Category Archives: Missions

Traveling With Children

DSC01207aOur family loves to travel!!!  We love going on outreach trips and vacations together.  We love the memories we create on these trips whether by plane, by van, or by RV.  Traveling with children requires preparation, planning, and work, but it is SO worth it.  We grow closer to each other through these shared experiences, and we grow in our love for various missionaries around the world.

This past October we went on a family trip to India. My mom, sister, brother, and close friend joined us on this trip.   It was an incredible experience!   We learned so much and grew in so many ways!

We get so comfortable in Colorado.  It’s easy to forget the struggles of people all around the world.  We get caught up in our own lives, our own problems.  Travelling puts things into perspective and gets us out of complacency.

We recently returned home from vacationing at our Fish camp in Lake Providence, Louisiana for part of Christmas break.  We enjoyed watching movies, finishing a puzzle we started last summer, playing games, reading, fishing, and just hanging out together as a family.

Eric and I have learned a lot about traveling with children from our many family adventures.  In this post, I’ll share some travel tips and hope to encourage you to take your family on outreach trips and vacations.

Before any of our children were born, we prayed that they would be good travelers. Ever since Eric and I were young teenagers we have wanted to travel around the country and around the world using arts in ministry.  We love to learn about what God is doing through people around the world and get so excited about different cultures, languages, and foods!  We didn’t want our childbearing years to be devoid of travel and adventure, so we decided our children would travel with us and we would experience the world together as a family.   Eric works hard to provide for our family to be able to take these trips.   Travel is a priority in our home and something we feel called by God to do during our time on earth as we raise our children. It is by the grace of God that we have been able to travel, by His grace that our travels have been blessed, and by His grace we will continue to be able to travel in the future.

I have seen our children grow closer to each other through our vacations and outreach trips together. Traveling with our children allows us to have large chunks of quality time together. We are so busy in our normal every day life. When we get away from the normal, routine business, we are able to bond and grow in new ways.   Outreach trips and vacations provide our children with plenty of time and opportunity to get to know each other better, see each other accomplish new things, and have fun together.  They’ve got their best friends right there experiencing the same amazing, difficult, fun, frustrating, exciting, boring, delicious, scary, powerful, beautiful things we experience when we travel.

Our family trips have made a huge impact in how our children relate to other people. Our older children feel comfortable talking with people of any age and ethnicity. They are able to freely communicate with people who are different from themselves.  They do not judge people based on skin color or the amount of money they have.   I was amazed watching our twelve year old daughter confidently  speak to a large group of women at a school in India.   She bravely taught a baking class to elementary school children, figuring out what to bake and how to communicate with the children, all on her own.  Our 14 year old son taught keyboarding and enthusiastically prayed for people.  Our 8 year old daughter made friends with local children and helped us wherever she could.  Our 5 year old participated in the art class Eric taught.   Tirzah who is cautiously courageous and learning to overcome shyness freely danced in worship.  This fills me with joy!   I want our children to have hearts not just for Colorado and their circle of friends, but for the whole world!  Taking our children on these trips helps make this happen.

Traveling is an educational experience.  Whether or not you home school your children, traveling is a wonderful way to teach your children about geography, culture, history, architecture, art, music, speech and so much more!  Our children have not just learned about Israel, India, and France, and Southern United States from a textbook. They’ve been there, met the people, tasted the food, and experienced the culture firsthand.  We look at maps, read books, watch videos, and talk about the places we are going to before we go there.  Traveling has been an integral part of our children’s home school education.

So, here are my tips for travelling with children.

Packing.   We pack as light as possible.   On most of our trips we are able to do laundry which helps me out a lot.  I pack clothing that is light weight, comfortable, and easy to wash and wear. I pack our suitcases based on who will be sharing a room together and rarely does anyone get a suitcase all to themselves.  Any item in question is probably best left at home.   Fewer items to keep track of means less stress and less mess.   Ziplock bags are helpful for organizing socks, undies, and toiletries.  Each child gets their own back pack in which they can pack whatever toys, activities, or personal items they want during travel.

