My Pointe of View

My thoughts on God, Life, and Dance

Graduation – Then and Now

Written By: jamieu - Jun• 01•12

This morning I attended senior chapel at Seacoast Christian Academy. I worked at this school for 10 years and have known some of the graduates since they were in elementary school. As I sat in the auditorium this morning I started thinking back to my high school graduation (more years ago than I would like to admit…). I remember how exciting it was to be leaving high school knowing there was a world of possibilities stretching out before me. With that gift of new found freedom I also remember there being a part of me that wanted to skip graduation and just return back to school the next year.

For the first 18 years of our lives we have one job: Go to school, do your best, be a kid. You know that every day you will get up go to school and then come home to your family. There is no question if this is what you are supposed to be doing – you just do it. Then one day graduation is upon you and suddenly everything is changing. You are being forced out of the comfortable bubble you have been living in for so long and there is nothing you can do about it. Suddenly there are so many options:  college or no college? Move away or stay home? Study what you love or study what is practical? Get married or stay single? While the ceremonies, parties, and gifts are all exciting, those things come to an end and you are left with a whole world of change and it is scary.

While I was reminiscing I realized that those same feelings have come and gone many times since I turned my tassel. We have many “graduation” moments in our lives. There are times when big changes and the unknown are upon us and we can suddenly feel 18 again, except this time there are no parties being thrown in your honor. When you are in school the system forces you out ready or not, but after that it is your choice weather you are going to obediently follow the plan that God has for you. What if I had chosen to skip graduation flunk out and just keep repeating my life as a high school senior? It may have felt like the safe thing to do but where would it have gotten me? Nowhere.

In looking up the origin of the word graduation I discovered that one of the earliest meanings came from the practice of alchemy: late 15c., in alchemy, “tempering, refining of something to a certain degree,” Alchemy was an early form of chemistry that tried to take a basic metal like lead and turn it into gold. This obviously did not pan out as they had hoped, but the definition got me thinking about a Biblical principal that applies to graduation as well.

Job 23:10 says,

10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

And Psalm 66:10 says,

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Now, my knowledge and research on the refining of silver and gold is minimal but what I have discovered is that it is a long process with many steps that include the repeated use of acid and extreme heat. Sounds like loads of fun, right? In order for us to graduate from the different seasons of our lives, God has to refine us. He has to work out all of the impurities so that we can shine for Him where ever He places us. Sometimes we come out of the pot all shined up but we are overcome with the desire to retreat back to the safety of the familiar. There is nothing I would hate more than to look back at the end of my life and realize that I did not accomplish all that God had for me because I did not want to face the reality of stepping from one season to the next. If you find yourself in a transitional “graduation” season take heart that the best is yet to come. While the past was good, and necessary for the shaping of who you are today, staying there is not an option. Do not let yourself live in the comfort of what was, when the thrill of what will be is on the horizon.

Faith a.k.a Off Roading

Written By: jamieu - May• 01•12

To begin with I apologize for my lack of blogging over the past 6 weeks or so. I dance with a ballet company and we had a lot of performances and events that caused me to put my writing on the shelf for a bit.

Today I want to talk about faith. Sometimes my reaction to that word is an inward cringe, similar to the one I feel when I hear the word patience. Having faith means taking a risk without knowing how or what the outcome will be. Did you ever do one of those “team building” exercises in youth group where you had to fall back and hope that your partner would catch you? Depending on who your partner was, there could have been several possible endings to that game! The idea is to let go and free fall with the belief that your partner will not let you bruise your tailbone on the floor. As cheesy as this game may seem, it really is a great picture of what faith is.

I have struggled with faith because I always have a set outcome in my mind. It only makes sense that things happen exactly the way I think they should! This is obviously not the correct mindset and it always sets me up for a lot of unnecessary stress. When we are trusting God for something and the situation is not coming together the way that we believe it should, the tendency is to lose faith or even get upset with God.

Over this past year I have learned that faith truly is about letting go, letting go of my ideas, my preconceived solutions to problems, ultimately letting go of my will. God rarely does things the way we think He should, not to mess with us, but simply because He knows better. He knows the path that we need to take to get us to our destination. Just because we end up off roading instead of taking the highway does not mean that God has forgotten or forsaken us.

