Living Colour Creative

Living Colour Creative

Trusting the Stepping Stones

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Tue, January 21, 2014 18:25:29

Well 2014 is well and truly here and the end of January already seems like it is fast approaching. It seems like I haven’t written and post for a while, which is true! I have been getting used to very different way of life at the moment which has its highs and its lows.

Many of you will know that I have moved up to Shawbury, Shropshire to support Danny on his next RAF course, it is amazing part of the world, one of Gods gems. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore it in much detail but I am very much looking forward to.

I am learning (slowly) how God carries and guides us in times when things are so different. Whilst I love the area up here in Shawbury I am in a middle place of working out what to do whilst I am up here – to pursue further dance work of some description, or take a little time out and spend time doing something different. Allowing time when necessary to focus on the training and retreat that uC Grace has planned this year (very exciting in itself). Let’s not forget making new friends, finding a church and generally getting into the routine of life up here too.

These are all fairly big things that I don’t know the answer or action to, but I know who does! Today was a low point; in the New Year I had to have an op that was little more extensive than I had prepped for and my recovery is shall we say slower than I want it be. Whilst having to take time out for a rest today (something I am usually fiercely stubborn about), God brought me the image of stepping stones and how we move across them, and the way the water and objects react around them.

It immediately jolted me; stepping stones help us to get from one place to the other, to walk on stepping stones we need to have balance and focus in order get from one side the other. We need to be aware of our surroundings, is there fast moving water, and are there any stones submerged or anything in the way? In our walk with God sometimes we will be getting to a stepping stone and want to move on straight away, but in essence we can’t because there is something in the way. We have to have patience and TRUST to WAIT for the next stepping stone to be cleared and only when it is ready will we be able to go onto the next one.

I wonder where you are all at, at the moment. It’s a new year, the time when many of us will have aspirations to achieve or do something. But I wonder whether you are in tune with what God wants you do. Does he want you to take the next step, or spend some time just waiting and trusting HIM for what may come? I am a firm believer in the phrase in the Bible that says – God will do immeasurable more that we can ask or imagine… The best way to let that happen? Is to provide him with time for him to do just that!

I hope this has given you a little food for thought. I am at another next stage of the Living Colour journey so we will see where God leads it

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The Simplicity of Sharing

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Thu, October 17, 2013 21:52:37

The Simplicity of Sharing

As many of you will know the gift of sharing is at the heart of what we do, at the moment I am having an opportunity to share my teaching skills. I never thought something so simple would be so satisfying. The act of giving to someone something that you know, enjoy or love is more worth to that person and to you than you initially realise.

I've always wanted to share and pass on what I love, sometimes I struggle to know how to do that though. But more and more I’ve recognised that you ‘simply’ demonstrate/ talk/ write what it is. Trying to make it complicated doesn’t work. If it’s something that you love then you will find a way to do share it.

This year has been a real opportunity for me to do just that, with more people we’ve connected with having a desire to find out more about teaching, worship dance and performing. I am looking forward to next year and what all of that may bring, in the hope that as I share with people they in turn will share with others and so on.

In the Bible Jesus encourages us to come to his table to eat and drink and share with him. He eagerly encourages us to that. I want to encourage you do to the same, to go to Jesus’ table and share with him, so we in turn can share with others. What you love and your passion may not be dancing, or writing or creativity or Jesus, it may be something else. But I would encourage you to share it, regardless.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Matthew 26.26

This is Diana, one of the lovely ladies this year I've had the delight in sharing things with and watching grow.

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Jesus You're my Great Adventure

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Wed, September 11, 2013 13:23:04

Do you consider your life an adventure? Do you marvel at the twists and turns that it holds? Are you out the door like a shot when something new, different and unknown comes up? Would you close your eyes and just follow Jesus?

Did you answer yes to all those questions? Honestly? Truthfully? Good on you if you could, I can’t quite answer yes for all them, I want to, but I can’t. However, I now look on these questions in a different light, after hearing a very simple phrase.

Jesus you’re my great adventure…

Just sit and say that for a little while and let it soak in. JESUS is our great adventure. I don’t know about you, but I was blown away when I took on board what this was saying. It was one of those things where I heard it and did almost a double take, was that really what I just heard?!

Our lives as we know are not our own, we have chosen to follow Jesus and go where he goes. But sometimes along the way that just doesn't happen for various reasons. I wonder though, if you look on those moments when something new, different or unknown presents itself, do you look at it and gulp or look at it and smile because you know that Jesus is leading you into the adventure AND coming with you.

My perspective of how I take on new things and directions has changed from hearing, receiving and smiling at this phrase. Some of you know, my husband is in the RAF, and we are waiting for what I have called ‘D-Day’ (24th October) to find out where and when we go next. Whatever the result is could impact how I run uC Grace, so, I have to sit and smile (rather than get worried and upset) because I've chosen to follow Jesus and that means going where He wants me to go, even if right now I don’t know where that is or what that will entail. I'm in adventure!

