisiting a "God Moment" in dance ministry will remind us of the sweet fragrance of His presence, so that we may long to be in that place again.

Rehashing old memories, hurts, disappointments, and setbacks will hinder us from moving forward. We must rehearse the scriptures more than we rehearse any dance routine. Filling ourselves with the Word of God will cause choreography to flow more easily and "speak" in a way that it never has before.

Remember why He called you. Remember your passion for dance as ministry. Remember how He delivered you from the hand of the enemy. Remember how many lives have been impacted because of your obedience. Remember to seek Him daily. Remember that He has placed you in this time and season to give Him the glory. Remember the Lord thy God...

Genesis 9:16 (NKJV)
The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

Numbers 15:40 (NKJV)
And that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.

Psalm 42:4 (NKJV)
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Psalm 45:17 (NKJV)
I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Back Talk

Let's face it, we must understand the importance of our bodies as tools in the Master's hands. In the traditional sense of dance ministry, lots of emphasis is place on the front of the body, and less on the rear. Dancers are often discouraged from exposing the back of the body to a congregation for fear of offense. There is a way to incorporate the powerful meaning of the back if we do it in a way that brings the Word to life.

The back is a vulnerable part of our bodies because our eyes are not able to see what is behind us. The act of "backbiting" is often so surprising because it is something that catches us off guard. In the Biblical sense, turning ones back in a negative way can mean rejection, defeat, or faithlessness. The back is also depicted as more tolerable than the face (as in the case of Moses wanting to see the Lord's glory).

If we get a balanced understanding when to face it or when to back up, each and every movement will have meaning as it relates to the Word of God. Exercising wisdom as we move will diminish the potenial for error, but increase the depth of the pieces we demonstrate. We must not be limited by what others have deemed to be "wrong" or "right" movements in ministry. If we get our directions from the Lord, then we will not miss a beat.

2 Chronicles 29:6 (NKJV)
For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the LORD our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the LORD, and turned their backs on Him.

Jeremiah 2:27 (NKJV)
Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’

Jeremiah 32:33 (NKJV)
And they have turned to Me the back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.

Exodus 33:23 (NKJV)
Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

From Sea to Shining Sea

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. When we allow the Lord to reveal to us the vastness of His presence, then we will be at liberty to dance whenever he unctions us to move our feet. The church platform should not be the coveted spot to dance. When we can dance in marketplaces, public locations, and wide-open spaces, then we are walking in true authority.

If we are truly "ministers of dance," then we will walk in our calling whenever the Lord has need of us. This will mean that we must always be prepared to minister. While we may not wear praise garments each and every time we gather for worship, the clothing that we wear should be suitable to dance in if needed. Being ready in and out of season will always mean that we stand prepared for our assignments.

Though we may be peculiar people, I am not advocating that we appear as crazed lunatics in public. We must never limit the possibilities of the workings of God. Jesus performed miracles in the streets and public places. He likened himself to living water. When we find ourselves visiting dry places, because He lives in us, that refreshing can affect those who witness us in motion. If we are truly His followers, then we should do as He did.

Deuteronomy 11:24 (NKJV)
Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory.

Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Ezekiel 47:9 (NKJV)
And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

Matthew 14:29 (NKJV)
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Be inspired by this video that demonstrate the liberty to dance wherever we find our feet.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dance Company

"Birds of a feather..." It may seem mean or heartless to stop affiliating with those that share a long life history with us. When we begin to make a stand for the Kingdom, the enemy is ever-present to try to take us off the path of righteousness. A decision must be made. Where do you stand? Who's on the Lord's side?

If this means that we cannot go to lunch with certain people, so be it! If people who call themselves friends will not respect the calling of God on your life, it's time to change your circle of influence. When we say "No, I will NOT have this dance," because it compromises our position a dance minister, our decisions should be final. If your associates get upset because you do not attend every party, gathering, and event, it's time to press the ignore button.

There is no room for compromise. It's the "little foxes" that spoil the vine. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Those who have the most influence in our lives must be willing and honest enough to tell us when we are veering from the path. As iron sharpens iron, we will have some uncomfortable challenges with those who truly love us. If we are not being advised to do the will of God, it is time to make a change. (In laymens terms, "Dump 'em!")

