Worship and Purpose

All that I am, praise the LORD; everything in me, praise His holy name.
~Psalm 103:1 (NCV)

     "I see you dancing in God's hands..." Words from a great man who passed suddenly from this life a few days ago. In 2003, I attended a dance conference held at Bahamas Faith Ministries where Dr. Myles Munroe was speaking. He was teaching on Worship and Purpose, and the importance of understanding why we worship God. Dr. Myles spoke about creation and God's plans for us, and becoming like Christ. I was one of the last people he prayed for at the altar call. I was standing in a corner and he called me over to where he was, all the way across the platform. He asked me where I was from, paused, and with that great big smile that he will always be remembered by, said those words to me, along with some other things that only God would have known. That brief moment was so amazingly powerful. I remember running around the entire sanctuary!

     It has been many years since that prophetic word was given to me, and everything Dr. Myles said on that day has come to pass. I count myself fortunate to have had something personally imparted into my life from God through him. Some say his passing away was untimely, some say it was his time and he died empty. The truth is, only he and God know. We offer prayers for the families of all who were with him in the catastrophic accident that marked the end of his life and the lives of others who died including his wife and fellow ministers, that God would comfort the grieving, give them peace, and that people would only speak words that give strength and encouragement.

     Whenever someone leaves this realm, it is always a reminder to us that life is temporary, and we are only here for a brief moment on the continuum. God has promised to redeem and restore years that were taken from us, but there is no promise in the Bible to regain time that we waste. What are we doing with the goals that we set out to accomplish this year? How are we spending our time, our finances, and our gifts and talents? Have we finished anything that we started, have we even started, or are we still talking about starting? Dr. Myles once said: "One of the greatest tragedies in life is to watch potential die untapped". "What will you do with your dash?" is a message that many ministers and motivational speakers use to describe the time we have between our birthday and our last day. Our dash represents everything we do with our lives, our opportunities, resources and abilities that we have been given. If you are reading this blog, that means you still have a chance to make the most of the time you have in this world. We were all created by God to fulfill a unique purpose in this life, not to be like anyone else, or for anyone's approval. Once we find it, we must run with it until the race is over, so that when we are finished, we can hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
~Psalm 90:12


Keep Your Word!


Broken promises
are worse than rain clouds
    that don’t bring rain. ~ Proverbs 25:14 (CEV)

     The saying: " Word is bond" goes back a long way, but it will always be true. God always keeps his word, and as followers of Christ, we are expected to keep ours. Have you ever attended an event, expecting to receive something that was promoted to be a "Power-packed, life-changing experience" and found it to be totally disorganized? Or, have you ever paid for goods or services that were not received as promised? Worse yet, have you even been responsible for any of these things? Well, I'm not here to judge or condemn anyone, but this needs to change.

You must not cheat each other, but you must respect your God. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 25:17 (NCV)

     We always need to count the cost of anything we undertake before we commit to start. Careful planning and having a backup strategy can help avoid misunderstandings. There may be circumstances that are beyond our control, but a little communication goes a long way. With the advent of text messaging  and social media, there is little excuse for keeping people who have invested time and resources into your ministry in the dark about changes or cancellations. Most people will understand if they are informed about changes in venue or availability, but no one likes to be ignored with unreturned phone calls or e-mails; they were important when you received their money, and are still important afterwards!

It is better not to make a promise than to make one and not keep it.
Ecc. 5:5

     If you find that you are unable to follow through with a commitment you have made,contacting people directly to acknowledge the situation and offering an acceptable solution is the best way to keep  a positive relationship with them for future endeavors.  If  funds were exchanged, make sure there is a clearly written policy in place for handling refunds in a timely manner. In addition, people should be given the option of a full or partial refund if there is a cancellation on your end. Don't automatically assume that everyone will give you a second chance! If people stop trusting and supporting you, it won't be long before you are forgotten.  Always strive to be that ministry that is known for excellence behind the scenes, as well as in public. If people express their opinions, listen to what they have to say and consider if the impression they have of you is one that you want to keep, and remember that there are many who will never say anything directly to you, but will tell others of their bad experiences.


We are living in a time when everything we do as Christians is under careful scrutiny. A good reputation is worth the time and effort that it takes to build and maintain. Keep your word!