Part of this adventure is appreciating the people that help me with uC Grace to discern the way forward. We had a 2014 planning meeting last week and it’s very exciting the adventure we believe God wants to take uC Grace on over the next year. The biggest adventure is, only God knows how it will happen!

So when you hear the phrase ‘Jesus you’re my great adventure’ don’t get bogged down in the mundane bits of life, the ‘how to’s’ and ‘what ifs’. Instead look at your relationship with Jesus and go on an adventure with it, that relationship is your life, therefore your life is a Jesus adventure!

Check out the song – Because of Your Love by Al Gordon

Be like a child, giggle, jump, smile and just do it!

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Something's Stirring

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Wed, August 28, 2013 11:06:15

There is something that has really struck me this week as I have listened to more and more of the new praise and worship songs that are coming out over the past couple of months. They are filled with a yearning, a desperation, unlike I’ve not registered before. I don’t mean desperation in a negative way, but desperation to get to that holy place where it is just God and the singer.

Now don’t get me wrong, I'm not saying songs haven’t had that in the past, what I am saying is that there is something new awakening out there, something that is stirring in people like it hasn't stirred before. Imagine if you were an actor and the first role you get is as an extra, someone in the back ground, following the crowd. But the more confident you get, the more proficient you get, and the more passionate you get, and then the roles that you get given, begin to get bigger. It is your passion, your heart, your love and your drive that pushes you to get to that place, without that you’d simply stay as an extra.

Look back at songs of individual worship artists, they tell a story, a story of their walk with God, their pain, anger, triumphs and special times. As their journey has gone on more, their desire to get closer, fulfil the hunger and be in that Holy Place has become ever so much more important; important for them to get there, and important for them to impart to others, ways of getting there for themselves.

I find that there are songs that stir different emotions; there’s the…

· - Freedom fighting, ground reclaiming, heart pounding ones.

· - The softly, softly encouraging ones.

· - Or… mind nagging, heart pulling, hand raising ones.

And much more; all eliciting different responses depending on our walk in life, and where we are with God.

Words of any song should not be sung lightly, words are deep and meaningful. You can worship God in any situation, but think about what you are saying, and what the words may stir in you.

When I am consumed to dance for God, I am aware of no one else, apart from the presence of the Holy Spirit and God being right there. As a mover more than singer, it takes the singers with their songs and their desperate plea of drawing into Gods presence, to unleash my movement gates. If I'm at home, I will just move, but if I'm at church, I wait for that call to move, because when it comes I know that God is sending me in his power to do it. So I go.

That is easier said than done sometimes, when I was at Millmead I was comfortable, I knew my surroundings, people knew my movement and that I only went when prompted, it was safe. Now however, I'm not in that position, I'm at a new church, where I am still an ‘extra’ taking it all in, waiting for my call to go forward. I know it will come soon, and that is scary. Scary because not many people know me at this church, and there are a few more rules to moving than there were at Millmead, and it’s a very different environment!

So think about what stirs you, what songs mean to you, how you welcome God into your heart, how you take note of the words you are singing or moving to. Words of songs are both for the heart and about the heart.

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God has a hand in these things

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Wed, August 21, 2013 20:53:17

"The discovery of the effect dance can have on life, allows a person to uncap something that has been blocked. Resulting in an unceasing knowledge, that our God is unchanging, and eagerly desires to uncover and display his uncontrolled love for us."

No year, month, day or hour is ever the same, each one unique depending on the point you are at in your life and your walk with God. I have been running uC Grace for 3 and half years, it has not been plain sailing, it’s been hard work, with many obstacles. However, the outcomes always outweigh anything that may have got in the way, and remind me of why I do what I do.

uC Grace began in 2010 out of a desire to share what I know and my passion for dance in worship with others, young and old alike, three ‘strands’ of work developed – School, Community and Church; each individual, in what they did and how they served their particular audience. Schools encompassed curricular and extra-curricular activities; Community delivered regular creative classes and holiday activities; whilst in Churches I began to develop Living Colour.

Why Living Colour? As Christians we have the ability to be someone else, someone not of the norm, who has values and beliefs and wants to share them. Living Colour is about being that different person, having colour and standing out in the crowd in the way that God wants. Colour can bring life, hope, trust and love.

In the ups and downs of the Living Colour journey I can look back and see all that happened was right in Gods hands and how it was meant to be. That doesn’t mean it was easy. In the beginning I may have had no one turn up to workshops, or 10 one month and two the next.

As I look back on my journey of sharing my passion for dance in worship, I realise the way God brings us on a journey, drawing a picture, meandering us until we get to the point that he wants us at, holding us in his hands.

