Easter Greetings to you all!
March 28, 2016 was a celebration that combined the passion I have had for the Risen Christ as well as for dance ministry. Yesterday, ‘The River’, a song by Jordan Feliz, proclaimed the message of new life in Christ visualized through prayer in motion. In Sonlight dance ministry, I love mentoring the Soul to Sole method of choreography to dance leaders that I am privileged to interact with. Choreographer Tracey Matney helped me to see this wonderful message from scripture: Jesus rose from the dead as he said that he would and redeemed the world with living water; that prophetic reality changed everything. Jesus is all about transformation. The lyrics of ‘The River’ exhorted us to “go down to the river to pray and be washed by the water.” I hope that you do.
Onto the book. The date scheduled for publication is May 2016. It certainly has been a journey. From the notes I began to write regarding dance ministry as early as 1996 until now, God has blessed me and led me to persevere. Writing is a challenge for me. Editing is a challenge for me. All 74 footnotes(that needed personal permission) have been more than a challenge for me (just try to get permission for 74 footnotes and tell me your story of how easy it was). Why put in so many footnotes? I want scriptural, theological and educational people to share my voice.
I learned early on that dance is not an art form that many people value inside or outside the church. Much of the time national church leadership has seen dance as irrelevant. Sometimes the church has voiced the idea that dance is sin. Often secular voices have distorted dance as an art form. Let’s communicate what God says about the body and the power of embodied faith. Let’s use dance to give glory to God through worship in the way that it was intended. Movement is good.
Research shows the value of non-verbal communication with only seven percent of communication including the spoken word by itself.1 According to “Nonverbal Communication Theories,” wordless cues include body language, tone, and appearance in much greater significance than we recognize.2
Of course, I believe that that’s what makes dance so powerful. As the gospel is shared visually, intentional choreography transforms, communicates, and convicts people to function according to His design. That knowledge forges our call into dance ministry. Jesus beckons us to worship Jesus in ‘spirit and truth’; that proclamation includes dancers as well as everyday actions for all of us [that’s a huge challenge that only worship in spirit and truth can allow]. I have explained these terms in the second chapter of my book. In essence, we need to rely on Christ as we journey to reflect Him in this life. As you worship in spirit and in truth, remember what Psalm 37:3 says:
a. Trust God
b. Do good
“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
As I trust the Lord to lead me in the next steps into His will(and in the release of my book) and to do good, I exhort you to do the same thing in your daily life. Can I also ask you to pray for me? I need the prayers of God’s people to help me with all the details that are necessary for book publication. Help me Jesus!
I believe that if we are open to His leading, the Lord Jesus will show us how to share worship dance and lifestyle worship when we are given opportunities to do that(and how to write a book too); that way we can dwell in peace with Jesus and enjoy safe pasture. Of course, we will need to do it remembering our weakness and His strength.
2 Cor 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Let’s abide in safe pasture as we experience how God choreographs our lives in His strength.
A. Mehrabian. (1981) Silent messages: Implicit communication of emotions and attitudes. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, (currently
being distributed by Albert Mehrabian, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Encyclopedia of Communication Theory, “Nonverbal
Republished with permission of Sage Publications, Inc. Books from Communication Theories,” Stephen W. Littlejohn and Karen A. Foss, 2009); permission conveyed through Copyright Clearance