1 Corinthians 5:11 (NKJV)
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV)
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

Micah 7:5 (NKJV)
Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Help Wanted

We all need help from time to time. Pride will prevent us from accepting the assistance that we need. If we are to be one Body, then we need its other members in order to function properly. There are many in the dance ministry community who have excellent resources including literature, garments, worship tools, etc. No one person is the "Dance Ministry Guru." Beware of anyone who only wants you to rely on them for all of your information and support.

The Lord is our greatest Helper. When we trust in Him, He will send others along to assist us. When we try to do it all ourselves, we will find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked, and over-extended. Prayer is a must when discerning whether someone is offering help from the Lord, or offering a service with an ulterior motive. Communicating often with the Lord will sharpen our ears to hear Him more clearly.

We must remain humble enough to realize that we alone cannot help each and every person financially, emotionally, or spiritually. If we find ourselves being to "go-to guy" for everything, then we must take the time to train others to serve. Many are helped by the Word that goes forth during dance ministry. We must also be a help and support to others who labor in the gospel, that there be no division among us. Our help is not limited to our friends. True servanthood is shown when we are willing to help those who we know may never return the favor.

Psalm 28:7 (NKJV)
The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NKJV)
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.

John 14:26 (NKJV)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

1 Corinthians 12:28 (NKJV)
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Furnished for Victory

The Lord furnishes His dwelling place. From the tabernacle of Moses to the many mansions in the Father's house, the Lord understands the importance of preparing His temple. The Lord's furniture is often depicted as a heavenly throne, with the earth as His footstool.

The more enemies that we have, the larger the "footstool" or platform we will have. It is easier to stand on a larger platform than a smaller one. We must be careful when we are making enemies amongst ourselves. Our unwillingness to reconcile will only be an opportunity for our opponents to prosper. Romans 12:18 reminds us, "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." We do not have to be enemies just because we disagree.

We all have enemies if we are standing for the cause of Christ. Unfortunately, some of these enemies are those who are supposed to be brothers and sisters of the faith. Most of us would rather not have enemies, but when we realize the need for opposition, we can get in a position to receive the promise. In the spiritual aspect, we need the necessary "furniture" in place for us to have success in the face of the enemy.

Esther 7:8 (NKJV)
When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen across the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, “Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?” As the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.

Psalm 23:5 (NKJV)
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Psalm 110:1 (NKJV)
The LORD said to my Lord,“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

Isaiah 66:1 (NKJV)
Thus says the LORD:“Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Here, There, and Everywhere

It used to be that we had to meet in person for ministry decision-making. Countless hours in life and ministry have been spent driving to locations, coordinating rehearsals, establishing schedules, etc. With the advancement of technology, we are able to be better stewards of our time. E-mail, tele-conferences, social networking, and text messaging makes it easy to stay updated. If we use these tools wisely, then we will be able to make the most of our time.

If we rely too heavily on technology, then we will fail to fellowship as we need. The key is to utilize the best options to the benefit of all. When ministry servants are better time-managers, there will be more time spent with our families, less stress regarding calendar coordination, and more time for rest.

In this multi-tasking society, we must be wise not to overextend ourselves. We must periodically reassess how we spend our time. Though God has imparted knowledge and revealed creative inventions to mankind, when we use them for purposes other than His glory, we can get caught up in the trappings of obsessing over the latest cell phones, laptops, PDAs, and comunication devices, and miss the Lord Himself.

1 Chronicles 12:32 (NKJV)
Of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command;

Daniel 9:22 (NKJV)
And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.

Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)
So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Isaiah 33:6 (NKJV)
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; The fear of the LORD is His treasure.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Going "Green"

There is a movement that seeks to preserve planet earth by recycling and using renewable energy resources. The thought is that by seeking to preserve the environment, future generations will be able to survive and remain healthy. This is referred to as "Going Green." When we look at this from a spiritual perspective, the Lord also encourages us to "Go Green."

Is our "spiritual environment" littered with debris from yesteryear (unresolved anger, arguments, poor self-esteem, dissention with fellow believers)? Are we squandering the valuable deposits the Lord has placed on this inside of us for temporary pleasures? Will the personal decisions that we make today have a negative impact on our children, churches, and communities tomorrow? Are we training the next generation of dancers for mimicry or for continued ministry?

