The BeginningPosted by Anna Wed, August 07, 2013 13:47:51
It's hard to believe that we are a week into August already, I really do wonder where the year has gone, it seems to have whizzed past and there been no time to take stock and reflect on what has been.
As many of you know this has been a fairly big year for me already, I got married, changed my name and moved house, and begun a process of change in uC Grace; all exciting and fun things. But things that require much thought and prayer as to the way forward.
The thought process of how things could change began a good 10 months ago, when I realised that I couldn't and didn't want to just shut up shop, I felt there was more I could give to people and more that God wanted me to share and keep sharing with people. So it has been and still is a bit of a journey to work out how best to manage how this works.
Thankfully over the past year, there has begun to be key people that get around me and uC Grace and support the various things that are going on and begin to take a bit more of a leadership role in how they are run and delivering them. Where God may take this wonderful team in the year/s to come, I don't know, but I do know that he has brought together the right people at the right time.
Some of you will know, that from January this year Living Colour became Living Colour SEED and moved from a monthly gathering to a bi-monthly gathering/ workshop with the emphasis on encouraging different churches to 'host' the gathering/ workshop (SEED, stands for Sharing, Encountering, Encouraging, Dance). As well as initiating a network of SEED groups and associate SEEDs in different churches to support each other. This has proved successful and it has been encouraging to start meeting and moving with other people from other churches, making connections and networking.
I may seem to have come off topic from starting to talk about time and how it has gone by, to discussing a little bit about the uC Grace Journey. The point I want to highlight is, that 'time' goes into planning and working out a way forward, and then that way forward happens, goes by, and is gone and the next thing has come along. How often do we really stop and reflect to see the little changes, the feedback, the progress, the fun and laughter that may have occurred along the way.
Over the past couple of months I have had some priceless experiences with lovely groups of people, A LOT of laughter, God moments, testimonies and quiet moments have happened. It's taken me till now to stop and realise all that has happened in the 8 months of 2013 so far. I would be writing for a long time to list them all, but I can see how God is moving in the people I meet, the people I dance with, speak to and in me. In amongst all the uncertainty that be going on, there is always one steadfast spirit - GOD - who keeps us going and upholds us.
It's not a bad thing to stop every now and then look back. God provides us with achievements so we can see how he is working, acknowledge him and his work. Why don't you stop and have a little look at your 8 months, and where you have come from and just think about where could God take you next? What is he eagerly waiting to do at just the right time...?
The BeginningPosted by Anna Thu, June 06, 2013 09:07:11
Sometime ago I listened to a sermon based on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
, the longer I listened to it the more I realised that it resonated some principles of building a foundation for dance ministry, or more importantly why uC Grace's dance ministry is running. Running any sort of ministry, you have STOP every now and then to hear/ re-tune to what God is saying to you. Where does he want you to go?
Before we get going it's good to note that by 'dance ministry' I don't mean a group of people necessarily, anyone is in a dance ministry if you are choosing to dance for God and share that with others in a big or small way.
Three things stood out in this passage; the first being foundation, the second reality and the third grace. You may wonder how these link to running a dance ministry, but I am going to endeavour to explain.
Read through 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and briefly jot down some answers to the following questions, thinking specifically about the dance ministry you may do:
* What's bigger? What's deeper? What is the true meaning, or the desire that you really want to share?
Have your notes available to look at as we go through the three principles.
1.) FOUNDATION: Look at verses 1-3, the Gospel is the most important thing.
To build on anything you need a solid foundation. Something that you can hold onto firmly. Plus you have to keep building, it's never finished there is always more you can do and you will continually be reminded of this. The Gospel is important across boundaries, it's not about your Christian Life, it's across your WHOLE LIFE.
At uC Grace our foundational verse is Philippians 2.15 '...which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life...'. This is what we choose to hold onto when things get rough, because they do sometimes. It reminds us that the work we are doing is about being something different in the world, something not of the norm and encouraging others to do the same.
2.) REALITY: By reality I mean:
- that Jesus' death really happened, and it happened for a reason, to take all of our sins and our place. He was not guilty, but He did it so we could live.
- that Jesus was buried, the stone was rolled across and he was locked in the cave
- that Jesus rose from the dead. How do you comprehend that? That Jesus rose and was there in the physical. ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT.
- and that it was according to scripture. Isaiah knew that it was to happen. It was all foretold before Jesus came. IT WAS GOD'S PLAN.
So the reality principle is about fully growing people to believe that is really happened, and that all doubt can be removed that it didn't happen because so many people saw him. In this day, evidence, hard evidence is always asked for. But part of following Christ is accepting the unknown, trusting and having faith.
uC Grace's reality is that it doesn't put into question what the Bible says, it helps to grow the thoughts in the people it works with to allow them to create their own decision, whilst always being true to what it stands for.
3.) GRACE: is important!
The Biblical understanding of grace is about the love and mercy given to us by God, not because we have done anything to earn it, but because God desires to give it to us. Grace can also be understood as a simple elegance or refinement of movement, as well as doing honour or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence.
Part of this involves stepping out and realising it doesn't always work how you want it to be. No one is a better or a higher class of Christian. We all have grace. The questions is how do we choose to use it?
God wants you to be the change, he made you to be. For uC Grace this means releasing others to be and do what they want to do, even if that is not in dance.
To summarise -
Having the right foundation, a Biblical foundation in the dance ministry you do is important, you need to build on God's word to encourage an understanding of God's word.
The reality is that Jesus died, was buried and rose again, that was God's plan and it was known before, growing and explaining this truth is important.
Grace flows in us, out of us and all around us. God gave it to us, but it's our choice how we choose to use it. But by showing grace it releases something in others.
Glance back at the answers you wrote for the questions at the beginning. Do you need to rethink them? Re-tune? What do you need to build on?
The BeginningPosted by Anna Fri, April 26, 2013 22:15:14
I have recently been challenged about something I said a long time ago, in my youth as one might say. Why now have I been challenged you may ask? Well, I think it's all to do with trying to work out the pathway forward.
Some say the most exciting time in your life is getting married. Which I couldn't agree more with, i have so many memories of that fabulous time. But I think, in almost a contradiction to that, something even more exciting begins and comes afterwards.
Two months ago I got married, moved about 40 miles and put myself in a new and completely different environment. One, that has been hard to adjust too, and I still am. In doing so I had to acknowledge that the work I was doing couldn't continue, at least not in the pattern that it currently was. My confusion was determining what the new pattern should be and how that should work. An answer I realised, wasn't going to be readily available.
I find myself swinging each week thinking I've just about made that decision and then something else comes up which makes the decision swing in the opposite direction.
But the one thing that keeps popping into my head, is this phrase that I said all those years ago. Still pulling at me, tugging at me, reminding me.
'You said you would go, wherever I wanted you too.'
How is this more exciting than getting married I hear you say? Come on my journey and find out.