I found a definition to the word faith online:

Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

COMPLETE trust. That says it all right there. God is asking us “Will you trust me to do what I know is best?” This is the kind of faith that we see in Abraham. Hebrews 11:8 says:

8[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. (Amplified)

Abraham left everything behind and set out on a journey, even though he did not have a clue where he was going. The beautiful thing is that “he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go”! Abraham understood faith in a way that I hope to in my lifetime. He did not even concern himself with the journey because he had complete and total confidence in his God. He let go and had no doubt that God would catch him.

Take heart if your journey is feeling a bit uncertain right now. Focus on God and walk in obedience, and do not let your mind be troubled. He will catch you!

1NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Hebrews 11:1 (amplified)

 

Africa

Written By: jamieu - Mar• 24•12

Over the next few weeks I will be posting about my past 3 missions trips. Here is the first one on my trip to Africa in 2010

Kenya 2010

Mary

My journey to Africa was such an amazing experience. It is the furthest I have ever traveled and the road getting there was not easy. It was very challenging raising funds for this trip – to the point where I was not sure I was even going to be able to go. The money came just in the nick of time (God likes to do things that way sometimes) but then came other challanges. Planes were delayed, flights canceled (lots of sitting on runways for hours waiting to see if we would be cleared to take off), running through airports and just barely making our connections. I can’t explain how relieved I was to finally touch down on African soil!

God spoke so much to me on this trip. One thing that stood out in a big way was how all of the people that we encountered let the joy of the Lord rule in their lives. All of the pastors, teachers, and workers in the orphanage and at the slum that we visited were so full of joy. These people give sacrificially every day for the benefit of others. They live in third world conditions and face huge struggles but it is clear that their joy and strength comes from the Lord. Watching how they work and listening to their stories really challenged me to reevaluate my own life and the attitude that I have when I face hard times or difficult circumstances.

It is so obvious that the Lord has His hand on the children at the orphanage that we worked at. These children have been through devastating experiences yet are thriving. I will never forget hearing the story of little 6 year old Mary. When she was 2 years old she witnessed her mother and grandmother’s murder. She was then raped and contracted AIDS. Mary is such a sweet little girl that won over all of our hearts. Each of the children has their own stories of loss and devastation. Half of them are living with AIDS, yet I never heard one complaint come out of their mouths. I will never forget the tears that we all shed when we had to say goodbye to them. We went with the goal of making a difference in their lives, and I know that God used us to do so, but I also know that they imprinted something deep on our hearts that we will never forget.

 

To Make His Name Great

Written By: jamieu - Mar• 04•12

For those of you who are my friends on Facebook (which I am assuming is all of you since…well I am not famous so who would be looking up my blog….) may have seen a note that I posted about my upcoming mission trip to London. This will be my forth trip in four years. Each or these trips have drastically changed my life in many different ways. The experiences that I have had and the things that God has revealed to my heart during these times of ministry could never fit in this little blog. Hmmm I literally just had a thought as I was typing that statement. In John 21:25 it says:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

I can relate to that scripture to a degree. If I feel like there is no way I could share all that I have experienced from these short term mission trips, it makes me marvel at all that happened during Jesus’ ministry that could not be recorded in the Bible! Imagine all the amazing stories of His ministry that we will never know (well, until we get to heaven I suppose) Wow – insight.

Ok – that was a slight rabbit trail. The truth is that 5 or 6 years ago I really had no desire to go on any sort of mission trip. The whole concept scared me. The thought of witnessing to people on the street made my hands get clammy. Then there was my fear of long plane rides coupled with my non adventurous taste in food and the thought of using the bathroom in the jungle – all big neon signs screaming “Stay where it is comfortable!! Let someone else go.”

I am not really certain when the change started, but the Lord began working on my heart and I started to feel like I was suppose to go on a mission trip someday. Then, through a long series of crazy events I found out about Arrows International. Arrows is a non-profit dance ministry that takes dancers from all over the world on mission trips during the summer. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was telling me to apply to go on a trip. I was still really nervous but the thought of telling others about God through dance (the language that I feel the most comfortable speaking) did not feel quite as intimidating. So I took a step of faith and was accepted to go to Guatemala in the summer of 2009.