There is a time when we must pull back to allow the Lord to reveal to us any areas in which we are being wasteful. This may include procrastination, overspending, gossiping, worrying, slothfulness, stubborness, etc. In order to effectively prepare for the future, we must use wisdom with finances, develop new relationships, increase our movement vocabularies, study the Word, demonstrate love, and serve the Lord with gladness. He will show us when we need to rest, and where we need to be planted.

Psalm 23:2 (NKJV)
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

Psalm 52:8 (NKJV)
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.

Psalm 92:13 (NKJV)
Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Danceaholics Anonymous

It can be exciting to pursue our callings and be successful at it. When a passion becomes an obsession, then we are headed for trouble. Dance can be very rewarding, but can consume our lives if we are not careful. There are some people who love dance more than they love the Lord. If we fall into this temptation, then we can unknowingly invite idolatry to enter our hearts.

Those who are blessed to minister through dance must love the Lord above all else. Trained professional dancers spend countless hours in classes and rehearsals. With schedule overload, there is little room for anything else. Although committment and faithfulness are important factors in dance ministry, real success comes from the quality of the time we spend in the Lord's presence.

If we overextend ourselves through overbookings, extended rehearsals, dancing in multiple productions, etc., we may find ourselves being discouraged when things take an unexpected turn. This can come in the form of injuries, sickness, strained interpersonal relationships, financial need, and more. It is not always the case that spiritual forces are at work. It may just be that we have worked the body too hard, neglected to reach out to friends and family, spent too much money on dance products, and so on. When we remember our first love, then He will help us to bring all things into order.

Psalm 127:2 (NKJV)
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Ecclesiastes 5:7 (NKJV)
For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.

Isaiah 49:3-5 (NKJV)
“And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, In whom I will be glorified.’ Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; Yet surely my just reward is with the LORD, and my work with my God.’

1 Corinthians 15:10 (NKJV)
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Least Likely to Succeed

Sometimes the ones we expect to be the most successful may end up falling short of the assumed destination. It is natural for people to favor the most talented, the most "anointed", or the most outstanding people. God's selection process often does not work that way.

Because God is Sovereign, we must be very careful when we discountinue associating with fellow dance ministers because we have already selected our favorites. God's boot camp takes place in the strangest locations and circumstances. Alliances made with motives for ministry invitations, prestige, and special consideration will not last. What looks like rapid growth can in reality be accelerated death. When we operate in the flesh, it can turn into a "if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type of situation. It is better to have the Lord's endorsement than that of men.

What we do to the "little people" is being monitored by God. Keeping this in mind, we must treat each and every person we come in contact with in a loving manner. Moses, David, Jesus, and Paul can all testify to the success of the unlikely candidate. Without the Lord's favor and grace, we would not be able to move in the gifts and talents that He has so liberally given. Let us not count anyone out just yet... God is working.

Deuteronomy 7:6-7 (NKJV)
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;

Judges 6:14-16 (NKJV)
Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

Luke 9:48 (NKJV)
And said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

Ephesians 3:8 (NKJV)
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ

Saturday, May 17, 2008


There may be seasons in dance ministry when the territory we are sent to is dry. The dances we present may be powerful and anointed, but receive very little response from the people watching. Dance ministry participation during a concert or special event may be the equivalent of a halftime show in the opinion of some. There may be a need for a refreshing to overtake a gathering, but the viewership may seem to be dull of hearing and have impaired sight.

These are the times that we sigh. It is not that applause and praise are desired for ourselves. We should earnestly desire that the Lord be worshipped with the magnitude due Him. It can be heartbreaking to bring water to a people dying of thirst who do not understand that deliverance is at their lips.

There is heartache in knowing that not all will receive us, because they have rejected the Lord. In these dreary times, it is important not to lose heart. If the people do not receive the movement ministry, then we must release that concern to the Lord, knowing that we may be planting a seed that another will water in time to come. We must continue to pray for congregations and people who do not embrace the diversity of worship, praise, and honor for the glory of God. Diligence will cause our hearts not to be hardened but will strengthen us by His Word.

Psalm 12:5 (NKJV)
“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”

Psalm 38:9 (NKJV)
Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.

Isaiah 35:10 (NKJV)
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Ezekiel 9:4 (NKJV)
And the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

It MUST Be the Shoes!

