Tag Archives: praise dance

A Call to Dance

 

Dance shoes, tutus, buns, and technique training were never a part of my life as a child. As a matter of fact, I was in my late thirty’s before I ever stepped foot into a professional dance studio. For this reason, I find that my “call to dance” so to speak is indeed a divine call that reaches far beyond my own natural understanding.
When I first felt the burning passion and desire to dance before the Lord, it was not something that I willingly embraced. Fear, inferiority, and inadequacy were the ruling emotions that shackled my feet, hands, and soul all together. I told myself, “You’re too old, you have no training, and you’ll look ridiculous!” I tried to sweep it under the rug and laughed at myself; however, the more that I ran from the call, the hotter the fire blazed from within. Each time I would see this awesome ministry of dance (of course during that time I did not realize that it was ministry!) being manifested on television or at certain events, the desire only intensified.
After about a year of hiding, running, and attempting to extinguish the burning desire to dance, I decided to step out of hiding and explore ways to learn about how I can get started in praise dance ministry. I googled a few sites, looked for videos and even joined with two other adults who were also seeking training for praise dance ministry in my community. After a few months being involved in this community team, the Lord led me to an ordained minister who was also a trained professional dancer of thirty plus years! She had owned her own studio for many years and was then working as a partner in one of the studios in my city. I started taking classes with children for about six years! This was indeed a very humbling time for me. It was not easy, but I know now that it was necessary. The Lord was not only preparing my body and increasing dance vocabulary, He was also working on my heart!

The years described above were very necessary and I thank God for them; however the depth of the call can be summed up in what I refer to as a prophetic mandate. There are two events that I like to refer back to when I speak concerning my personal call to dance ministry. For one, some years before I felt the desire and pull to dance, I received a prophetic word from my Bible study teacher, (who is now my husband!). The prophetic word was this: “For the Lord says that from now on, take care of your feet! Take special care and see to it that you no longer purchase cheap shoes”. Okay, so both he and I laughed at this word because it indeed sounded strange. I trusted prophetic words and I trusted my Bible mentor so I wrote the prophetic word out and placed it on the shelf. I did not want to despise it. It was not until a few years after I was fully active in dance ministry that this prophetic word was brought back to my remembrance by the Holy Spirit, providing me with a fresh reminder and confirmation that what I was doing in dance was indeed the will of God! You simply cannot dance without your feet right? Another event is my call to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When God gave me the final confirmation to publicize myself as being called into the Ministry to Preach the Gospel, he confirmed it through a calling dream. At the end of this dream, He alerted my attention to my white gloves. Back in those days, I only did interpretive dance and never danced without those gloves. Praise the Lord! God was confirming that even though He was calling me to a higher level of ministry, He was still allowing me to continue to dance as part of the ministry as well!

Dance ministry is so dear to my heart. I thank God that He has confirmed His anointing on my life to express His heart through drama, technique, and song. I do not take it lightly. One other event in my life that comes to mind is the vision that I have seen of myself all along in a very large open field, dancing, twirling and spinning. In the vision, I could hear this phrase within my heart: “All I want to do is please my Daddy.” My prayer is that I never lose this childlike innocence as I go from level to level in dance ministry.

Denise Cook-Godfrey

Minister/Author/Play-Wright/Liturgical Dance Educator

http://www.amazon.com/author/denisecookgodfrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Atmosphere Changes

When I ponder and look back over moments in dance ministry I am amazed at how the wind of the Spirit comes, goes, and shifts in multiple directions. No wonder Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the Holy Spirit’s work cannot be understood on human terms (See John 3:8)

Be sure to prepare your heart as well as your body for dance ministry. Be open to allow the Holy Spirit to move how HE wants! Sometimes we think we have it all figured out. Just trust Him when you feel Him and you see manifestations and when you don’t. Trust Him when it appears that He is moving upon other dancers and not you. Just know that if you are a surrendered vessel, He will use you and will be pleased with your sacrifice no matter what the outcome looks like in the natural! The atmosphere around you will change when you have totally surrendered your entire being into Him.

 

 

When the Thrill is Gone

So….what happens when the “thrill is gone” from your song and dance???  Its funny how those old fashioned blues songs that your Dad listened to when you were a child always has a way of creeping back into your head.  The “Thrill is gone” is the title of one of those blues songs that I remember hearing as a child; however, I do not quite remember the rest of the lyrics nor the Artist.  So, what are we actually talking about here in relation to the praise dance?  Have you ever experienced those times when you completely lose your fire and desire for the song that the Lord gave you five or six weeks ago?  You have choreographed, you have listened to the song over and over again, you have practiced and prepared but now…..the fire and passion that you had when the Lord first gave you the idea for ministry seems to have faded away.  You may not even like the song anymore!  What are we to do in this instance.  Well, I have experienced this a number of times.  As I thought on this just today, the Lord reminded me of some profound truths that I would like to share:

  • First, pray and ask our Father to take you back to the place where you first received the inspiration and to rekindle that fire and passion that you had at first.
  • Next, it is a good idea to revisit the song’s narrative and meaning.  Look up a couple of scripture references that speak to the meaning of the song.  Meditate on the verses of scripture in order to stimulate your faith and regain your focus.  You may have already meditated on verses at the onset so just go back to these verses if that is the case.
  • Change your mindset!  Realize that if God truly gave you the command to minister this particular song, then He has not changed His mind!  Realize that it is never about us and what we like.  It is always about His purpose, plan and intent for the song and the ministry.
  • Finally, know who you are ministering to.  Minister to the Lord in worship and by faith, minister to His people after you have spent that extra time ministering to Him!  It is not about what we do but about who we be!  We are His children.  We walk by faith and not by sight.  We minister in dance by faith and not by feelings.

