Embodied: I Wish You Would Dance

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I wish you would dance
As though you knew I loved you from the start.
As though I smiled with delight
As I imagined you into being.
Oh how I wish you would dance
As though you know that your whole being was intended
And your every movement was a celebration
Of your uniqueness and belovedness.
I wish you would dance
Like you caught a glimpse of how I see you.
How I always saw you
And it enlivened your soul and you could do nothing but dance.

Oh how I wish you to dance!

I wish you could feel this aching inside of me
This deep love I have for you
Which formed mountains, galaxies, and blood pulsing veins in you.
Which holds space in its vastness
And holds space in the heart of you.
I wish you could feel the aching I always had for you
Before you were you, yet still I knew you.
An aching that led us to that tree
Formed to bring suffering
Yet somehow transformed to bring life to the least of these.

Oh how I wish you to know…

Written by Rebecca Baxter
Picture found on pinterest, credit: Mary Southard
Originally appeared on The Sanctuary Prayer Space on Facebook.

Blessings of artistry, creativity, worship & BEaUty, Jody
Shine Brightly!

Jody Thomae © 2020 All Rights Reserved

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Book Front
God's Creative Gift by Jody Thomae

Jody Thomae is the author of God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You and The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautifulboth in-depth, interactive devotional books that are part of the Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within series and serve as resources for creative Christians, artists, and lovers of beauty and worship. Jody has been involved in worship arts ministry since 1997, serving as worship arts ministry pastor, worship leader and creative arts director, and is a guest lecturer on creativity, embodiment, and spirituality with Healing Care Ministries. Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and the use of creativity and embodiment in formational and healing ministry. It is her desire to portray the message of Christ’s desperate and unfailing love for His people to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. She is particularly interested in the reclamation of the body in the healing of trauma and works in the area of embodiment with survivors of abuse, addiction, and trauma. Her life verse is Isaiah 50:4.

Practicing the Presence of God through Creative Prayer Stations

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“Practicing the Presence” was created for a Healing Care Ministries seminar called The Essentials. The essence of this seminar to help those in caregiving ministries understand how to position people for lasting, healing change, particularly through engaging the right hemisphere of the brain through creative spiritual practices. “Practicing the Presence” was done each morning in lieu of traditional worship. Each day is spent focusing on one member of the Trinity with the following themes: Creator God, Christ our Royal Redeemer, and Holy Spirit, Flame of Love.

Included here are resources, coloring pages, accompanying scriptures and photographs so you can recreate this for your own church or ministry. Hand-outs are provided and can be used with permission by leaving the website and copyright information intact at the bottom of each page. Coloring pages were created by Pauline Mae Blankenship (©2018) for “Practicing the Presence,” and if you have The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautifulyou will recognize these coloring pages from the book. She has graciously offered them for our use, and you will find links within each section below.

Each day we started in silence, which was broken with Lectio Divina. Then participants were released to explore creative prayer stations. Every day, one station included a cross with artwork to create a space where folks could kneel and pray, and another included the coloring pages at two large tables with coloring supplies:

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Lenten Reflection: On a Mission

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Scripture Reading: 

…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

…For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light…Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 4:30–5:2, 5:8-13, 5:15-20

Reflections:

Yesterday was our final message in our Lenten series through Ephesians. While I didn’t post the entire scripture passage above (due to space), feel free to read Ephesians 4:25–6:9. A large passage indeed, but we took a look from a distance and found three main ideas that pertain to a life of personal mission:

  1. Imitate Christ
  2. Live a life of character and integrity
  3. Make the most of your time

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Lenten Reflection: Spirit-Empowered

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Scripture Reading:

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Eph 6:10-18

Reflections:

Our Lenten journey through Ephesians continued yesterday with Pastor John telling us that to live a Christ-Centered life, one that is rooted in love, is impossible

…save for God!
For with God all things are possible! Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: Christ-Centered Life

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Scripture Reading:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Other Side of the Aisle: a meditation on John 4

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“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. (John 4:19-22)

Dear Hymn-Singer on the Other Side of the Aisle, Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #225 — 52 Weeks of Prophetic Art with Grace Bailey

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G BaileyGrace Bailey is a prophetic artist on a mission! Ministering out of her home church in Ballarat, Victoria (Australia) and at a variety of conferences, she has set herself a goal of 52 Weeks of Prophetic Art. Yes! 52 weeks of live painting during worship! What an amazing goal and ministry. I have been following her since I first found her last Spring on her Facebook page and have been deeply blessed by the artwork she is painting. You can also follow her journey here on her website.

