Monthly Archives: May 2019

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does God Play Games?

“You will find Me if you search for Me with all your heart,” states Jeremiah 29:13.  So the question in the heading is does God play games?  This eye-catching title has to do with God seemingly playing the old hide and seek game that we used to play as children in the sweltering heat of the day many years ago.  Well, of course, God does not play games like that but He does have a desire for fellowship and trust.  God wants us to trust His love for us.  He wants to bond with us.  So, in a sense of hiding and seeking, He hides revelation so that we are thirsty and hungry enough to seek after that revelation.

The context of Jeremiah 29 is all about Israel in captivity.  The word from Jeremiah in verses 11-13 speaks hope to a people who were in great despair because they disobeyed their God and began to trust in false prophecies of a sudden deliverance from their oppressors.  But how does the promise of verse 13 apply to us today?  This verse can apply to the backslider or anyone who desires to find a relationship with God. For those of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord, I believe it is about the search.  It is actually what we learn throughout the seeking process that really counts.  God knows everything but yet He does not tell us everything we need to know at once about our life situations.  He wants us to ask, seek, knock on a continual basis.  Why?  Because He loves us and created us for Himself.  As we worship and as we seek His perfect will through His word (written and rhema), we continue the bonding process.  So, let the games begin.

I want the Spirit of the Lord to continue to reveal to me how to search for God!  Be encouraged and be diligent in your search for God ‘s will for your life.  For example, I have an upcoming dance workshop to teach during July this year.  It is now May 1st; however, I have already begun to ask God which songs to use and exactly how to format the workshop. Sure, I could pick any song and format the workshop in any manner, but if I pray and seek God’s wisdom, He will eventually speak to my heart and show me exactly which songs and format will work best for who is going to be attending. I have no idea who will be there but the Holy Spirit does!  So in the midst of the search, there is a voice, there is peace, there is intimacy.  I gain more than just a few songs and some choreography, I gain more of His heart.  Are you a seeker?  Do you love to play hide and seek with the Lord?

Denise Cook Godfrey

Minister/Author/Playwright/Liturgical Dance Instructor

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

dcookgodfrey@gmail.com