June 19, 2010

God, Father God, Heavenly Father, Abba Father……Daddy God? Papa God?

Recently, someone commented that referring to God as “Daddy God” was disrespectful. In obedience to the Lord, I am blogging about this. How interesting that Sunday is Father’s Day. God amazes me!

There are so many biblical names for God. The Hebrew names stick out in my mind because of a song that I learned, over 10 years ago, when I used to sing in the choir. Jehovah Jireh refers to God as a provider (Genesis 22). Jehovah Nissi means “the Lord our Banner” (Exodus 17: 8-15). Jehovah Rapha means “the Lord who heals” (Exodus 15: 22-26). Jehovah Shammah means “God with us” (Psalm 23: 6).

I looked in the Bible under “Father”. My Bible defines Father is a “male parent and forebears; characteristic of a mentor or provider relationship; name and role for God in relation to the children he fosters.”

Next, I went to Merriam-Webster.com. The definition of Father means “a man who has begotten children” OR (more importantly) “the first person of the Trinity”. So next I looked up Daddy. Low and behold there was no definition. HOWEVER, the word Father was listed to look up for a definition for Daddy.

So just to satisfy my curiosity, I also looked at Dictonary.com. Daddy is “a diminutive of dad”. Dad means Father. So I looked up Father again. Dictionary.com lists several definitions for Father; I will list the ones that are relevant here: “a male parent”, “a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider”, or “the Supreme Being and Creator; God.”

Matthew 6: 9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

Matthew 6: 32 “…For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

Ephesians 4: 6 “One God and Father of all, who is above all…”

I John 3: 1 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…”

Romans 8: 15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

Think about this, what are a baby’s first words when learning to talk? “Da-Da”. A child soon learns that by saying “Da-Da” it brings their Father close to them (both physically and emotionally); it makes their Father smile and feel proud. What does an older child say? “Daddy”, “Dad, “Papa”, “Father”. Again, this brings their Father close to them. I love how Romans 8: 15 says is...we are God’s children by the spirit of adoption. When we call upon God, there is a feeling of being close to him and being in his presence.

1 Samuel 16: 7 “…..for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

So whether you call him God, Father God, Heavenly Father, Abba Father, or Daddy God.....I even heard a Pastor & a Deacon say refer to God as "Papa God". Dictionary.com listed “Papa” as a synonym for Father. God looks at your heart. God knows your heart. God knows what you mean and how you mean it. Most importantly, God loves to hear from his children and to hear us call upon his name.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy God!!

June 12, 2010

Ministers of Dance...Make Sure Your Armour Is On and Get Your Feet Ready!

Last April (2009), as I was preparing to minister in dance at a wedding, the Lord gave me this scripture:

Ephesians 6: 11-18

11 Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

I shared this scripture with the ministry. As I meditated on this scripture, the Lord spoke to me, specifically, about verses 12 and 15. He told me to meditate on this. As I meditated on verse 12………Often times, dancers come under attack as they prepare to minister. Many times, the attacks affect our bodies, for example, sprained ankles, sore knees, sore back, feeling lethargic, etc. Satan knows the power and anointing that God gives dancers. We bruise the neck of the devil, with our feet, when we dance. So the devil will try to fight us to hinder us from completing our assignment; he’ll us any means necessary, including trying to attack our bodies.

However, verse 15 really stuck with me. As dancers, we usher in the Holy Spirit, break strongholds, bring forth healing and encouragement….we change the atmosphere. And…..we preach the gospel of peace….with our feet! We bring forth peace!! When God spoke that to me, I was thinking “wow, never understood that verse that way, THANK YOU DADDY GOD!”

So, after ministering nobody in the chapel made a sound. No clapping…nothing during or after we ministered. You could hear a pin drop. I was thinking “did they understand what we dancers were saying through our ministry?” The next morning, as I sat in church, God reminded me about verse 15. He said “the dancers brought forth peace at the ceremony”. I looked at God, smiled and quietly said AMEN!! GO GOD!!!!

Through all this, God has given me a better understanding of this scripture. Dancer Ministers…make sure your armour on (tight!) and get your feet ready…..and allow the Lord to use you!!!


May 18, 2010

So You Say I Don't Fit In...

So you say I don’t fit in??? Interesting. So before I started to cry, I first asked WHY?

Because I don’t join you when you gossip about others?

Because I try to see the positive, say good things, and even defend the people you are gossiping about?

Because I change the subject when you gossip and say “okay everyone let’s be nice”?