Life . . . Outside

   There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth . . .
Ecc. 3:1 (MSG)

     As a Christian artist or minister, lay person or enthusiast, have you found yourself spending most of your time focused on dance, music, writing, poetry, singing, play writing, or any of the other art forms that can, if allowed, take on lives of their own?  I invite you to read and ponder the meaning of this quote:

      "Continue to learn about life outside of the dance studio, outside of the dance world. The richer you are as a person, the more interesting you will be as a performer.”
 ~Veteran Ailey dancer Renee Robinson

     Now, read the quote this way:

       "Continue to learn about life outside of ________, outside of the _____ world. The richer you are as a person, the more interesting you will be as a _____________."

     Do you see where this is going? We definitely need to invest time into honing our craft, but we also need to have a life outside of it. Our lives were never intended to be one-dimensional, in fact if you look around, there are very few things in nature that are truly flat, one-sided, or only come in one color. God, the ultimate Master-Creator, created the universe with infinite colors and shapes, sounds and dimensions. Each planet rotates on its own orbit and has its own axis around the sun. Each plant has a different seed, and within each plant there may be a variety of colors. Animals of the same species vary in size and breed. He created the seasons, the oceans, mountains and lakes. How much of these things have we really taken notice of, because are we so bogged down in our next song, choreography, poem, venue, or ministry engagement that we have forgotten to "stop and smell the flowers"? It's an old saying, but it's true.  We were never intended to be so involved in anything that we do to never enjoy the world around us.

      No matter where we live, or how many hours we work, or our financial situation, we can always find other positive interests to make life more exciting and interesting. Read a book about something other than what you do all the time. If you are in the dance ministry, why not go to the zoo or to the beach, just for the enjoyment of doing it?  Are you a poet? why not go to a museum? If you are a singer, think about learning how to play chess or something that releases you from singing for a change.

     The more things that you are exposed to in life, make you a more interesting person, and much more aware of the world around you. It's easy to get into a rut, and very difficult to get out, but once we make the effort to extricate ourselves from the routine of sameness, it's very liberating to us and to those whom we serve.

     Deeloping other interests also frees us from the pressure of competition with others, because when we live balanced lives, we learn that the only person we need to compete with is ourselves, the only person we should try to outdo is us,  and the only person we need to please, is God. So, definitely spend quality time on your craft and your ministry, but take time to have a life outside of it. The people you serve deserve the best you that you can offer them!

Selah . . .


I Cannot Pray...

"Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Luke 11:1 (NIV)

     I haven't posted for awhile...but I only post when I feel that I have something to contribute that will inspire, uplift, and challenge those who read my blog. To those who have been following me, I hope that you will continue to be blessed by my thoughts that I share. Most of us are familiar with The Lord's Prayer, and there are many great teachings and messages on this part of the Bible.

      I found a devotional in a Christian magazine that shed some light on what we often overlook when we read or pray from Matthew 6:9-13 which is known as the Lord's Prayer, or Our Father. I believe that the message is contained within the message, and will speak accordingly to the need of each person who reads:

I cannot say OUR if my religion has no room for others and their needs.
I cannot say FATHER is I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily life.
I cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if my interests and pursuits are in earthly things.
I cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if I who am called by His Name am not holy.
I cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.
I cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.
I cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN unless I am truly ready to give myself to His service here and now.
I cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of my fellow man.
If I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.
I cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.
I cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer
I cannot say THINE IS THE KINGDOM if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.
I cannot say THINE IS THE POWER if I fear what my neighbors and friends may say or do.
I cannot say THINE IS THE GLORY if I am seeking my own glory first.
I cannot say FOREVER if I am too serious about each day’s affairs.
I cannot say AMEN unless I honestly say, “Cost what it may, this is my prayer.”

-Author Unknown

If anyone knows of the original author and/or source of this devotional, please comment so that proper credit can be given.


No More Games!

Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.  But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.  If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.  But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. ~1 Cor. 3:10-15 (NLT)

     Have you ever become discouraged because it looks as if mostly everyone around you seems to be progressing in their ministry endeavors, and you are still struggling? Does it look as if others have that "crowd appeal" when it comes to hosting events and conferences, and no one ever notices your efforts, or worse than that, only a handful of people even show up to your venue? Are you still trying after all these years, to make the right connections by casual name dropping, hard at work to create the strategic network circle that will get you noticed on the "friend" list of some highly recognizable name in social media, resorting to "liking" and posting an "Amen" every quote they put up, requesting to tag yourself in their pictures, or even giving sizable offerings that you can't afford,in an effort to gain their favor?  Well, I have one word for you: "STOP!" It's a waste of your time. Many of the people you are trying to emulate have worked tirelessly for years to get to where they are, and if you were to ever sit down and talk with some of them, their stories would be overwhelming. Those with genuine ministries have endured trials, tests, hardship, betrayal, rejection, discouragement, loss, grief, sickness, and all kinds of emotional pain. They had to wait, study, be trained, be brokenhearted, and still be faithful. No one gave them anything, they worked hard to achieve the status that you see them carrying. 
. . .Instead, we commend ourselves as ministers of God in every way. We did this with our great endurance through problems, disasters, and stressful situations.  We went through beatings, imprisonments, and riots. We experienced hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger.  We displayed purity, knowledge, patience, and generosity. We served with the Holy Spirit, genuine love,  telling the truth, and God’s power. We carried the weapons of righteousness in our right hand and our left hand.~ 2 Cor 6:4-7 (CEB)

     Don't allow the enemy to deceive you into thinking that the "way to the top" in ministry is to have what the world calls "Game" or "Hustle" because although there are many who have chosen this way, in the end, it will only come to ruin. The Bible says that every one's works will be tested by the fire of God when we stand before Him, and His fire will reveal the intention of the works that we have done. It goes on to say that we will still be saved, but all of the worthless things we invested our all into in this life to achieve greatness that God didn't even recognize will all be destroyed. What a humiliating experience that would be, for the Almighty to destroy our hustle and game! If you're unsure of what hustle looks like, here is a brief definition in context:

To convey forcibly or hurriedly; to obtain by energetic activity; to sell something to or obtain something from by energetic and especially underhanded activity*

     Does that look like anything you have been trying to do, to make your ministry happen? if so, you can turn it around, ask God for forgiveness and help you to go on the right path to do things His way. Everyone will not have a large dance/worship arts ministry, an extensive conference schedule or long mailing list, but everyone can do God's will. Maybe in your efforts to attain these things, you have found yourself being tempted to push others aside to make room for yourself, or even sacrificed some friendships to become more appealing to the people you are trying to impress. It's not too late to change your course! Go back and get direction from God, and if what He is leading you to do seems small for now, be faithful with that and do it with a pure heart. And remember the old song that says: Only what you do for Christ will last!

Selah . . .

Footnote: *www.m-w.com


Rest, Refresh, Rejuvenate

"...In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed" ~ Ex. 31:16

     After all of the Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Resurrection services, now is a good time to take a step back and rest. It's easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of activity and lose sight of the real purpose of what we do...and even more important than what we do is our relationship with God. We can be called upon so much that our time with Him gets pushed aside, and then we wonder why we are exhausted. May I suggest that we take a moment, however long that moment may be, to do three things? The three things I'm suggesting are to Rest, Refresh and Rejuvenate.

     Rest is very important to God, in fact so important that the Bible says that God rested on the 7th day of creation. It does not say that He created anything else on that day, but that he rested.

By the seventh day God had finished his work, and so he rested. God blessed the seventh day and made it special because on that day he rested from his work.
Genesis 2:2-3 (CEV)

     The word "rested" here is from the Hebrew word shabath which means to repose, i.e. desist from exertion. If God rested from His work, why shouldn't we?  He looked on all of his creation and it was flawless. While we are resting, we have time to think about what we have done, what we could improve, and even what we need to cease from doing. We have time to be more prayerful, take "time outs" to go walking, go to the beach, the library or the park, spend time with family, and be refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to get new direction or continue with the task we were completing. In our rest time, we can listen to what God is saying and also pay attention to our bodies to make sure everything is in tune. We have more time to read the Word and get revelation and insight into Christ and the world around us. Rest is one of the most important things we can do!

     So, while you are putting away the garments, props, and scripts, make plans to rest...you will be glad that you did!