This will not be a discussion on the opinion of wearing shoes vs. dancing barefoot. Movement ministers need to understand the importance of our body parts from a spiritual perspective. We may know by now that our feet are vital in movement, and the use of them can indicate victory, battle, increased territory, and stability. When we realize that our soles are protected, then we will not be afraid to tread into the unknown.

Shoes in the Bible were often discussed in terms of putting them on or taking them off (i.e. Moses at the burning bush). Bare feet denote that the ground is Holy. Covered feet indicate protection, peace, and readiness. There are times in dance when we are sharing a message about holiness that necessitates bare feet. When we are warring and taking territory through the dance, the wearing of shoes can demonstrate strength and conquering.

Whether for war or peace, our feet are an integral part of the message through movement. Let us not take for granted what our feet mean in the context of Scripture. When we stand on the Word of God, we will not be moved by tradition and opinions. Confidence in Him will compel us to move by His Word.

Deuteronomy 33:24-25 (NKJV)
And of Asher he said: “Asher is most blessed of sons; Let him be favored by his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil. Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; as your days, so shall your strength be.

Song of Solomon 7:1 (NKJV)
[THE Beloved] How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skillful workman.

Acts 13:25 (NKJV)
And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’

Ephesians 6:14-15 (NKJV)
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Lover and a Fighter

In the United States, the image of "Justice" is often depicted as being blind and holding a balance in her hands. Man's concept of righteousness is not always God's concept of righteousness. God's eyes are open and He watches over us concerning all that we do. There is nothing hidden from Him. Our expressions through movement may appear righteous to people, but if they are not upright before the Lord, then they are performed in vain.

We must always remember that if we love Him and keep His commandments, He is just to deliver us from the traps of the enemy. We can be confident, knowing that the foundation on which we stand will never be dismantled or fail us. Although we must couple works with faith, we can rest assured knowing that everything is in the Lord's hands.

In the dance ministry, it is also important to present a balanced perspective of the Lord. He is a lover and a fighter concerning what belongs to Him. If all of our song selections are about love, people may forget that He is also a Mighty Warrior, Strong Tower, and Avenger. If all of our songs are about warfare and struggles, then people may not remember that He is a Victorious Delivering Waymaker. If we function as representatives of the Kingdom on earth, let us make sure to present the message in a way that conveys the magnitude of the God we serve.

Exodus 14:14 (NKJV)
The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

Deuteronomy 3:22 (NKJV)
You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.’

Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)
The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Slip and Slide

Things happen. Sometimes people are so quick to jump to conclusions when "unplanned interruptions" occur in ministry. A ministry mishap does not automatically mean that the Lord is not pleased with a dancer or that the enemy is on the attack. There are definitely times when the enemy will try to distract us or stop us from moving forward. There are also times when equipment is faulty, the floor is slippery, and human agility malfunctions.

We pray that all goes well each and every time that we dance before the people. When missteps occur, the dancer may try to blame himself or herself for the error. If he or she knows that a warning was given to them in advance by the Holy Spirit, then the lesson is to remain obedient. If someone else is to blame, frustration may set in against the individual who may be assumed to be the culprit. We must always pray for everyone involved in making the movement ministry possible. It is important to stay humble before the Lord, and commit every step to Him.

There can be times in choreography when we may show someone falling or slipping. This is appropriate when coupled with the message during the presentation. We must not take for granted the safety of properly executing these types of movement. We must not let the fear of falling hinder us from demonstrating more advanced choreography. No matter what happens, when we earnestly desire to please the Lord in our lives, He will watch over us for our good.

2 Samuel 22:37 (NKJV)
You enlarged my path under me; So my feet did not slip.

Psalm 17:5 (NKJV)
Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip.

Psalm 26:1 (NKJV)
Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.

Psalm 37:30-31 (NKJV)
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.
The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

Psalm 94:18 (NKJV)
If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Outer Space

Movement ministries have many variables when it comes to using the spaces offered to us. There are times when a large stage seems almost impossible to fill, and there are times when the space is so limited that there is hardly any room to turn around. The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that even in limited spaces, we can still get the message across. At other times, the area that we have to dance in is just not sufficent for the message to be delivered to its fullest potential.