"Valley of Dry Bones" by Grace Bailey (C) 2015

“Valley of Dry Bones? Ha! piece of Cake!”
by Grace Bailey (C) 2015

The painting on your right is “Valley of Dry Bones? Ha! piece of Cake!”

Won’t you take a moment to consider? What are the dry bones in your life? Are they dreams and visions that seem to have died? Are they broken, wounded places in your spirit? Are they mistakes from your past that still fill you with shame? While you examine this painting, won’t you slowly and prayerfully read this prophetic prayer adapted from Ezekiel 37 with me and other fellow artists praying this prayer with us today? Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #222 — Dance of the Trinity

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Won’t you join me on the dance floor today? This is going to take some artistic license and creative choreography, but I hope you will join me with open mind, heart and eyes.

When I first watched this dance to Luminus on So You Think You Can Dance (2015), I was immediately taken with what I saw as the image of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three dancers dancing and creating together in unity and beauty. Let me describe what I see in this dance. You can follow along with the times throughout the video indicated.

To set the stage, Derek Piquette (left) represents God the Father, Gaby Diaz (middle) dances the Holy Spirit, and Moises Parra (floor) represents Christ. SYTYCD 2015 2From the very beginning of the dance, we see three persons from one God. The smoke creates an ethereal mist and the stars an image of space and time being created. Just as the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the earth so too do they (0:35) as the three work together to create all of earth and mankind. Then God steps forward as the Great I AM (0:37+), Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Next the Holy Spirit steps forward (0:43+) bringing artistry to the Tabernacle through the Spirit-filled artist Bezalel, the gifts of the Israelite people, and the worship of the Levites, revealing the beauty of God (0:51). Then as they dance in unison, we see them working together to demonstrate God’s faithfulness and sovereignty throughout the history of his people. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #213 — The Seventy

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National Book MonthAs we wind down our focus on books for artists, creatives and worshipers, I want to direct you to a new book that came out just this month!

The Seventy: A Movement of Creativity in the Earth by Pastor Bernard Boulton is based on a prophetic prayer he spoke over his congregation in 2009.

SeventyThis book announces a movement of creativity rising in the earth during the second decade of the twenty first century. The God of creativity who created the heavens and the earth and created mankind in His image is raising up and sending out a remnant of creative artists who have seen God with a pure heart and have a call on their lives to release the love of God through creative expression.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #204 — Finding Divine Inspiration & Creative Church Handbook

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National Book MonthNational Book Month continues with more books for creatives, artists and worshipers!!

Arts advocate J. Scott McElroy is the author of two works on creativity. In Finding Divine Inspiration: Working with the Finding Divine InspirationHoly Spirit in Your Creativity, McElroy encourages his readers to work in collaboration with Holy Spirit in their creative process and provides a strong Biblical and historical perspective for the Holy Spirit’s role in creativity. The book also includes interviews with painter Thomas Blackshear, Dan Haseltine from Jars of Clay, Peter Furler of Newsboys, and writer/producer Buzz McLaughlin.

Creative ChurchCreative Church Handbook: Releasing the Power of the Arts in Your Congregation is McElroy’s latest release. It includes practical advice for churches wanting to add greater levels or artistry and creativity to their services. He also provides guidelines for establishing a worship arts ministry, as well as advice on how to impact your community through the arts. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #203 — Cultivating Kingdom Creativity

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National Book MonthMore creative books for National Book Month!

Theresa Dedmon has been on staff at Bethel Church in Redding, California since 2003 where she currently oversees the Creative Arts department at Bethel’s Supernatural School of Ministry and in church life. She is the author of two written works on creativity.