     Please enjoy this refreshing video from the Blueprint Dancers from Traveler's Rest Missionary Baptist Church...to Nothing Without You by Jonathan Nelson:



Stay in Your Lane!

Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to confirm your call and election.
Do this and you will never ever be lost.
2 Peter 1:10 (CEB)

     “Stay in your lane” is a saying that literally means to know your place and purpose in this world, and to not move out of it. So many people are lost, unhappy, confused, frustrated and discouraged because they are traveling in a lane that is not for them, either because they have allowed others to put them there, or they themselves are trying to fit into a mold that is ill-suited. Sometimes parents want to push their children toward certain career choices to assure financial success or even because they vicariously live through them, instead of encouraging them to prayerfully research and explore all of their options before making a decision. This can result in burn-out, stress, emotional and even health problems later in life.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.
Ps. 90:12 (NLT)

     It’s important to know your purpose in life as well as in the Kingdom of God, where people often seek after titles and positions of status that have no bearing on anyone else’s well-being, other than to exalt the person who carries the title.  Why would anyone want to be called a prophet or prophetess, yet they never have an encouraging word for someone else? Why become a pastor when you don’t really love people?  Maybe your calling in life is to feed hungry people on the street. That’s an awesome mission that often goes unnoticed and probably won’t get front row recognition in a church building, but God sees…and He will reward you openly.  So many ways of serving and helping others have no official credentials on paper, but the spiritual effects are great. Everyone will not be a mega-church pastor or have an international ministry, but everyone can find his or her place in life and be at peace with who we are, which brings our greatest joy. If you know that you are being led by the Lord, don’t allow people, groups, or organizations to convince you that what God put in your heart to do is unimportant, or that you need to be doing something else. Usually when others do this, it’s for their own benefit and not yours, and certainly not God’s.

Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
~Matt 7:13-1(MSG)

      Your place in this world is unique, and is based on God’s plan and purpose for your life.  Are you struggling with “staying in your lane”? Keep looking forward, and don’t get distracted, because if God is guiding your journey, you’re going in the right direction!


The Greatest of These is Love...(Repost)

*This is a repost from February 2011...Enjoy!
    You can't give it
    Til you live it
    You can't live it
    Til you give it away -- Israel Houghton*

     Imagine for a moment that one day, you opened your Bible and it read something like this:

Though I worship in the aisle and in the balcony, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of singing and understand all musical styles and all technical skill, and though I have choreography  that moves the congregation, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I produce books and DVD's, and though I wear beautiful praise garments, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
     I'm definitely not trying to tamper with God's Word, so please don't be offended. The point is that God is Love, but many times we have forgotten this in the midst of our outward activities. We have excitement and zeal, diligence and excellence, but no Love! Now, if God is Love, yet there is no Love in what we do, that means that God is absent from it. Selah...

Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God.  The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. 
I John 4:7-8 (CEB)

     God is very concerned with the way we treat others, so much that He even says that if we don't show love and kindness to towards other people, we can't even identify with Him. He is more interested in love, than He is in how much we do, how we perform our duties, how much we give, or how spiritual we seem to be. We can do nice things for people on the surface, but God knows our intent. Sometimes what appears to be a loving action towards others is actually an attempt to control them. If you are fortunate enough to have large sums of money at your disposal, what is your true motivation for giving? Do we give just because we want to share, or do we really want to manipulate them into doing our bidding, giving us a position, platform or favor in return? Let's look at I Cor. 1:1-3 again:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 
 I Cor. 13:1-3 (NKJV)

     This passage of scripture lists many things that we can do, that amount to nothing if we lack the love of Christ. Israel Houghton's song: Love God, Love People  says that "We can't give it, til we live it, we can't live it, til we give it away". Let's be sure that in all of our serving, that we are truly doing it from heart of God's love.

Stay tuned for Part II...

*Love God, Love People-Israel Houghton


New Year, New Start!