Or is it because I minister in dance differently than you?

Because I encourage you to get the whole story before you accuse or get upset with someone?

Because I don’t get upset when I minister and I don’t care whether or not I get paid?

Or is it because I don’t talk like you, walk like you, or are into the same things as you?

Or is it because you listened to gossip about me and chose to believe that instead of looking at my character (and you never knew the ones who gossiped about me to you also gossiped about you to me but I chose to ignore them and stood by you anyway).

Or was it because you believed the gossip from others about me because they can help you more than me?

Or did someone tell you I did not fit in?

Because of my size, my weight?

Because of my style of praise dance?

Or maybe you chose to listen to someone who said that I did not fit in?

I cried and cried and thought “I don’t understand” because:  

I fit in when you called and talked about how your enemies were trying to destroy you. I listened.

I fit in when others gossiped about you and I chose to ignore them (and never told you).

I fit in when I cried because I saw you hurt.

I fit in when I prayed for you when everyone else turned their back on you.

I fit in when I prayed for your enemies to leave you alone.

I fit in when you were feeling uncomfortable around your enemies…I quietly prayed and smiled to let you know everything was going to be okay.

I fit in when you texted me about how others continued to abuse, talk about and hurt you.

I fit in when I listened to you at 6am, and gave up MY prayer time, because I knew you were hurting.

I fit in when you needed help.

I fit in when I sacrificed to be there for you and totally neglected my personal needs.

I fit in when you needed a shoulder to cry on.

I fit in when I was sick but still came out to support you.

I fit in when you talked about others and I listened.

I fit in when I helped you to prepare to minister.

I fit in when I prayed for you before and after you ministered.

I fit in when I had water waiting for you after you ministered.

I fit in when I prayed and checked on you when you were sick.

I fit in when you were running late to minister and was waiting there to carry your bags when you arrived.

I fit in when I got to practice before you and got everything ready.

I fit in when you went to teach and I came to support and help you.

I fit in when I got up early and stood outside, in the ice cold weather, to be 1st in line to replace a tire so I could still make practice (the tire that went flat the night before, when I was on my way to support you).

I fit in when you asked me to do something for you and I did gladly.

I fit because you were just using me……because when I was in need, you made excuses and when I let you know that I was hurt, you did not care that you hurt me.

HMMMM, sounds like I fit in when it benefited YOU.

Then a good and wise friend came to me and said “perhaps God did not want you to fit in.” God made you an eagle because eagles soar on the wind; chickens stay on the ground and don't fly very far. And when chickens fly, they only travel a short distance. An eagle can’t develop and grow if it stays around a chicken. So, be happy you don't fit in! Thanks my friend!

Then another wise friend came to me and said “better to know now then later”. Her husband gave me the following scriptures: Luke 12:11 “...do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say...”

And also Luke 12:12 “...for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say…" Moses did not have to lift a finger to defend himself against Aaron and Miriam…God will defend the wrongly acussed.

My wise friend told me this: “You need to pick your self up, dust your feet off, and smile and move on to better things of God! He will guide your steps in everyway! …He has a plan for you, but also just like we found out better to know the truth right now then later and eyes to see…. He (God) is our light, our path and the more narrow as it gets the better off we are!

May 12, 2010

For All Those Who Have Been Abused...

Or who have been in hurt in a relationship.....God loves you and has a plan for your life. Yes, Daddy God does! I know because I am a survivor of domestic violence. NOT a VICTIM, a SURVIVOR. As God leads, I will share my story to encourage and empower.

I read this post below on Facebook. I did not write it but it ministered to me and I pray it encourages you or perhaps you can use it to encourage someone else. God bless you.

While you SCREAM at your woman, there's a man wishing he could speak softly in her ear...

While you HUMILIATE, OFFEND and INSULT her, there's a man flirting with her and reminding her how wonderful she is.

While you HURT your woman, there's a man wishing he could make love to her.

While you make your woman CRY there's ...a man stealing smiles from her...

May 5, 2010

The Lifestyle of a Dance Minister

“If your lifestyle outside of the ministry is not the same as your lifestyle within the ministry, when you dance you are not ministering but just performing.”
The Lord dropped that in my spirit about a year ago. This was during a time when I was crying to the Lord because I’d seen some liturgical dancers, who’s lifestyles outside of the ministry so different, that the only way I knew they were dancers is by their garments. What I saw really disturbed my spirit. At one point, I questioned myself and my lifestyle. I even asked God “am I too much of a Christian.” But the song by Israel Houghton says “I know who I am”. And, it is often said “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” I praised God for assuring me that I was not wrong to feel disturbed in my spirit.