Denise Cook-Godfrey

Minister/Author/Play-Writer/Liturgical Dance Instructor

www.amazon.com/author/denisecookgodfrey

 

 

Rising from the Ashes!

What a title, you may be saying.  My Father God is still dealing with me on the subject of brokenness and repentance.  I truly thank Him for it, although I would be lying if I said that this is a fun filled process.  It is indeed a process.  I thank God for the “sack cloth and ashes” of true repentance.  It just makes us stronger and more in tune with the Heart beat of God!

In the Old Testament days, sack cloth and ashes were used as signs of mourning.  The tearing of the clothing was a sign of mourning as well.  The people would use this custom when praying for deliverance, safety and protection, and when they were into SIN and wanted to repent!  Now notice that this sackcloth was a very rough fiber used to make storage sacks.  It was what is known today as burlap.  I am sure that the rough fiber of the fabric against the skin was very uncomfortable.  The ashes came from burnt wood and was “dust”, thus symbolizing grief.  We don’t hold such customs, however, we are still to tear our hearts and mourn and grieve because of sin in our lives and also the lives of others.  We are to ask God to break our hearts for what breaks His heart!  This is indeed a process my friend.  The bible lets us know that God is near unto those who have a contrite heart and a broken spirit!  (psalms 51:17)

Alright, let us bring this thing on home.  So you have a messed up!  You feel terrible and you have asked for forgiveness.  Maybe there is “beef” so to speak between you and another person and the more you try to walk in peace the worst it gets.  Whatever you are in mourning about, just know that you are not to stay there!  God wants the brokenness but He also wants us to rise from the ashes, pull something valuable out of the experience, and keep it moving!  It is a good thing to go through brokenness but it is also good to come out knowing that there is no condemnation for those who are truly “in Christ Jesus”.  I am not saying that we embrace a sinful lifestyle and not take it seriously. We are to take it very seriously and we should care about our character over our gifts.  Our Godly character takes us places our gift will never be able to take us.  Live your life in a balanced fashion.  Agree with God in His presence when you know that you have sinned.  Don’t hide like Adam and Eve did, don’t pass the buck like they did, but for God’s sake, do not let the enemy place a spirit of condemnation upon you where you give in to depression and deceit.  Realizing that we are naked and bare before the eyes of the Lord and yet His love is unfailing, should give us comfort and boldness to enter into His presence and when the heat of brokenness is upon us, hold on to His Hand.  The ride may be a little bumpy but Holy Spirit has got this! He may convict you, but He will also convince you of righteousness as well

Let me dance prophetically over you right NOW!  Enjoy a brief clip of a prophetic dance ministered at a Pastor’s Appreciation on 5/26/13

http://vimeo.com/109988946

Love you with the love of Jesus!  Have a blessed weekend!

 

 

 

Drama, Poetry, and DANCE! What a combination

Poetry moves…poetry expresses….I’ve got a river of life in me and it moves me to write, to dance, to prophesy, to sing, yes that river that Jesus spoke about….out of my belly flows rivers of living waters because I run after Him cause I’m thirsty, thirsty, so thirsty I tell you and His Spirit in me flows and causes me to flow with Him.  (John 7 :37-39)

Would you like to write and direct dynamic Gospel Stage Plays and use poetry, dance and drama simultaneously for the Glory of God?  I can teach you tips on how to write and direct your own anointed stage play or skits that will move the hearts of people not only in your church but in your community all while bringing glory to the Kingdom of God!  Sign up for the mailing list on right side of screen and I will give you detailed information on the online course called “Drama in the Church?  Tips for Writing and Directing Gospel Stage Plays”.

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The Cost of the Anointing

In the Old Testament days, the olive oil used for anointing was very costly and precious.  So it is now.  The anointing upon our lives is a very precious thing.  It is exciting,  yet it costs us to be carriers of the anointing and the glory of God.  Watch the video below to the song:  “Alabaster Box”, choreographed and ministered by Denise Cook Godfrey.