Travel by plane.  Our children, for the most part enjoy travel by plane, especially international flights.   Those international flights are long, but they also provide meals and unlimited movies and games, and those little bags that include an eye mask, ear plugs, and a toothbrush and toothpaste.  This is all very exciting for kids.  (I find it to be exciting too:))  Waiting in checkout lines, going through security, and time spent before boarding our plane provides great opportunities to learn and talk about patience.  Teamwork is put into practice as everyone pulls suitcases, carries car seats, back packs, pushing elevator buttons, etc…  Eric and I have learned that pairing up a younger sibling with an older sibling works well for travel by plane.   Our younger children travel almost perfectly when sitting next to an older sibling.  We’ve received many comments from flight attendants regarding how well behaved our children are.  Pairing those younger children with their big brother or sister makes the whole experience more of an adventure and opportunity to be “big”.  We monitor what they watch, are right there for whatever they need, but have the older siblings help with their earphones, drinks, etc.. I always try to pack a variety of snacks for each child’s back pack when traveling by plane.  If our children are bored, they’ll pull out a snack, if they get hungry, I can remind them they have their snacks in their back pack.  Snacks are a must!

Travel by van or RV.   A couple of years ago we bought a used Class C RV.  I have a love/hate relationship with our RV.   RVing is an adventure like no other.  There is something wonderful about a house on wheels.   Something delightful about having the whole family packed into this tiny space that goes just about anywhere you want it to go provided there are good roads to travel on.   I love having all of our items tucked away in the little drawers and cupboards.  I love my cozy, comfy little bed, our tiny RV tv, and meals served and eaten on picnic tables at various campgrounds and RV resorts.  I could go on and on about RV resorts.   We spent 3 weeks traveling up the east coast from Florida staying at a number of different places.  Oh it was fun!   But with RVing you never know what is going to break, when the AC is going to stop running, a tire is going to go flat, the toilet get clogged, etc. etc. etc….  Our children still talk about Eric getting his hand stuck in the toilet on our first RV trip.   He manually unplugged our clogged toilet.  (We had not yet learned proper RV toilet usage and the result was major yuck!)  There are plenty of things to do in an RV.  Our children read books when we travel by RV or Van.  They watch movies on our little RV tv. They color, and talk, and we listen to music or audio adventures together.   Of course the Ipad is always a great boredom buster when it’s loaded with fun and educational apps and games.

Items I recommend for travelling with children:

Snacks and plenty of them.  Goldfish, dried fruit, gum, beef jerky, crackers, fruit snacks, string cheese, suckers, and popcorn are some of our kid’s favorite travelling snacks.

Activity books like Melissa and Doug sticker and coloring books. Tirzah is especially a fan of the faces book.  We also enjoy Color Wonder books.

Audio adventures like the Brinkman Family Adventures.  This series is our current favorite. We’ve listened to season 1 and 2 and LOVED it!  All ages will enjoy the  adventures and stories of the Brinkman Family in this audio series.  If you are thinking about taking a family outreach trip, you should totally listen to this audio series!

An EtchASketch.  We brought one on our last RV trip and our kids all used it and enjoyed it.   Sometimes it’s just good to put down the “devices” and use an old fashioned toy.

Ipods and Ipads.  Our older children enjoy playing games and listening to music when we travel.

Yarn.  Our older girls love to knit and finger knit.  This non-messy activity is also productive and creative.

Remember less is more when traveling.  (with the exception of snacks)  Children can entertain themselves more easily than we think they can. Even a cup and a spoon can be entertaining to a toddler when travelling. (I’m serious!)  Your kids should be able to fit all their personal items, toys, and activities in their own back pack or bag.

Behavior dos and don’ts:

We don’t allow fighting.  Our children argue every day, but we don’t allow them to get into full blown fights.   Traveling together provides our children with the opportunity to grow closer to each other.  They learn to work things out, get a long, help each other and enjoy each other. A perk to having a big family that travels together is that our kids don’t really miss their friends when we travel. They are each others friends.   They have playmates every where we go.  I am extremely thankful for this.

Our children need to be respectful of the people and places we go.  They need to pick up after themselves, say please and thank you, be patient, and cooperate as a team.  They are not allowed to make fun of people or customs that our different from ours.  They need to participate in whatever it is we decide to do and have good attitudes.