That trip lit a spark in me that God has continued to fan over the past few years. There are things that still scare me about the mission field but the benefits make them seem so insignificant. I know that I am called to the nations. What once was a fear is now a passion deep in my heart. I want to be able to go where ever the Lord calls. Using the gift of dance that He has given me to bring glory to His name is the most rewarding thing I could ever do with my life. It makes the hours upon hours spent at the ballet barre, all the sore muscles, broken toe nails, and loss of free time completely worth it! I know that God has big plans for me to continue to minister all over the world. I can honestly say that I have no idea what that is going to look like in the years to come. My life right now is a constant faith walk. I do not know what is around the corner or where God is taking me next. I am just doing my best to take one step of obedience at a time. I have had to make some difficult decisions over the past year but God continues to blow me away with His faithfulness.

Since this is already so long, I will leave you in suspense until next week when I will actually share some stories from each of my trips. I will leave you with this passage that I read last night in Isaiah 61. I know that it will be familiar to many of you – it is quoted a lot, but I feel like God has really etched it onto my heart. It encapsulates how I feel every time I am given the opportunity to minister and teach – not just out of the country but in my city. Really we are all on the mission field everyday no matter where you call home.

  1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

Check out this video for a little taste of the ministry God has allowed me to be apart of over the past 4 years! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0La3Y-Y3uvc&feature=g-upl&context=G2f5c6b0AUAAAAAAABAA

Spiritual Pas de Deux

Written By: jamieu - Feb• 26•12

In ballet Pas de deux is a dance that is usually performed by a male and female dancer. They are partners. Their rolls tend to be quite different but they depend on each other to equally to create a successful dance. It is the female’s responsibility to help her partner by engaging her body, holding her placement, and jumping if necessary. The male must be strong and understand how to correctly support his partner, if either dancer is hesitant or does not do their share of the work, the partnership will fail. But when the two are working together with the same vision they will soar.

Now, think of God as you supernatural pas de deux partner. He is here to support us to dance with us and lead us through life, but we have to do our share of the work. Ask any guy who has partnered with a girl who was weak or did not know how to hold herself correctly and he will tell you it is near impossible. Imagine dancing with a limp noodle – that is the picture of a girl who expects the man to do all the work. It is an illusion that makes us believe that the partnership is effortless (at least if you are watching really good dancers).

God is always there for us, He is our rock that is never shaken but we must do our part to be spiritually strong. How can we expect to hear His voice when we never take the time to listen? How can He lead us down the path He has for our lives if we never spend time in prayer or the word? The truth is we can’t. We are a limp noodle Christian with no core strength for our dance with the Lord. The naive dancer thinks that the other partner is going to all the work and that all they need to do is show up. We all need to examine our walk with the Lord and check to see if we have that same attitude with Him.

Was The Stew Worth It?

Written By: jamieu - Feb• 19•12

Today’s text is Genesis 25:27-34. This story involves Jacob and Esau, twin brothers. The Bible tells us that their father Isaac loved Esau (Esau was passionate about hunting) and Rebekah their mother loved Jacob (we are told that he was happy to hang out around the tents- a Biblical mamma’s boy, if you will).

One day Esau comes home from a big hunting trip and finds Jacob making some lentil stew.  Dramatically he proclaims that he is starving and asks for some food. Jacob replies, “First sell me your birthright”. Personally, I think that Jacob may have been joking with his response but Esau plays right into his hands.  Here is the dialogue that followed:

 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”

 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.

This story sounds so insane to me! Every time I read it I am like “What was this guy thinking?!”  Esau is totally being a drama queen here (like he was really going to die if he did not eat right then!) and the desire to please his flesh causes him to give up his blessing. In the Bible the birthright was given to the firstborn son. It gave him the blessing of his father, a double portion of the land if there was more than one son, and a place of leadership in the household. It was a big deal and Easu carelessly tosses it away for a moment of satisfaction.

This got me thinking…..how often do we do the same thing? How often do we sell out for the flesh and loose the blessing of our Heavenly Father on our lives? How quickly do you trade in the things of God and all that He has for your life for a bowl of soggy beans? What is your “stew”? Is it your need for acceptance that causes you to compromise? Or is it a sexual encounter that pleases your flesh but robs your soul? Is it really worth it? In case you are unsure, the answer is NO! Don’t you think that once Esau’s stomach was full he immediately regretted his decision?