I pray that it will bless you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebNds3FJg5U

 

 

 

 

He Sent Me To Just One

Alabaster Box

Ministry is so peculiar at times.  I have been a licensed Minister of the Gospel now since 2007 and I still stand in awe of how God always takes my breath away with surprises!  That is why we have to follow hard after Proverbs 3:5-6.  You know it.  Go ahead and quote it, “Trust in the Lord with all of thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths!  This is one of those feel good scriptures that is so popular.  Everyone can quote it but do we truly understand it by revelation and experience?  I am still learning it!  I had a dance ministry assignment not too long ago and I was all in a “tizzy” because I just did not know what songs to use.  I was asked to do 2 dances, which is unusual because normally I only do one when I dance alone as a soloist.  So this doubled my trouble, so to speak.  I knew about the engagement at least a month and a half ahead of time but still did not know.  I prayed and tried to put aside extra time to prepare myself like I love to do but still nothing.  So, on the day of, I placed several songs that I had done in the past on a single CD and thought of two particular ones and went on my merry way.  As I arrived I finally just had to pick 2 numbers.  I prayed once more and went with it.  Well, God moved in that place like never before.  After I ministered, there was a woman sitting in the back who had an oxygen tank with her that she was on.  She said to me:  “let me hug  you, you know, I just had open heart surgery and this is my first time attending church since that, and you know what, your dance has blessed my soul.  I  never gave up my hope during my trial”.  Well, after this woman hugged me and said those words to me, I lost it.  I melted, I began to be so humbled because I knew that God sent me up to that place for that one woman.  One of the songs that I ministered was “I never lost my praise” and that particular song was the song that ministered to this woman.  Praise the Lord!  Had I done what I originally planned to do in my own mind, it would not have been that song.  As I waited on the Lord to speak, I did not hear anything.  I chose that song at the last minute because what I practiced as I was waiting on a confirmation from the Lord surely was not that particular song!  So you see Ministers, sometimes God will hold out on you and then He will send you to just one!  Yes, your ministry is to the masses, but sometimes you are sent to just one.  I know this to be true.  Take courage and always remain open to the odd ways that God reveals His will to you.  Be Blessed!

GOSPEL STAGE PLAY COURSE COMING SOON!

Hello everyone.  So very excited to announce the upcoming online course for writing and directing your own gospel stage play!  Do you have inspiration to direct a gospel stage play?  Do you have a vision or see the images, yet cannot seem to get it all on paper?  I can help you with this!  The course will show you how to use the inspiration inside of you to write your own play and how to know the dynamics for directing it at your local church or in your community!  Stay tuned for more details.

Minister Denise Cook Godfrey

 

Never leave Him Out!

Never leave the Holy Spirit out when selecting a song for ministry in dance.  Don’t do it.  I tell you, I have been serving in the praise and worship dance ministry for some ten years now and it never ceases to amaze me how I can even get “tripped” up into thinking “I got this”.  Holy Spirit knows who is going to be at the service or event, He knows what each person is currently or has already been through, He Knows the will of the Father!  In John 16:13, Jesus puts it this way when He spoke of the Holy Spirit who would come to dwell within the Christian believer’s heart:   “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come“.  So there you have it, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth even when it comes to what song to minister in dance or what doors to go in.  You would be surprised at the times when we pick and choose what we want to minister or where we want to go, and it may appear that we are effective above the surface, but underneath, we will lack the effect that the Lord has in mind.  Only when we totally surrender our wills to His, will we serve with a purpose and get the results that the Holy Spirit desires to bring forth.  I have experienced this first hand.  Once I remember ministering at our local church and as soon as the music started playing and I started to move, I felt an impression in my “gut” that the song was not the right song for that service at that time.  The song was an anointed, Christ-centered piece but it was ministered out of season.  I could not wait until that dance was over.  I felt a weight of burden on my heart and I did have to end up repenting.  Even though a few people approached me at the end and stated that they really enjoyed the dance, I knew deep within that I did not consult the Holy Spirit.

Always stand in His council before ministering, even if someone else has asked you to do a specific number.  Let Him (Holy Spirit) guide you into all truth concerning what the Father wants you to do, and you will see results.

 

A Few Tips for Praise Dance Ministries

Well hello my fellow praise and worship dancers.  I love to encourage praise dance ministries.  Sometimes I get so full when I think of the goodness of God and how He places creativity down on the inside of us, I get too excited and just want to write!  Below are a few of my favorite tips.  You may already be fully aware, but it never hurts to be refreshed and reminded.  Just writing these tips again has helped to rejuvenate my spirit and frame of mind.  If you enjoy these tips and are helped by them, why not become a follower of this blog and also check out the book:  “So You Say You Can Praise Dance….Now What?”  (get it at amazon.com/author/denisecookgodfrey)  It not only helps those who are new to praise dance ministry, but it is filled with biblical foundations for answering criticisms and it gives the praise dancer a firm foundation from a biblical point of view.  Enjoy the tips.

Praise dancers:  when was the last time you danced for an audience of “ONE”?  Dance for Him first and He will anoint you to minister through your dances, mimes, and interpretive expressions.

When His anointing rests upon your movements, it really does not matter how skilled you are or how many hours you put into practice.  This does not mean that we do not prepare and continue to train and learn, it just means that the anointing makes the difference.

Praise dancers:  sometimes the most popular song is not for your season.  Always seek the Holy Spirit’s advice when selecting a song to minister in dance.  You will be surprised sometimes at what He will direct you to do.  Be open.  Be sensitive to HIS voice.

amazon.com/author/denisecookgodfrey