I’ve seen dancers minister for the Lord at 4p.m. and, after ministering while they are removing their dance garments, they are planning their outfits, calling babysitters, and choosing which club to be at by 11p.m….before cover charge. 1 Corinthians 6: 19 says “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Think about it…you can not glorify God with the same body that you use to minister in dance to dance for the devil in a club. The Bible says in James 1:8 that “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Mark 3:25 “and if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

Joshua 24: 15 says “and if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Matthew 6: 24 says “no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other….”

We also must be careful what our eyes see and what our ears hear. I witnessed a situation where a woman, who is a liturgical dancer, shared the video of a birthday party she’d attended. My Jesus!! The party video was full of filthy, vulgar, profane music, women scarcely clothed, explicit and suggestive dancing, people speaking foul language, etc. It was extremely disturbing to my spirit and I could not understand how that type of worldly atmosphere was seen as fun, cute, funny, and exciting to the others who were watching it (who were also dance ministers). This goes for TV, music….and what type of books are you reading? The Bible says, in Philippians 4: 8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

As a dance minister, we must be careful that we reflect Christ in all we do. At home, at work, driving (can I get an amen!), in the grocery store, at the mall, etc. Does this mean be perfect? Of course not! Only Jesus lived a perfect life. What I mean is that your walk with the Lord does not stop when the praise dance garments are taken off. We need to honor the Lord in everything.

We need to have clean hands and a pure heart, especially when in ministry. We want the Lord to use us to change the lives of others. Remember dancers, we do what Pastor’s do, we preach the word, we just use our body through movement to do so. So I encourage you to get alone with God and honestly ask him to reveal some areas of your life where you need help, pruning, and cleansing. The Holy Spirit will reveal them to you. Pray, repent, ask God for strength, move on, and be about your Daddy’s business. God bless!

May 2, 2010

The Attack.....but GOD!

The devil is ALWAYS busy. The more I mature in the word, live daily, and minister through dance, the more I see this and understand just how true that statement is. The devil wants to distract, hinder and stir up strife.

In 2009, the dance ministry that I was a member of was asked to minister at an Juneteenth event on June 18. I was particularly excited about this because it was an event in the community and it was an opportunity to lift up the name of the Lord in the community. Don't get me wrong, ministry is needed in the church...Amen. But for those who do not attend church and have never heard the gospel, we as Christians must reach out to them. As I prayed and prepared, I sensed in my spirit that this event was different and that Adonai was going to do something extraordinary...

Around 2am on the morning of June 18, Satan got busy. I awoke with stomach cramps and feeling very ill. After telling Satan to "get under my feet", I began praying and asking God to breathe healing into my body. I reminded the Father of the assignment that he'd given me for that day and that there was no place of illness or pain in my body. God, being the loving Father he is, removed the illness and I began to feel better. I rested well the rest of the night and woke up ready to minister and anticipating the prescence of the Holy Spirit.

On the way to the event location, the devil got busy....yet again. While in the car enroute, I got violently nauseous and began sweating uncontrollably. I started praying but did not say anything as I did not want to scare or have the other ladies concerned about me. I knew the devil was trying to take me out and destroy the seed in my spirit that Adonai had planted. If the devil took me out he could then cause a distraction to the rest of the ministry (i.e. the other ladies would to be concerned about me and thinking about how to rearrange the ministry pieces to minister without me). I began warfare against the devil. I declared, "Devil you are UNDER my feet". "I am going to this event and I WILL minister under God's power, I have an assignment." I prayed to Adonai and recited the scripture "....and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53: 5. Around that time, however, one of the other members looked over at me and noticed I was sweating. I assured them I would be fine, told them not to worry, and kept on praying. They began to make adjustments (i.e. change in car temperature, change in seating arrangments, etc) to help me feel better. Within a few minutes I felt better and by the time we arrived at the event site, I was feeling fine. Ministry went forth under the annointing, lives were touched, the good news was spread, people were encouraged and, most importantly, the mighty name of JESUS was lifted up.

The devil tried to take me out.....BUT GOD!!! 1 Peter 5:8 "....Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour". The word is our sword, the word is our defense. James 4: 7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Thank you Daddy, for this experience. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to HIS purpose"...Romans 8:28. I love you Adonai.