Galatians 5:16-18:

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

We live in a high speed, fast food, instant gratification world. As Christians we are to be in the world but not of the world. Our flesh is at war with our spirit – they want different things. We must continually guard our hearts or we will become desensitized by the lusts of the flesh. Don’t be like Esau and sell out so quickly for something that will not last. Trust me, the stew is not worth it.

 

I Am Bankrupt Without Love

Written By: jamieu - Feb• 12•12

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away. Yippee! (Please note my sarcasm here…). I could rant on and on about how this particular holiday and I are not friends. I am pretty sure we will never be. Even in 20 years when I am married to my forever Valentine (yes I WILL be married in 20 years), I am pretty sure I will still have a chip on my shoulder for this particular day and its ability to mock me with its mushy cards and giddy teenage love.

BUT to appeal to those of you who enjoy this holiday I am choosing to write about love today. Not the sappy greeting card kind but the kind that is constant and unfailing.  Love displayed in a man who willingly laid down His life to save yours. The thought of loosing you was more unbearable to Him than facing torture and death. He was born to die for you.

Over the past few months I have really been praying that God would show me how to love people like Jesus. I have been taking a deeper look at how I respond to people and situations. How quickly do I forgive others? Am I quicker to show compassion or judgment towards others? It is hard and I definitely do not always pass the test (this week alone has been a great challenge) but I also find it exciting. The more we are able to tap into how to love others and see them through God’s eyes the more He can use us. And as Christians it should be the cry of our hearts that people experience the love of the Savior when they encounter one of His followers. Read the Gospels and examine how Jesus responded to people. He loved the unlovable and perused the forgotten and abandoned. He was under constant scrutiny and falsely accused yet He spoke the truth in love. Oh to love like that on a daily basis- to see the best in people instead of their flaws, to look at their potential instead of their present state! Ask the Lord to help you look through His eyes of love – you might be surprised with what you see.

I have lots more on this topic for blogs to come but it needs to simmer in my spirit a little longer. I would like to share with you this passage from I Corinthians 13. I selected to use the Message version because I feel like it speaks this so clearly.

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
   Love doesn’t strut,
   Doesn’t have a swelled head,
   Doesn’t force itself on others,
   Isn’t always “me first,”
   Doesn’t fly off the handle,
   Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.

Remember that when you do not live a life that shows true love to others you are spiritually bankrupt. All of your good intentions mean nothing. So this Valentine’s Day in between bites of chocolate and sniffing rose petals, remember who it was that loved you first and make it a priority to love others the way He has loved you. Happy Valentine’s Day (bah humbug :)

What Part Are You Going To Play?

