February 10th, 2011
Welcome to Praise Dancers. Here you will find encouragement and resources for your arts ministry. Whether you are a dance leader, member of a troupe or just someone who loves to praise and worship God, you will be encouraged, exhorted and trained by the resources available here.
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November 8th, 2015
Have you ever given canned goods to a food pantry? Perhaps you’ve received a bag with your mail about the postman’s food drive – “just leave your donation in the bag by the mailbox” on such-and-such date. Out of guilt, a sense of obligation or civic duty, you dove in and raided your pantry to see what staples you had on hand. Now, let’s be honest. Did you grab the good stuff? You know, the organic canned corn, whole grain pasta and premium albacore tuna? Or, like most of us, did you grab what you felt you probably didn’t need/want/like?
Truth be told, I’ve done the latter more than the former. In fact, I have been on the receiving end of some of your humble benevolence. Wanna know what we received? Organic pasta (1 year past it’s sell-by date), black eyed peas, canned pumpkin, organic breakfast cereal (2 years past it’s expiration date), Ramen noodles and other various canned goods – more than 1/3 of which were past their sell-by date.
This made me think…what am I offering to God when I raid my spiritual pantry? Leftover, stale “goods” – a few minutes squeezed into my day, dry prayers recited from a booklet, a few half-hearted declarations…perhaps I remembered to say thanks for more than just the hot meal in front of me? God wants the sacrifice of praise from us. Not, “O God, I’m so tired/busy/frazzled/stressed, that it’s truly a sacrifice to carve this time out for you”. Rather, the sacrifice was to be the first fruits, the choicest of the harvest, unblemished, untarnished, THE BEST. Are we giving God our best?
What’s in your spiritual pantry today? Give God the very best that you have – true excellence comes from a heart that gives sacrificially – with honor, reverence and holiness. It doesn’t have to be a 2 hour long tarry in His presence…but, once you’re in the presence of the Almighty, let your heart fully engage. Thank Him. Exalt Him. Magnify the beauty of His holiness. Extol Him. You may find that 2 hours is not long enough some days. Other times, even ten minutes can truly change you and deepen your walk with Him. Go on, dive in!
August 25th, 2014
God is so good and He continually wants us to grow in Him. I’ve heard it said that His word is like an onion, you just keep peeling back the layers for more revelation. My son asked me one afternoon, while driving in the car, about Adam and Eve. We began talking more about what had transpired in the Garden and it was a good talk. When I turned on the radio, Dr Tony Evans was on and discussing the same topic. I thought, “wow, that’s cool!” Isn’t it funny…we don’t always put 2 and 2 together in the moment. Sometimes, God has to gently nudge us later. Well, it was a short time later and I was still chewing on the verses in Genesis regarding the fall. I was also reading where it says that he (Satan) said, “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
God was stirring all of this in my heart when a lightbulb went off. Read with me…
Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What was really at the heart of this whole thing? God shone a bright light on this one part…Satan was saying to Eve that God did not want them to eat the fruit because when they did, they’d be “like God”. What God showed me was that THEY ALREADY WERE! They were created in His image, walking in His authority, covered by His glory. What I felt God showing me was that Satan was trying to get them to want what HE wanted. Satan wanted to be like God and got booted out of heaven. Maybe if Adam and Eve chose the same, they’d get booted out of earth and then Satan could have a lesser version of his truest desire come to pass, perhaps, to become a demigod as overlord of earth. After all, if he couldn’t rule heaven, maybe earth would be enough. But, God had other plans!
April 14th, 2014
Have you hit a rut? Do you feel limited in your ability to express yourself creatively in dance? Here is a tip that can help kick start you…
Take a few rehearsals and just have fun. I would bring my iPod, with its eclectic mix of music (children’s songs, Christmas tunes and praise/worship), and have everyone gather into our rehearsal space. I would then have a volunteer (aka frightened dance team member) stand up on the stage and then announce to the group that we were going to pick a random song. At that time, the ‘volunteer’ would act out movements to the song that came on. Without warning, I would switch team members – even in mid song. Or, I’d change it from something serious to something lighthearted. This is so much fun once the jitters start to fade. This is a great time to review how the fear of the faces of men is nothing more than pride…if we care more of what others think than what God thinks, our hearts are out of order. How we look is not why we dance.
In 2 Samuel 6:16 we see Saul’s daughter, Michal, look on scornfully at David as he leaped and danced before the Lord as they brought back the Ark of the Covenant. Was David embarrassed? Look at his reply in verses 21 and 22…And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
He did not regard her opinion, but rather set his sights on things above. That should be our response. God is more concerned with your heart than your art. So, go ahead and play. Go ahead…who cares if you look silly or fall down? Just have fun in Him. Once that joy has returned, your ability to express it will be even more anointed.
October 11th, 2012
This semester, I am teaching a few classes at our homeschool co-op. One of those classes is American Sign Language and we are focusing on the use of ASL in praise and worship. My class is going to present a signed song, Redeemer by Nicole C. Mullen, for our end of semester Expo. I decided to go ahead and video tape myself signing the song so that my students could practice from home. Hope you enjoy it! Click on this link to play the video: Redeemer Video
October 11th, 2012
Well, as you may have read on an earlier post, we are expecting a new addition to our family in March. Well, last week was THE ultrasound, the one where you can determine the baby’s gender. Well, with two gorgeous little boys (Rump Roast and Tiny Heiny) already wrapping us around their fingers, we’re so happy to announce that we’ll be adding a beautiful little girl to the mix. I’m sure she is going to be as much fun and joy as her big brothers are. God has richly blessed us!