Traveling with babies.   Rarely have I traveled without a baby.   My number one recommendation for travelling with a baby is a good baby carrier. My favorites are the Ergo and Sakura Bloom ring sling.  I wear my babies and toddlers wherever we go.  They are calmer, happier, and more easily adjust to new environments when they are worn close to mama or daddy.  Our little ones are also safer when worn in a carrier.  People are far less likely to reach out and touch a baby that is worn in a sling than a baby who is in a stroller or being carried.   I pack a nursing cover up so that I can feed them whenever they want and this almost always puts them at ease. For the most part our babies go with the flow. When we travel in the RV or van, our little ones are all safely buckled into their car seats.  Older siblings are almost all that our babies need to keep them entertained.  They take in all of the conversations, questions, and noise.  Only when they are hungry, sleepy, or in need of a diaper change do they usually cry. Once they are old enough for solid foods, I pack fun snacks for our babies and toddlers like crackers or healthy cookies.  For me, the most difficult part about traveling with babies is sleep adjustments.   New rooms, new beds, different schedules make it more difficult for our babies to fall asleep and stay asleep.  This means more time slept in my arms, more night time breast feedings, and less sleep for me.   I have learned to rely on the Lord for His strength, nap when I can, and know that our babies will adjust after a few days. Like I said earlier, it is worth it!

High Point Low Point.  We try to maintain our family Bible times when we travel.  We don’t want to take a vacation from our relationship with the Lord, so especially in recent years and on all of our mission trips we have a devotional time and also do “High Point Low Point.” We share one high point and one low point from the day.  We all enjoy hearing what each other has to say.  This isn’t something we do everyday in Colorado, but something special for vacations and mission trips.  Oftentimes, I am surprised by what my husband and children share.  This is another way we grow closer to each other and learn more about each other when we travel.

Road Games

On road trips we play games like, Eye Spy,  the Alphabet Game,  the John Deere Tractor Game (We made this one up.  It’s a sort of eye spy John Deer tractor game involving a complicated scoring system that can get pretty intense).  So fun!  These games are good for keeping the driver alert on a long road trip.

 My Number One Tip.  Stay Calm, Have Fun. Happy Mama equals happy family. 

I’ve learned that when mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy. When I’m frazzled and angry, this effects everyone’s mood. When I’m uncomfortable or irritated, it rubs off on the whole family. It’s important especially for us wives and mothers to have fun and be joyful on family vacations.  I have my moments.  Things do not always go as planned.  There will always be problems on every trip.   Your attitude about those problems can be contagious and affect the experience for everyone.  Eric and I get into arguments when we travel just like our children do, but we do our best to stay connected and resolve things quickly.  Eric’s likes to remind us of Rick Steves quote, “Be fanatically positive, militantly optimistic.”  On this note, make sure you buy a travel guide especially for family vacations.  For a $15 book you can save a ton of time and money!

With God’s help we try to remain peaceful when stressful situations arise.  When the kids throw fits, the best thing I can do is to stay calm, love them and get through the fit.  On a recent trip passing through customs, one of our children decided they didn’t want to co-operate with the customs officer.   This child refused to look at the officer, began to kick and scream, and go into one of the biggest public fits any of our children have ever thrown.  Inside I was frazzled, horrified, embarrassed, did not know what to do, and felt like crying.  Most of the people in the lines behind and next to us smiled graciously at us during this fit, but there were a number of people who looked at us with shock and disgust and I could just imagine what they were thinking.   Granted, it was 1:00 in the morning after an extremely long and exhausting day for us and our children.

We FINALLY made it through customs and our child fell asleep a short time later.  This experience required me to stay calm and also made me realize I had some work to do in training this little one in the area of obedience even when tired! It is important for me to follow my husbands lead when we travel.  If I begin to get critical and discontented the whole family is effected.

We pray A LOT whenever we go on trips.  We pray about where to go, when to go, and then we pray often, every day while we are travelling.  Prayer for protection, favor, fun, blessing, health, and strength.  I also ask others for prayer.  Every time we take a trip I thank God for what He is allowing us to do and pray that we will be a blessing to the people we encounter. Prayer is so important.  You cannot underestimate the power of prayer in preparation for a family trip.

I encourage you to travel with your family!  Whether it’s a weekend away in a nearby town or a short term outreach trip, your family will be enriched and refreshed when you take time to enjoy each other and serve God together away from the familiarity of home.  You will grow in your relationship with the Lord.  You will become a more patient, compassionate parent.  Your children will be changed (in a good way).   And you’ll probably long to take more family trips.