Written By: jamieu - Feb• 12•12

Here is something that I have learned through my years as a dancer. There are times that you do not get the part that you wanted to play. You wait and wait for the casting list to go up and you spend your days dreaming of your moment when you get to shine in the roll that you want so badly. You can almost feel the warmth of the stage lights shining on you, you think about how amazing you will look in your custom fitted costume. You have gone over and over how you will portray your roll and you can already feel the butterflies of opening night excitement. There is no doubt in your mind that this part was meant for you to play. Then the day comes and you nervously approach the call board. There it is…the cast list. Taking a deep breath and pushing out all thoughts of doubt, you step up and look for your name. As you scan the list shock and disappointment wash over you. How can this be, Village Girl #2? This is not my part! Once the shock wears off it is quickly replaced by anger. “I have been working my tail off for months!” you think to yourself. “Has the director even noticed? Does she even care?” You scan back over the list and look again at the name next to “your” part. “What! SHE got the roll! I have been here way longer than she has. I have paid my dues, I deserve this part. What has she done? She just waltzes in here and gets everything handed to her. I never really liked that girl. Who does she think she is anyway?”
Does this feel at all familiar? Just replace the cast list with a job promotion, or becoming valedictorian, or another year of being single when kids you use to babysit for are sending you wedding invitations. I think you get the picture. A director or choreographer’s job is to cast a show in a way that will best illustrate the story. There are times when their choices seem so unfair. You have been waiting so long for your chance at the starring role but you missed it because you were too tall or too short, or you did not have the right ”look”. Or, is it because they knew that you would be more valuable in a different position? That your strengths would be better served in a part you never even considered. The angry and bitter thoughts that you have allowed to fill your mind prevent you from exploring the possibility of being used in a different way. You do not even take the time to appreciate the honor of being given a part to play.
In life there are so many times when we can feel cheated. Things do not turn out how we thought they would. Time ticks by and we wait for our dreams to come true while we watch others get all the “good parts”. We experience loss and tragedy while others seem to have everything handed to them. And pretty soon we let our minds get consumed with what could have been or should have been. While we wallow in our self pity there is a vacant place on the stage where we should be. You are not dancing your roll, the part created especially for you by the Divine Choreographer because you wanted a different part. A great story is only great when each person plays their part to the best of their ability. When one piece of the puzzle is missing the story looses some of its strength. Who are we to tell God how He should direct His ballet? The truth is that as Christians we are all a part of the body of Christ and our focus in life should be the advancement of His kingdom. Does it really matter what part we play if souls are being saved and people’s lives are being miraculously changed by the love of Christ? When we take a moment to think about it we may realize that our focus has shifted off of God and onto the advancement of self. Just like he deceived Eve so long ago in the garden, the enemy wants you to believe that it is all about you. His game has not changed. Satan is the master of twisting the truth and making us believe that because things are not as we had hoped God is trying to withhold something from us. If he can make us believe that our part is not good enough, if he can get us to believe that we deserve more that what we have, that God “owes” us, then he has the victory.
I believe with all my heart that God places within each of us dreams that He has every intension of bringing to pass. He wants us to live fulfilled lives where we are serving Him with the talents and gifts that he has given us. The issue most often comes when we are unable to accept that fact that God’s ways and His timetable are not always what we expect or think that they should be. There will be times when you have your dream roll and there will be times when you are the understudy. Our goal sho uld be to treat every part we play no matter how small and insignificant it may feel to us, as if it was the best part. And guess what? It is the best part because it is the one that God has given you. Cherish it and glean all that God has for you with each new role that you play. When you do this you will experience true joy and fulfillment in your life because you are walking in your destiny.
I was listening to a song recently by one of my favorite artists Jimmy Needham. These words from his song “The Reason I Sing” jumped out at me through my headphones so strongly that I have not been able to forget them.
“So if I am destined for a small stage – the small crowds and the small pay – then maybe even in a small way – I can bring you fame.”
When I stand before the Lord one day I do not want to review my life and realize that all I ever did was strive to bring fame to my own name. Living to boost my own ego while disguising it as “serving Him”. In that moment when I am face to face with my creator, my choreographer, I pray that I have played my part well. That I lived a life of faith, hope, and love. That whatever I was able to accomplish with my brief moment here on earth brought glory to the one who created it.

 

What’s Your Sign?

Written By: jamieu - Feb• 12•12

I was driving down the road a few weeks ago and literally started laughing out loud. Standing there on the corner was a poor guy (or girl, I really could not tell) completely covered in a cardboard sign advertising, “We buy gold!!”. When I say completely covered I mean this thing covered the entire top half of his body on both sides with only a little slit cut out for his eyes. I snapped a not so great picture of him as I was driving by to share with you. Here in Jacksonville we have had this advertising trend going on for a few years. Businesses take a person, put them in a silly costume, slap a sign in their hands and have them stand on the street to attract customers (or cause car accidents….). I am not sure if other cities have this great scheme as well, but you cannot drive anywhere here in good old J-Ville without seeing multiple “sign people”.

One of the entertaining aspects of the “sign people” is to take note of their personalities. Some of them are super enthusiastic – dancing to whatever is pumping though their ipod, flipping their sign and throwing down some crazy dance moves. You can tell that they either REALLY love their job or are choosing to make the best out of their situation. Others are not so thrilled – they stand there with their sad little elf hat on, texting, while their sign is propped up against their leg. You know that they would rather be doing just about anything else (and can you blame them?).

My recent study on the “sign people” got me thinking. Weather we realize it or not we all carry around a sign every day. How we live our lives, the things we say, how we spend our time, are all advertisements of who we are and what we believe. What does your “sign” say about you? Matthew 17 says,

 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.”

 

If you are a follower of Christ your life should be a shiny reflection of Jesus and how he lived his life on earth. When people know that you are a Christian they automatically begin to examine your life a little more closely (even if they are unaware that they are doing it). They want to see if the fruit of your life matches up with what you claim to believe. Because we are human we are going to blow it sometimes – no question about that, but how do you handle yourself when you do? Are you humble enough to admit it or do you simply find some way to justify your actions? Walking in love and humility speaks volumes to people and the “sign” that you carry will point them to Jesus.