There are precautions that we can take before we arrive for a ministry assignment. If it is possible to view the location beforehand, this will give us an esimate of how much room is available. If it is not possible to see the location in advance, we can ask questions to get a good idea of how many people the space will accommodate. It is also good to find out if the ministry will be on an elevated platform, a ballroom floor, carpet, etc. We should also determine if there are any restrictions regarding the use of space, especially in the church setting.

When we are afforded optimal space, we should use it to the best of our abilities. Too many dancers are confined to small spaces because there may not be large spaces available to them on a regular basis. In turn, this results in choreography that may appear cramped and limited in movement. As dance and movement ministries continue to step into enlarged territories, we will be able to extend the range in which we are able to operate.

Joshua 1:3 (NKJV)
Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.

Isaiah 26:15 (NKJV)
You have increased the nation, O LORD, You have increased the nation; You are glorified; You have expanded all the borders of the land.

1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV)
And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

Take a look at this video (and the use of space) from Spirit of the Moment:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Show and Tell

May of us have heard it said that "actions speak louder than words." When we try to measure the sincerity of our relationships, we often do so by remembering what has been done more than what has been said. The beauty of movement ministry is that we have the opportunity to show on the outside what we feel on the inside. The stark reality is that what is going on in our hearts will ultimately escape through our mouths.

The words that we express through movement (songs, scripture reading, prayer, etc) must agree with the words that we live by. When Jesus expressed His love for us, He made an open show of it on Calvary. No matter how much we dance, we will all be challenged with what we allow to come from our lips. Operating in the movement ministry takes both words and deeds to be effective.

We will be tempted to react verbally to challenges that may arise during rehearsals, worship services, and in our daily lives. It is easy to slip into "diva mode" as creative people. Because we are celebrated often, we tend to get defensive when we are challenged. If we are to remain humble before the Lord, we must often refuse to "tell it like it is" when we need to sit still (or move on) and hold our peace. We must learn the difference between "show" and "tell" to retain wisdom as Kingdom laborers.

Deuteronomy 32:7 (NKJV)
“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you

Psalm 50:23 (NKJV)
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”

Psalm 51:15 (NKJV)
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)
‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You CAN Take it with You...

We cannot offer what we do not have. We often focus on moving our bodies in dance, but we must also move our lips. If we are to bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord, then we must already have it with us when we get there. Some who call themselves "praise dancers" often only give praise to the Lord when an audience is present. It is almost if these impostors are acting on a stage, playing a role that has been inspired by the life of someone else.

Praise and worship starts with the individual. It is not enough just to "go through the motions" without declaring our thanks to the Lord. It should not be difficult to get the movement ministers to participate in praise and worship settings, but at times it seems as though some dancers and groups are only waiting to hear their names called to jump into character.

The lines are being drawn and the true church is being revealed. It does not matter what we prefer or what makes us comfortable, we must praise. Praise is able to be given by every breathing thing. It is only in truth that we are able to worship. We must eradicate everything that would get in the way of giving the Lord our very best sacrifice. When we wake up in the morning, when we go to bed, or when we think of His goodness, we can offer a praise that will be pleasing to the Lord. It's time to move our mouths in praise!

Psalm 27:6 (NKJV)
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

Jeremiah 17:26 (NKJV)
And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the LORD.

Jeremiah 33:11 (NKJV)
The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: “Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, for His mercy endures forever”— and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the LORD.

Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Best Friend

We often hear people say, "It's not about religion, it's about relationship." For the dancer to operate under the anointing and deliver movement in a way that ministers, we must spend quality time with the Lord. We often dance before our Father and King, but we must also remember that the Lord loves us as His friends. We have many ways to show relationship through movement.

As we build friendships and relationships in ministry, our best example of how to be a friend is found with the Lord Himself. There may be times in choreography that we can show love to people by taking them by the hand, giving them a hug, touching someone's shoulder, or simply smiling at them. The Lord loves us enough to "touch" us and show His love toward us. We must be led by the Spirit when we do this so that our expressions of friendship are not misunderstood.

Even though we desire to worship the Lord and honor Him as Father and King, there is another dimension that we can show people. As we continue to draw near to God, He will continue to give us a variety of ways to express these relationships in action. Although the Lord gives us friends in the earth realm, we will find that there is no better Friend that we can have.