Keep in mind that you can do fundraising for outreach trips.  Fundraising letters are one of the best ways to raise support.  Don’t be ashamed to ask for money.  You’re giving others the opportunity to be a part of your outreach trip when you ask them to give.  God makes the way and He provides!

I also encourage you to check out the Brinkman Adventure series.  These audio adventures are based on real life stories.  Your whole family will enjoy listening to each episode designed to draw you and your children closer to the Lord and give you a heart for people around the world.   You can even download each season for free if you cannot afford the suggested donation of $17.

Here are some pictures from our recent family trip to India.

 

We experienced powerful times of worship in India.

We experienced powerful times of worship in India.

Tirzah, Judah, and Isabelle dancing and hoola hooping at the Worship Arts Festival.

Tirzah, Judah, and Isabelle dancing and hoola hooping at the Arts Festival.

Dancing at the festival.

Dancing at the festival.

I love dancing with my girls!

I love dancing with my girls!

We did a few leaps outside of the most beautiful school on earth.

We did a few leaps outside of the most beautiful school on earth.

Emmy taught the school baking club how to make chocolate chip cookies.  This was the first time any of these children had tasted chocolate chips.  We brought several bags with us just for this class.

Emmy taught the school baking club how to make chocolate chip cookies. This was the first time any of these children had tasted chocolate chips. We brought several bags with us just for this class.

Josiah taught cording skill to the keyboarding club.

Josiah taught cording skill to the keyboarding club.

Isabelle and a friend.

Isabelle and a friend.

Our handsome Judah.

Our handsome Judah.

Eric teaching art to the art club students.

Eric teaching art to the art club students.

We were gifted with jasmine wreaths upon our arrival at the school.

We were gifted with jasmine wreaths upon our arrival at the school.

The local market.

The local market.

So many colors, smells, and sounds.

So many colors, smells, and sounds.

Ruthie, delighted with her bangles.

Ruthie, delighted with her bangles.

Spices and lentils.

Spices and lentils.

Ruins at the top of our hike.

Ruins at the top of our hike.

Amazing place to wear my baby:).

Amazing place to wear my baby:).

Washing on the street.

Washing on the street.

Eric and I both noticed this guy from our bus window in Calcutta.

Eric and I both noticed this guy from our bus window in Calcutta.

A boy and his monkey.

A boy and his monkey.

One of my favorite experience in India, our visit to a slum church in Calcutta.Here we arpiled up o  n tPastors ss

This baby girl did fantastic!  She loved being in India, surrounded by our family and lots of Indian children who lovingly pinched her cheeks.  Our babies bring great joy wherever we go!

This baby girl did fantastic! She loved being in India, surrounded by our family and lots of Indian children who lovingly pinched her cheeks. Our babies bring great joy wherever we go!

Why I Love Dance

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In just a few days, my family will be travelling to India.   Suitcases, back packs, travel snacks, vitamins, essential oils, baby carriers, and all sorts of other items are lined up in my bedroom right now ready to be organized into all of our gear.  It takes a lot of planning and creativity packing for a family of 8.  I’m almost done, and I am so excited!   We will be doing various things in India like; teaching dance, art, and drama at a worship arts festival; teaching baking, dance, art, and dental hygiene at a local primary school; visiting a slum church and Mother Teresa’s ministry in Calcutta, and spending quality time with our friends from India who we love so dearly.

India is a land of diversity.  It is a land of color, sounds, smells, delicious food, and beauty. Ever since visiting India four years ago I have longed for the day when we could return. After God and family, my greatest passion in life is the ministry of dance. I am filled with joy and expectation as I think about what a blessing it is that we get to share the love of Jesus to people in India through dance…..

India is a land of dance.  There are cultural dances, religious dances, and celebratory dances. The different states and geographic regions have their own dances.  Dance is an integral part of Indian culture and religion.  In preparing for our trip to India, I learned that there are over 26 different hand movements alone in Indian dance!  The footwork and movement of dance in India is beautiful.  I believe God wants to pour out his Spirit upon dancing believers in India.  I believe He wants to anoint the dancers in India to dance upon injustice, to bring freedom to captives, to pour out healing and joy upon this beautiful and mighty nation.   Please pray for our family and our team. Please pray for the Lord of the Dance to surround us and surround people with His perfect love. Please pray that we will continue to have His heart, His vision, and His dreams for dance.

Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night because I am so excited about the many ways God is using the ministry of dance!   I am full of dreams, creative visions, and inspiration from the Holy Spirit when I think about dance!  A high point of my week is my Wednesday night dance small group called Illuminate.   I have a particularly difficult time falling to sleep on Wednesdays after dance because I am always so encouraged and excited about the work of God’s Spirit!  I LOVE the women in this group more than words can say!  They are all unique, beautiful, STRONG women who share a passion for dance and for Jesus.  God has orchestrated our friendships and all that He does during our times together each week.

Dance ministry not only impacts dancers, but it impacts their families for the Kingdom of God!   This past Wednesday was amazing, even miraculous!   There are many powerful dance testimonies that I could share, but my heart is still pounding from what happened just a few days ago.  Our group of dancers pray for and care about each other.  We also care about and pray for each other’s families.  This week, one of our dancers asked us to pray for a family member.  As we were prayed, I felt like we were supposed to pray in tongues for this person.  I also felt like there were dancers in our group who had not yet spoken in tongues and that God wanted to manifest that gift to them.  I shared this with our group.  Some of our dancers then testified about their experiences with speaking in tongues.  I was amazed by their testimonies, encouraged, and felt my faith rise! The dancer asking for prayer had never spoken in tongues before and she was ready.  We surrounded her, laid hands on her, and praying in tongues. One dancer began to sing in tongues, and much to my delight, a few moments later the dancer we were praying for broke out into the most beautiful song in tongues that I have ever heard!  It was heavenly and miraculous!  I believe the Lord was whistling for and wooing her family member to Himself as she sang in the Spirit.  Hallelujah! That dancer went home and DREAMED in tongues!

Now the story doesn’t stop here, which is why I am SO extremely excited!  We also prayed for 3 of our dancers who have scoliosis.  My sister Hannah was healed of scoliosis so she led that prayer. One dancer felt her back move and the tension go.  That healed dancer has since prayed for her mother’s back and her dance student’s backs!   Glory to God!

My three year old Tirzah is small, but mighty.  SHE is a dancer.  She loves dance.  If she is angry or agitated, all it takes is for me to put on some good music and let her flow with dance and she’s back to her joyful, strong self.   Tirzah nearly drowned when we were in Lake Providence this summer.  Tirzah’s siblings and Jesus saved her life and she knows it.  A couple of weeks after this experience, Isabelle age 8, (while I was at dance!) led Tirzah in a prayer to ask Jesus into her heart.  Tirzah was so excited to tell me all about it when I got home.  Yesterday, I took Tirzah and Ruthie on a walk.  During our walk I began to speak in tongues.  I told Tirzah that she belongs to Jesus and is filled with His Spirit, so if she wants to speak in tongues too, then she can.  Tirzah replied with, “Mom, I don’t know how to do it!”  I said that was ok, we could just pray and Jesus would fill her mouth with His heavenly language.  The next thing I know she is speaking in tongues, jumping up and down, giggling, and saying, “I’m doing it!  I’m doing it”. Ever since then, she’ll bubble into tongues every few hours!  This is MIGHTY Tirzah and fruit from what happened in my dance small group on Wednesday night!  Praise the Lord!

My first memory of dance comes from a photograph taken of me at two years old.  My hands are raised, eyes closed, relatives all around me.   I am worshiping Jesus with my dance. I’m unashamed.  I’m pure.  I’m free.   I’m having a precious, intimate moment with Jesus, who I already knew and loved at that young age.

My choreography “training” began way back in the mid-80’s as I created workout routines to my favorite Carman (not Carmen the musical, but Carmen the guy) album.  Yes, I am that old!!!   My record player was awesome.  I listened to Psalty, Strawberry Shortcake, and most importantly Carmen on that thing.   I do recall, the bicycle move being a favorite of mine and showing up a lot in my routines….

I began taking dance lessons when I turned 11.  I joined the “Bigger Beginner” class.  (Awesome name, right!?!)  Honestly, I didn’t like that first year of dance very much.  (Perhaps the name of my class had something to do with that? lol)  My blossoming body felt awkward and immature. I wasn’t a fan of my costume, and I didn’t feel lovely.  The next year I was “advanced” to the “Beginning Teen” class.   I’ll never forget the moment I fell in love with dance.  During our Spring Concert my class danced to the song “Moon River.”  I wore a beautiful red, orange, and yellow costume.  I felt strong and graceful, and I thought to myself, I LOVE dance!  I was hooked.