Trust the Lord with all your heart,
    and don’t depend on your own understanding.
 Remember the Lord in all you do,
    and he will give you success.
~ Prov. 3:5-6 (NCV)

      2014 has officially arrived, along with all of the New Year's Resolutions, goals, aspirations and good intentions that we promise to fulfill in the coming months. Some of them are realistic, and sometimes as humans we make promises because others are making them and we don't want to feel left out, knowing that we don't have the drive or real intention on following through with what we said that we would do. But...I have a suggestion: Why not think about the things you were working on, struggling with, or moving towards, and instead of making new resolutions, continue your work on whatever you were doing in 2013? If you were planning to start a workshop that God inspired you to do, and it didn't happen last year, prayerfully look at your plans and rethink them, seek out guidance from a trusted source, and keep focusing on your goal. Have a budget and a target audience, do your research, find your facilitators and plan your deadlines. Think about how much everything will cost and count the cost of the entire project. Good events require a lot of planning to be effective, and need many hands and much prayer to be successful. In fact, a very wise Prophetess, Pastor Sarah Morgan of Women of Vision L.A. states: "Whatever is not birthed in prayer, is illegal"*. That is a very profound statement, but it means that if you haven't spent time praying and getting guidance from God in what you do, it should not be done!

     While we are on the subject of goals, what are you doing to improve your dance ministry presentations for the coming months? There are always new ministries being formed, some have knowledge of how to start and maintain a dance ministry, some have the heart for ministering but no idea of how to prepare themselves. Maybe God has called you to be a solo worshipper, and you need to know about choreography or exactly what to do with your singular ministry. Find out where your place is, and assume the position! There are several sources available to help you in your endeavors that are of good quality, easily accessible, and an affordable investment. Many ministries are faltering because of lack of preparation, or they fail to invest the time in learning about their art. The ministry is whatever God wants to accomplish through your art form, whether it is dance, poetry, theatre, mime, step or flagging. Just because we call something a ministry does not automatically make it one, which is why we can look around and see so many things going on in church that do not glorify God and actually bring confusion and disgust to the church. So many are turned off when they see us calling ourselves ministries (servants) but what we are serving is not fit for consumption. Selah...

     My mind goes back to a video I watched in which there were two dancers presenting a song to the church. The song was about who God is to us. Instead of one dancer representing God speaking to the other dancer, they appeared to take turns being God, and neither one was receiving what the other was giving. At one point in the song, it looked like a war between good and evil. It was a very beautiful song, but extremely challenging to choreograph if you don't study the scriptural basis of the song and plot out your movement theme based on (1) Who is speaking? (2) Who is being spoken to? (3) What is the through-line or pervasive message of the song? (4) What is the resolution? (The end point of the song). If you don't take time to study that, your audience will walk away confused, empty, turned-off, or even think that what you are doing is comical. Although they may never tell you this, they may tell it to other people. Don't be the ministry that people start texting on or decide to go to the bathroom on because you are not effective!

     Again...make this the year that you make plans to attend a workshop in your area, take classes, or avail yourself of some of the many media resources for dance ministry that are available online, on DVD, or in e-books. All of these are relatively inexpensive and are brought to you by people who have many years of experience and want to share their knowledge with you. There are also many ministries who have taken time to study and are eager to have you join in their learning journey along with them: A few are:
  • The Praise Dance Life with Jocelyn Richard - Minister Jocelyn Richard of Visual Praise Ministries has a wealth of information on dance ministry, choreography, garments, technique, nutrition, music, and many other resources on DVD and in e-book form. She also has podcasts that are archived that you can listen to, teleconferences, and does local workshops as well as some traveling to dance conferences where she teaches classes. You can find out more about her ministry at: www.thepraisedancelife.com.
  • Dancing for Him Ministries with Pastor Lynn Hayden - Pastor Lynn has a profound ministry that focuses on the prophetic in movement and dance, and holds regular worship dance workshops around the country. She also has many resources in book form, and on DVD for dancers on all levels that you can use in the privacy of your own home. For more information, you can find her at: www.dancingforhim.com.
     All of these ministries have video on YouTube for you to see, and find out which one would be best suited for your needs. There are many wonderful worship dance resources to choose from, but these are the three that are being highlighted this month. More will be shared as space and time allows.

     Whatever you do, acknowledge God in all your ways, and allow Him to direct your ministries this year. Be original, and be your best!

*Quote from Pastor Sarah Morgan, Women of Vision/Trees of Righteousness Mentoring Class
 - www.womenofvisionla.org

Shekinah Glory Ministry - Just for Me