Exodus 33:11 (NKJV)
So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

Proverbs 22:11 (NKJV)
He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.

John 15:15 (NKJV)
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

James 2:23 (NKJV)
And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Having a Fit

If we are not careful to plan ahead, we can invite distraction during ministry. Crying babies, ringing cell phones, and sound system glitches have happened to most movement ministers who have labored for a significant amount of time. The Spirit of the Lord can move beyond the distractions and cause them to work together for good. We must not be anxious regarding anything that would attempt to hinder us.

If our garments are ill-fitting, they can serve as a distraction and a danger. Weight loss can result in pants and skirts that are too long, shoulder-slippage (and possible undergarment exposure), falling pants (dare we say it?), and potential danger of falling over excess material. On the opposite end, extremely tight garments can rip (causing embarrassement) or hinder our range of motion. Just as we rehearse dance movements on a regular basis, we must inspect how the garment "fits" into the big picture.

An experienced tailor or seamstress can make alterations when adjustments are needed. There may even come a time for new garments to be purchased when safety or excessive wear indicates the need for change. Let us always be watchful and never take for granted the little things that can trip us up.

Exodus 28:42 (NKJV)
And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs.

2 Corinthians 5:2-4 (NKJV)
For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

Revelation 3:18 (NKJV)
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Revelation 16:15 (NKJV)
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Shaken and Stirred

Some people experience what is called stage fright. An overwhelming sense of nervousness overtakes them and affects the mind and body at the prospect of standing before other people. God has not given us the spirit of fear. There may be many instances in which the dance minister feels a sense of "nervousness" before ministry that has nothing to do with the fear of others. Often, this sensation is the result of the dancer not knowing for sure what will happen once the music starts and ministry partners with motion.

We should never get to the place of over-confidence in our talents. Trusting in the Lord is required for His will to be done through us. Psalm 111:10 tells us that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom..." We tremble in His presence when we realize how great and awesome He is.

The enemy also trembles at the name of Jesus. When we go forth in the name of our Lord, we have no need to fear the tactics of the enemy. Maintaining a righteous lifestyle and relationship with the Lord is essential, or we may find ourselves shaken for the wrong reasons (and standing behind enemy lines).

Incorporating movements that appear to shake and tremble while dancing can have a powerful effect if done with the right intentions. Dancers who may have little training but lots of passion may too often rely on dramatic movements to tell the story. We must know when to tremble and when to stand still. Most importantly, we can rest assured that the movement that the Lord gives us can be referenced in His Word.

Daniel 10:10-11 (NKJV)
Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

Psalm 96:9 (NKJV)
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Isaiah 66:2 (NKJV)
For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” Says the LORD. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.

James 2:19 (NKJV)
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Unleash the Whirlwind

When we have a firm grasp on Biblical content, the Lord will be able to speak to us in a way beyond human comprehension. Although we may not all be "scripture scholars," the more we study the Word, the more we will be familiar with the voice of the Lord. As we read, we will discover that the Word is full of visual imagery. As we continue functioning as "doers of the Word," we can use some creative tools to demonstrate the Scriptures through movement.

Let's take a look at the whirlwind, for instance. In the Bible, a whirlwind can signify the presence of the Lord, the fury of the Lord, and also serve as heavenly transportation. David the dancer was seen whirling and leaping before the Lord, accompanying what was symbolic of the Presence of the Lord. How can we demonstrate this concept through movement?

Through the use of fabrics and creativity, combined with Divine instruction, we can construct flags or overlays to wear that would symbolize a type of whirwind. Depending upon the color used, we could show deep meaning concerning the move of God in Scripture. As dancers, we can whirl with our own bodies to celebrate the great procession of our Lord. With fabrics or flags, we can show the spectacular ascension heavenward using white or iridescent colors.

A whirlwind used in dance can also represent the voice of the Lord. When we present warfare pieces, rich reds and awesome metallics can be used to signify the destruction of the enemy as the Lord tramples His foes under His feet! We are not limited to the lists of colors that we may have seen in books or on the internet. We must let the Lord lead. When we do, it will always line up with His Word. Oh that we would hide the Word of the Lord in our hearts! As movement ministers continue to get an understanding of what we do, His creative and awesome power will manifest on earth through us.