Sometimes we don’t see the outcomes of what happens in workshops or events that we run, we recognise that God has done something but don’t know the depth or magnitude. I recently received the following message on Facebook - ‘I've been meaning to let you are SO doing what I admire! I've been teaching a fitness class at my church to raise church funds for about a year now. I'd really like to develop it into a Praise Aerobics or Praise Dance-style activity. Would like to bring God into it. I've been putting off changing it, because I feel like I don't know how to do it. Watching your faith-dance videos helps and seeing some of the faith-based dance events that you post are nudging me in the right direction.’

Not only was it a great source of encouragement, but I didn’t even know this lady was a Christian, let alone made a note of the events I posted I was running. The dance work you do is bigger than you can possibly perceive, it isn’t measured in numbers, its measured in the seeds that are sown, in the way God puts his hand on your life, the way you teach, the way you share and the way you demonstrate.

In January this year Living Colour became Living Colour SEED (SEED standing for – Sharing Encountering Encouraging Dance) to identify that there was a new chapter in its journey, that supports, develops, trains and equips churches and people alike in the worship dance they wish to grow in.

Don’t ever put it in a box or a limit on it, keep your passion out in the open, allow questions, dreams, and friendships to develop.

‘Everyday people are the movers and shakers; they are the ones who bear testimony to the great events.’

Visit the uC Grace website to find out more about the other work uC Grace is up to and future Living Colour SEED workshops and events - Also there is the blog Living Colour Creative which encourages people on their journey with their own personal worship dance.

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In HIS. Through HIM.

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Thu, July 25, 2013 08:11:38

In HIS name we stand beside him
In HIS name we walk our path
In HIS name we stand our ground
In HIS name we are carried
In HIS name
In HIS name

In HIS spirit we have the strength to stand
In HIS spirit we have power for the day
In HIS spirit we learn to love
In HIS spirit we share with others
In HIS spirit
In HIS spirit

Through HIM I take my daily breath
Through HIM I walk the world humbly
Through HIM I place my feet righteously
Through HIM I move
Through HIM

Through HIM I move,
I move like a motion on the wind.
Declaring, grounding, imparting.
Movement. Gods movement.

Standing, walking, carrying, breathing, sharing, loving, empowering.

In HIS name
In HIS spirit
Through HIM

By Anna Gilderson. (C) 2013

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A Baby is Born!

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Mon, July 22, 2013 22:01:01

(Picture - last public appearance before the birth, no baby pics yet!)

Well on a day where we are greeted with the news of a new Prince of Britain, what else could I write about! It's amazing the reaction that has been given from the public and celebrity figures, such fans as one might say.

Not only was there the anticipation once Kate's pregnancy had been announced but also the frenzy that seemed to descend outside St Mary's hospital and Buckingham Palace at the news that Kate had gone into labour. Many people camped out all day in the ridiculous heat to be one of the first to get the news.

Imagine if we as Christians showed that much excitement and that much devotion about our faith. What would that look like?

When the Bible talks about the birth of Jesus, it draws upon the Wise Men that travelled a pretty determined journey to see the baby, and the shepherds leaving their post in the fields. A news presenter that was talking about Kate and Williams baby boy said that she couldn't believe '...the fascination with Royal Births...'

She was connecting the fact that recently there has been an increased buzz about royalty and the need for people to 'know' and 'be apart' of what is going on. Jesus was royalty, the buzz for him may have taken awhile as told in Bible, but the buzz can still happen now.

Can we create that buzz and have it rub off on people about our faith? Send out such a buzz that people need to know and be apart of what is going on?

Can we jump it out, shout it loud, and send whispers on the wind....?

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Be Still

Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Thu, July 18, 2013 12:36:11

In the rat run of daily life how often do you stop and be still. Stop, and hear silence, take a breath and reflect? Not as much as you'd like? Many of our lives run at 100s of miles an hour rushing from one thing to the other. With a quiet space or 'moment' only appearing possibly when you are in the car, taking a shower or dare I say it on the toilet! You then might have a passing thought as you shut your eyes at night 'should of taken time out today'.

Its familiar isn't it? That ability to identify that you need space but never quite get there. I find myself making a list (a list for my lists as my husband would say) and within that list I might put 'quiet time'. I very rarely succeed getting all the way to the end and when I have, I've not quite known what to do with myself!

But those rare times when I do succeed at 'being still' even just for 5 minutes. God rewards me with refreshment. I know each of us lead very different and individual lives, some are married, some not. Some have children, work, and other commitments, where life just seems like too much to do anything else on top of it.

God implores us though, to give him that time. So whether its on your drive to work and you turn off your music, or time alone for an extended period in the week or month. Do it!

I'll readily admit that I struggle to do it on a daily basis. But I do know that when I do do it and when I have some extra time and I''m able to escape to the coast then I get some invaluable time with God and the reflection time bring refreshment. I find the sea emits a calming and energising effect.

So take some time somehow, and be still and know that God is there. Here are a few verses for you to reflect on to get started.

Exodus 14.14

I Samuel 12.16


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