From there, I went on to take ballet, jazz, and company classes.  I loved performing at schools and nursing homes.  When I turned 15 years old,  I applied to be a teacher helper.  I was beyond excited when my application was accepted.   During those first weeks of teaching I wrote in my journal asking God to help me dance for His glory and His glory alone.   I asked him to work in me through Jesus and to help me build the self esteem of my students through dance.  I grew up in a Christ centered studio where modesty, purity, and integrity were taught and encouraged. The scripture, “Not unto us, but unto you, O Lord be the glory.” was written on every concert program.

The summer after my junior year I went on an arts and worship outreach with the Covenant Church. I went on this outreach to minister with singing, and Eric with his trombone.   What I discovered during this outreach was the power and beauty of worship dance.   There was a dancer on this outreach.  She ministered not only with technical dance, but with worship.  Her body was an instrument of worship!  I was amazed and inspired and hungry for more!

During my 20’s I coached a performing company called Thoxa. (means praise and glory).  This group of young teenagers captured my heart.   I loved choreographing dances for them, encouraging them in their relationship with the Lord, and praying for them every week. A handful of those young ladies are still in my life.  They are now in their 20’s, teaching in the Rez Dance ministry, dancing with me in Illuminate,  and pouring their lives into others through dance.

Around 6 years ago, the owner of the studio I grew up in retired.  I thought that I would continue to teach at that studio, doing what I had been doing for many years, but I heard the Lord tell me my time there was also over.  I didn’t want to accept this.  I didn’t want to believe I was hearing God tell me I was done dancing there.  This had been my life, my heart, my joy.  But I knew my Father’s voice, and I had to obey.   That summer, I started Illuminate Dance Company at Resurrection Fellowship.  Both of my sisters were a part of this group along with several other close dancer friends.   Illuminate was wonderful.  It was where God wanted me to be.  It was not the same as a studio, but it was right.  That year, I wrote out a vision that was burning in my heart, for a future dance ministry.  I had a dream in which I saw 100 dancers looking at me. A little girl in the center looked in my eyes and said, “We are here because our parents know that you are going to teach us good dance.”   When I woke up, I prayed in awe, wondering if this would come to pass.  Wondering if I would someday see 100 dancers participating in the ministry of dance!

That next year, I was blessed to be able to start a dance program at our church with weekly classes for children and adults.  We taught ballet and jazz all with a worship focus.  My husband and I felt led to make these classes free with only a costume fee.   Myself, along with the other women in Illuminate Dance Company taught these classes.  That first concert a little over four years ago had 100 students participating.

Flash forward to now.  Rez Dance has 22 teachers, 40+ classes meeting every week, 3 dance companies with a couple more in the works and well over 300 dancers!!!  We teach ballet, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, choreography, special needs, boys, dramatic, prophetic, and performance dance all for the glory of God and the purpose of training boys and girls, women and men to worship the Lord and minister to others with their bodies, through the gift of dance. We have been able to go on dance outreaches to the Children’s Hospital, nursing homes, and various other outside of the church events.  We took a team to Israel, Lake Providence Louisiana, and now India!   Dance is God’s idea, His thing, His vision, and His gift for such a time as this! 

Our God is a dancing God.  Zephaniah 3:17 says, “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.”  That  second word for rejoice, the Hebrew word giyl, means to go around in a circle, to leap for joy, to dance, to tremble as accompanied by the leaping and palpitation of the heart!   This word found in others scriptures gets me so excited!  Isn’t this awesome! God dances over us!  He spins and leaps wildly with love for us.

Dance is a form of worship.   Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise His name with dancing.” When the ark of the covenant was brought back to Jerusalem David danced before the Lord with all of His might.   When we dance before the Lord in worship we offer our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice.   We declare that He is Lord and we open up doors for the King of Glory to come in and inhabit our praises!  We can dance before the Lord in the privacy of our homes or in corporate worship settings.  There is freedom and joy that is released when worship is expressed through dance.

Dance is a form of intercession.   Some of the most powerful times of intercession I have experienced have been during dance. In the battle of Jehoshaphat, God told Jehoshaphat to send out the worshipers ahead of the army.  By the time the army got to the enemies camp, the enemy had been defeated, wiped out!  I have seen answered prayers time and time again after times of intercessory dance.   God told Satan that he would bruise woman’s heal, but she would crush His head.  I believe our dance tramples on the lies, plans, and schemes of the enemy.