2 Samuel 6:16 (NKJV)
Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

2 Kings 2:11 (NKJV)
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Psalm 77:18 (NKJV)
The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook.

Jeremiah 30:23 (NKJV)
Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD Goes forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind; It will fall violently on the head of the wicked

Nahum 1:3 (NKJV)
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.

Zechariah 9:14 (NKJV)
Then the LORD will be seen over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, and go with whirlwinds from the south.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mind Your Business

There is more to dance ministry than meets the eye. We must learn to be good stewards over the ministries that the Lord has given us. If the church dance ministry is under a local church, then most of the finances and budgeting of that ministry will be handled through the church. Many dance ministries today still have very limited budgets in the local church and rely on the finances of the participants for ministry purchases. As ministries increase in excellence, skill, and faithfulness, many churches will recognize the need to sow into the ministry of dance. With permission, church dance ministries can also offer to add money to the budget with participation from the dancers and congregation. This must be handled with prayer.

Ministries that operate on a community or individual level have various options when it comes to Kingdom business. Whether one selects to incorpororate, obtain a 501c3, become a Sole Proprietor, or file as an LLC, we must be aware of the regulations to conduct business transactions for our ministries. Banks require official documents to open business accounts. The local Post Office may ask for a business license to establish a PO Box.

Stewardship can work to our advantage as we can obtain tax write-offs for purchasing garments, obtaining music, booking ministry-related travel, etc. We must make sure that we are accountable and that what we itemize is legal. It is advisable to keep accurate records and save all receipts.

Most importantly, we need to pray and ask the Lord to guide all of our business decisions. We must not turn His temple into a marketplace! We must conduct business at a proper location. People with experience may be able to give advice, but the Lord's counsel will stand in the end. Let us keep all of this in perspective: Ministry is about serving the needs of others, not ourselves. If our intentions are not pure, we will ultimately fail.

Psalm 107:23-24 (NKJV)
Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep.

Matthew 25:27 (NKJV)
So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

Luke 19:13 (NKJV)
So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 (NKJV)
And indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Well Done!

What is missing in far too many movement ministries is excellence. It seems as though dance ministries, conferences, and programs are multiplying faster than ever. Those that take the time to seek the Lord concerning His Excellency will indeed stand before great men. The goal is not to become famous, but to serve the Lord to the best of our abilities. When we honor the Lord from our hearts, then treasures will manifest from the inside out.

When we know God on an intimate level, then we cannot help but to offer Him our very best. It does not take a lot of money to impress God. When our utmost desire is to worship Him in the beauty of holiness, we will find favor with men when we look for garments, buy supplies, or need space to rehearse or fellowship. By the same measure that we give, we will receive- good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!

Mantaining the "standard" of excellence is like lifting up a banner or standard (sign of victory) that does not come down (a sign of defeat). Upholding the standard of excellence reminds us of the everlasting victory that the Lord has already obtained. In all that we do- whether arriving on time, keeping our garments clean, being faithful to rehearsals, studying the Word, eating properly, loving each other, and so on... must be done in a way that would illuminate the excellent name of our Lord God.

Proverbs 31:29 (NKJV)
“Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”

Daniel 6:3 (NKJV)
Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.

1 Corinthians 12:31 (NKJV)
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

Hebrews 11:4 (NKJV)
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Stretch Out Your Hand!

Movement has very significant meaning in the Bible. The simple act of stretching out our hands can mean many things, depending on how it is used. When we are aware of the power in demonstration, we will seek the Lord to ensure that every move accurately reflects the Word of God.

Not only do technical classes increase the vocabulary of the dancer, reading the Word will give spiritual vocabulary to us as well. Technical movement without Divine revelation will only result in public exercise to gospel music. The beauty of movement ministry is that the Word takes form right before our eyes. For many, the viewing of a God-breathed dance is life-changing and liberating.

We must be as diligent in grasping an understanding of movement in the Bible as much as we are about rehearsing and expressing it. Without Him, we can do nothing. Living, moving, and having our being in Him takes on greater meaning when we understand what it means to live, how He wants us to move, and who He wants us to be.

The following scriptures are just a few ways that the stretching of the hands were used in the Scriptures:


Matthew 12:13 (NKJV)
Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.


Psalm 138:7 (NKJV)
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.