CultivatingKingdomCreativityCultivating Kingdom Creativity: a Practical Guide to Releasing Supernatural Encounters Through Prophetic Arts in Your Personal Life, Church, and Community. “Learn how to access new levels of creativity. Receive an impartation for breakthrough in creativity. Experience activation exercises that will propel you towards your creative destiny.” Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #163 — The Power of Music

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Gladys Wilson

This is a very poignant and touching example of the power of music to communicate, connect and heal!

In this video, Naomi Feil, founder of Validation Therapy, shares a breakthrough moment of communication with Gladys Wilson, a woman who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000 and is virtually non-verbal. Feil is a Jewish woman, yet she sings Christian hymns for Gladys because she knows it is those hymns that will resonate deeply in her spirit.  Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #162 — Dancing In Your Calling

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I love this inspiring story from the Dance Theatre of Harlem. It reminds me of the story of Gideon. While he was hiding from Israel’s enemies, threshing wheat on a winepress, the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Gideon responds, “Pardon me, my lord, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about . . . But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #157 — Tongues, Art & St. Paul

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In this article entitled Tongues, Art and St, Paul’s Rules of Order: A Few Suggestions author Amber Noel proposes that a certain aspect of the arts could be taken as glossolalia or tongues:

“Could it be that art, at its best (or at what we might call its most Spirit-led), produces a kind of visual, verbal, aural glossolalia that others may then attempt (again, by the same Spirit) to interpret well? On the other hand, if an act of artistic “speech” and its translations fall flat, or explode into total, unmanaged chaos, then could we perhaps turn to First Corinthians for clues on discernment and order?”

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #139 — Why the Church Needs Art, Pt 4

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Scott EricksonTuesday we started a four-part video series by artist Scott Erickson called Why the Church Needs Art: Stories of an Artist in Residence. We’ve been learning wisdom from his experience as an artist-in-residence at Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. Lots of artists have been watching this series along with you. Lots of people are remarking how the army of Christian artisans and creatives is arising in our churches. Who knows if YOU have been called into your current situation for just such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

As you consider that thought, it’s time again to grab your cup o’ Joe and join us for some great insights from a fellow artist on the journey of creativity!

Here’s part 4:

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #138 — Why the Church Needs Art, Pt 3

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Scott EricksonTuesday we started a four-part video series by artist Scott Erickson called Why the Church Needs Art: Stories of an Artist in Residence. We’ve been learning wisdom from his experience as an artist-in-residence at Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. If you haven’t checked out his site yet, you can do so by clicking on his name above.

And of course, you know what to do…. grab your cup o’ Joe and join us again today for some great insights from a fellow artist on the journey of creativity!

Here’s part 3:

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #137 — Why the Church Needs Art, Pt 2

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Scott EricksonYesterday we started a four-part video series by artist Scott Erickson called Why the Church Needs Art: Stories of an Artist in Residence. Together we’re gaining wisdom from his experience as an artist-in-residence at Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. Time again to grab your cup o’ Joe and join us as we glean some great insights from a fellow artist on the journey of creativity!

Here’s part 2:

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #136 — Why the Church Needs Art, Pt 1

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Scott EricksonThe rest of this week we’ll be in a four-part video series by artist Scott Erickson called Why the Church Needs Art: Stories of an Artist in Residence. We’ll gain insights from his experience as an artist-in-residence at Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. So today through Friday grab your cup o’ Joe and join us for some great insights from a fellow artist on the journey of creativity!

Here’s part 1:

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #135 — Create Supernaturally

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Create Supernaturally

Create Supernaturally is the ministry of Theresa Dedmon, who has been on staff at Bethel Church in Redding, California since 2003 where she currently oversees the Creative Arts department at Bethel’s Supernatural School of Ministry and in church life. This is her prophetic word, prayer and impartation for artists and creatives in 2015. Watch & be inspired!

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #120 — Vulnerability in Creativity

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In this article entitled “Keys to Creativity: Vulnerability” by Diana Pitaru of Unleash Your Creativity blog, she encourages the reader to step into a place of vulnerability in their creative process. Yet she recognizes that’s much easier said than done:

“Vulnerability can be a hard to reach place because we’ve been trained to bury it and stay away from it. It feels uncomfortable because this is where all our demons hide: the things that marked us, terrible things we’ve felt and parts of us that we learn are unwanted. . . “

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