Dance is a form of prophecy.  When a choreographer creates a dance, he or she is speaking a message with the movement created.  When this movement is created in partnership with the Holy Spirit it becomes prophecy.   When a dancer dances listening to the voice of God, being led by Him, she dances prophetically.  Exodus 15:20 speaks of Miriam and says, “Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all of the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing.”  Miriam was a prophetess and a dancer!   I have seen lives changed through prophetic dance.  

Dance is a language.  Dance is an expression of the soul.  Dance is a path to freedom.   Dance brings joy.  Dance is healing.  Dance brings healing to the deepest parts.  Dance can get to untouched parts that have never been exposed, never been spoken to before.  Dance is reviving.  Dance is celebration.  Dance is powerful.  Dance is the visible image of hidden truths, hidden words.  Dance builds bridges.  Dance builds dreams.  Dance stimulates the mind.  Dance is created by God. God is a dancing God.  Dance is therapeutic.  Dance produces confidence. Dance tramples shame, doubt, and fear.   Dance brings victory.  Dance is an expression of victory.  Dance demolishes depression.  Dance brings justice.  Dance releases mercy. Dance is brave!

I have seen people come to Christ through dance.

I have seen people healed physically, emotionally, and spiritually through dance.

I have seen people experience financial breakthrough through dance.

I have seen women go from surviving to flourishing through dance.

I have seen walls come down through dance.

I have seen marriages restored and rejuvenated through dance.

I have seen wild prayers answered through dance.

I have seen friendships blossom and grow through dance.

I have seen people receive gifts of the Spirit through dance.

Dance for Jesus is pure. It’s holy. It’s strong. It’s relevant. It’s excellent. It’s unashamed.  It’s powerful. It’s mighty.  It’s creative.  It’s anointed.  It’s humble.  Dance is God’s idea.  It’s His gift.  It’s His vision.  HE is the dancing God!

I encourage YOU to dance.  If you see yourself dancing when you close your eyes in worship, then do it!  Dance your heart out before the Lord.  Look to him and be radiant with your face unashamed!  Dance in worship.  Dance in intercession.  Stomp your feet, spin, twirl, jump.  It doesn’t matter if you have dance training or not, if it’s in your heart to dance, then dance! If you live in Colorado, feel free to check out Rez Dance:).

If you want to learn more about worship, intercessory, or prophetic dance, then read the book Encountering God Through Dance by Saara Taina.  If you are a dancer or a parent of a dancer I encourage you to read this book!  You need to read this book!  It will open your heart and your eyes to God’s purposes and vision for dance.

I also encourage you to join a group of other believers who share a similar passion as you.  We flourish and thrive when we do the things God calls us to do while at the same time being connected with other believers.  Find your place, the place where you can grow and where you can also minister to others.

To God be the glory and honor and praise!  May His name be exulted among the nations through dance!

My first memory of dancing for Jesus.

My first memory of dancing for Jesus.

Dancing at an IDF base in Israel.

Dancing at an IDF base in Israel.

Another picture from Israel.

Another picture from Israel.

Josiah doing some jump roping,  He and Judah both take hip hop classes.

Josiah doing some jump roping, He and Judah both take hip hop classes.

Dancing in a Parade in Lake Providence, LA.

Dancing in a Parade in Lake Providence, LA.

Beautiful Emmanuelle dancing to a song called "Trinity"

Beautiful Emmanuelle dancing to a song called “Trinity”

Prophetic Dance called "Wings"

Prophetic Dance called “Wings”

Illuminate, Captivate, and Chara Dance Companies performing "To Our God"

Illuminate, Captivate, and Chara Dance Companies performing “To Our God”

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This little Tirzah princess recently asked Jesus into her heart and got baptized in the Holy Spirit.  She loves dance!

This little Tirzah princess recently asked Jesus into her heart and got baptized in the Holy Spirit. She loves dance!

Dancing in Maui

Dancing in Maui

“Isa’s Song” was was my first Rez Dance, Illuminate Dance Company dance.

“Roar from Zion” is a dance we performed in Israel.

“Spirit Break Out” is a dance we will be doing in India.

To see more videos you can go to our Rez Dance YouTube channel.