Mark 1:41 (NKJV)
Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”


Psalm 77:2 (NKJV)
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted.


Psalm 144:7 (NKJV)
Stretch out Your hand from above; Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, From the hand of foreigners,


Luke 24:50 (NKJV)
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hands and Knees

We have freedom and liberty when we pray. As movement ministers, we can honor the Lord in our prayer lives in ways that we had never imagined. The Word gives us liberty to pray as He directs. Some of us have made a devout practice of the traditional way that we learned to pray. Kneeling is considered customary by some people as a mandatory prayer posture. When praying in groups, many people form a circle and hold hands as a way to "touch and agree."

The Lord does not want us to follow the traditions of men. If we only do what we have always done, we can enact rituals that are no longer spiritual. God wants us to be led by His Spirit. When we seek prayer references in the Bible, we find that prayer was described in several different ways, many of which incorporated movement. Let us shake off the things that "bind" us and loose a fresh wave of prayer that avails much!

Instead of standing in a circle before and after rehearsals with our hands locked together, we can incorporate prayer movement as outlined in the Word of the Lord. We are not limited to music and preaching to convey the things of the Spirit. The dancer can also be used for intercessory prayer in motion. Let us not be fearful when the Holy Spirit unctions us to render our petitions in unconventional ways. When we are able to discern His leading, then we can move according to His direction.

Psalm 141:2 (NKJV)
Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Isaiah 38:2 (NKJV)
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD,

Mark 11:25 (NKJV)
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Acts 20:36 (NKJV)
And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)
[Men and Women in the Church] I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

Friday, May 2, 2008

About Face!

Our facial expressions should be as purposeful as our music, movement, and garments. When a parent looks into the face of a newborn child, the first thing that he or she looks for is a family resemblance. When we have the DNA of someone, it shows in most cases. When we minister through dance and movement, the truth of the message should also show on our faces. In the church sector, the debate continues regarding the wearing (or not) of make-up for dancers and face paint protocol for mime ministers. Everything that God does is with purpose. When we are led by the Spirit, then we will do what is appropriate.

There are pros and cons to wearing make-up and face paint. For females, wearing heavy make-up or foundation, lipstick, and eye make-up can look great for video recordings and photographs. The results of intense movement combined with makeup may result in strange, but colorful artwork on the front of our garments. Many mime ministers wear face paint and dark garments. Face paint can enhance the portrayal of emotions during a mime piece. If it is not applied properly, then the observer may start to pay attention to the paint as it travels away from the face and onto the collar, chest and arms of the mime.

There may be times when the Lord is calling for us to let our natural faces convey the "unveiled" ministry and His transforming power. Just because "everyone else is doing it" does not mean that the Lord has called us to follow the existing model. We must always adhere to the basics of seeking the Lord's face for direction. When we do, then His glory will shine in ours and be a confirmation that we spent time with Him.

Job 9:27 (NKJV)
If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile’

Job 24:15 (NKJV)
The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me’; and he disguises his face.

Isaiah 50:7 (NKJV)
“For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.

Joel 2:6 (NKJV)
Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color.

Acts 6:15 (NKJV)
And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What a Waist!

A lot of emphasis is placed on the center (or core) of the dancer's body in technical training sessions. Stability, strength and stamina are all empasized as central to the dancers efficiency. Beyond the physical center of our bodies, we must also strengthen our Spiritual center.

It is no coincidence that we are to gird our waists with Truth. In whatever capacity the the Lord has called us to move, we must keep the Truth of His Word at the center. When Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall, the workers stood guard with their swords at their sides. The Word of the Lord is likened to a Sword! We must stay sharp (read it) and be prepared to use it (do what it says) to accomplish and endure.

The waist is also a dividing line between the upper and lower regions of our bodies. Spiritually, what we have on or take off of our waists is the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness. Let us make sure that beyond the dance, we are living a life that keeps Christ at the center. Let us remain in the place where we pay attention to our "waistlines," so that we are always able to keep the Truth by our sides.

Isaiah 11:5 (NKJV)
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.

Jeremiah 13:2 (NKJV)
So I got a sash according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist.

Jeremiah 13:11 (NKJV)
For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the LORD, ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’

Ephesians 6:13-15 (NKJV)
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.