Here is another thought. Are there people in your life that do not even know that you are a Christian? You know, those people who would give you such a hard time at work if they knew that you did not believe in sex before marriage (the ones you have to listen to droning on and on about their weekend escapades). Do you sit there and laugh at their jokes pretending that your “sign” is the same as theirs. Are you wearing the costume of the world with your “Christianity” sign carelessly propped up against your leg?

Trust me when I say that this is something that I have to continually check in my life. It is easy to say but not always so easy to do. We all want to be liked, we all want to fit in. I encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to show you the places in your life where the fruit you are producing is not what it should be. You do not have to stand on the corner screaming the gospel for people to see Jesus in you. When we are producing Godly fruit they will know that you are different, they will see the light inside of you and God will begin to open the door for you to share your faith with them.

When it starts to feel tough open your Bible and read the stories of Jesus’ ministry. People were continually throwing false accusations at Him, plotting against Him, trying to trip Him up. Yet, Jesus continued to love them to the point of asking God to forgive them while he was being tortured for OUR sins on the cross. Sort of makes that annoying boss not seem like such a big deal now. The exciting thing is that if you have accepted Jesus into your life He lives in you. Ask Him to show you how to love like He did and I promise you He will.

So……what’s your sign?

The Heart of Worship

Written By: jamieu - Feb• 12•12

 Today I would like to talk about worship. There is a story in the Bible that paints such a beautiful picture of worship to me. It is found in the book of John chapter 12 and takes place during the week of Passover and of the crucifixion. Jesus is having a meal in the home of Lazarus in the town of Bethany. As you may know Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha. We always seem to find Martha busy working and we always find Mary at the feet of Jesus.

In this scene Mary brings out a VERY expensive jar of perfume. The Bible says that it was the equivalent of a year’s wage. To put that in context for us, let’s just say it was worth around $30,000 or so……… (I have trouble buying body spray when it is not on sale for $10 or less!). Mary proceeds to anoint Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. As she did this the house was filled with the fragrance. Just take a moment and think about what is happening here. Mary is humbling herself before the Lord, she is bowing herself it the lowest position she could be in. She is anointing Him with what is her most valuable possession.

When I read this story of few years ago I began to think about how it applies to me as a dancer (if you are not a dancer you can apply this to whatever your gift and calling is). Whenever I am given the opportunity to dance I know that it is never just movement but always worship. Weather I am on a stage in a beautiful theater or on a dirty concrete floor in front of a room full of orphans in Africa – they are the same to me, a chance to glorify my God through dance and usher His presence into the room. I know that when people are in the presence of God they cannot leave unchanged. As dancers (or worshipers in general) we are to take our gift and pour it out before the feet of Jesus. It may coast us dearly, but when we are broken before Him, His fragrance (the anointing) will fill the room.

I have a quote written in one of my journals that says,

“The anointing takes our giftings from the natural to the supernatural, from man’s ability to God’s ability.”

I am not sure where I found this statement but it rings so true in my heart. How often have you felt unequipped for what God has called you to? How many times have you said “I can’t do it”? The truth is God usually calls us to things and places way outside of our comfort zones because He knows that we cannot do it without Him. That is where the humble and broken part comes in. Laying yourself before the savior of the world and admitting that you are week but He is strong. Knowing that you are unable but willing to step out in faith and be obedient to God no matter the coast – THAT is the heart of a worshiper. When you reach that place God is so pleased and He knows that you are there for His glory and not your own. Now He is able to step in and take your limited human abilities and make them something extraordinary through his power and anointing!

In conclusion I encourage you to read this story on your own – it continues to simmer in my spirit and there are many more revelations and points that can be brought out from this brief passage that I did not touch on today. I also encourage you to examine the actions of Mary. From my bit of research she can be found three different times in the Bible – (Luke 10) when Jesus comes to her home for the first time, (John 11) when Jesus raises her brother Lazarus from the dead, and (John 12) the story I talked about today. In every single story we find Mary at the feet of Jesus at some point! I found that so fascinating. There is so much that we can learn from this woman! Look her up and see what God shows you through her life.