All posts filed under: Arts

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dance of the Two Armies

A Dance Company After years of sojourning in a strange land and acquiring a large family with many goods, the Jewish patriarch Jacob set out for his homeland. Scriptures tell us that when he was on the way, he encountered the Hosts of Heaven. “So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp. And he called the name of that place Mahanaim” (Genesis 32:1-2) The english word Mahanaim is taken from the Hebrew word ‘Machanayim’ which means ‘double camp’(#4266 – Strong’s Concordance) and refers to #4264 – Machaneh (Makh-aneh) which is translated: “An encampment (of travellers of troops, hence an army, whether lit. (of soldiers) or figurative (of dancers, angels, cattle, locusts, stars or even sacred courts) army; band, battle, camp, company, hosts, tent.” It has been suggested that this double camp of the angels of God were as a ‘dance company’. Antichoric Dance Alfred Sendrey in his book, “Music in Ancient Israel” interprets Genesis 32:1-3 as, “What Jacob saw in …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Intercessors: Engaging the enemy

I consider myself an intercessor and it has taken the full length and breadth of 30 years to understand what intercession is and who I am in this gifting and calling. Intercessors, in their various roles, stand in the gap for people in prayer and worship to enhance God’s presence, draw people in and bring them into a more intimate experience and connection with God. Not everyone is called to intercede in this way.  There are many roles that intercessors play and one person does not do it all. I am a dancer and along with other women, I dance in church during worship with ribbons, scarves and flags. As intercessors we need to be sensitive to shifts in the spiritual realm.  We often find ourselves pressing into these shifts to enhance the worship and/or step into warfare to exercise authority over the enemy and his strongholds. There are moments in worship on Sunday mornings when I grab a flag and begin to intercede with the flag during the height of worship. At other times, …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does God Dance?

A Bible verse recently caught my attention: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy. He will be quiet in his love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NASV) The Hebrew word, ‘rejoice,’  means to “spin around under violent emotion.” The phrase “rejoice over you” literally means to “dance, skip, leap, and spin in joy.” So, the latter part of this verse is more accurately translated, “He will dance over you with singing.” I love the visualization that comes to my mind when I read this.  God is portrayed as a mighty warrior, singing and dancing over me with shouts of joy. It describes how a warrior must have felt in the Old Testament after winning a hard-fought battle and realizing the victory was his. I can envision power, authority and strength exuding from him as he steps into a victory dance. I imagine whooping, hollering, leaping, dancing and victory shouts. We see it today, as well. It’s not much …

A church worship service. Photo: Joachim S. Muller/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did God create you to dance?

Should we be dancing in church? Well, if a 2006 study is correct, it appears when God created humans, He hard-wired each of us to dance — more on that in a moment. I still remember a service at a church I was attending in the 70s. The Jesus people movement was in full swing and the congregation was made up of people 30 years and younger. Back then everybody had long hair, including the girls. One particular Sunday evening service we kicked back the chairs and began dancing before the Lord. We broke up into groups, joined hands and whirled around in circles dancing and singing. The thing that struck me the most was the utter joy and excitement on people’s faces as they danced and worshiped the Lord. I was attending seminary at the time, in a denomination that frowned on this type of activity. But they faithfully preached the Bible and people were saved through this ministry. I had a professor by the name of Dr. Dahns. He was a former United Church Minister …

Jennifer Garner at the opening of The Invention of Lying at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009. Photo: Reza Vaziri/Flickr/Creative Commons

Was actress Jennifer Garner impacted by a miracle?

Actress Jennifer Garner, 43, recently announced that she and her three children are starting to attend church as a direct result of Garner’s starring role in the Christian movie Miracles from Heaven. Garner said they have rarely missed a Sunday since. Jennifer who  separated from her husband Ben Affleck comes from a Christian background and growing up lived for a few years in Calgary, Alberta. Garner made her big break playing a CIA officer in the ABC spy-thriller Alias where she won a Golden Globe and received three Emmy nominations for her performance. She has also shown up on the big screen acting in movies such a Daredevil, Juno, Dallas Buyers Club and recently Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. Miracles made from Heaven, produced by Affirm Film that lists popular pastor T.D. Jakes as one of its producers, is scheduled for release March 16, 2016. In the movie, Jennifer plays Christy Beam, the real-life mother of a young girl named Annabelle who was miraculously spared serious injury after falling down …

Selena Gomez in concert. Photo: Ronald Woan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Selena Gomez surprises crowd with a performance at Hillsong concert

I sometimes get a bit gun-shy writing about the faith of celebrities because invariably something hits the media that can taint their testimony. But then I ask how any of us would fare if we were faced with media and others watching, listening, photographing and videoing everything you said and did, day and night. So my tendency, right or wrong, is to give them the benefit of the doubt. If in this growing anti-Christian climate a person is willing to step up and profess their faith in Christ, I say God Bless. Former Disney star Selena Gomez is latest to come out publicly about her faith in Jesus. Selena, 23, is a singer and actress who was the one-time girl friend of Canadian pop star Justin Bieber. She just released an album in October entitled “Revival.” It debuted as #1 on the Billboard 200 and went on to earn a Gold rating. On February 25th, Selena surprised a Los Angeles crowd attending Hillsong Young & Free Revival concert, when she stepped on stage, and joined …

Youtube capture Audrey Assad

Audrey Assad’s haunting song of martyrdom

You have to read the story behind this song, Even Unto Death, just released by Christian singer Audrey Assad. It is part of her new album, Inheritance, scheduled for release on February 12. She wrote this song after watching the martyrdom of 21 Egyptian Christian men on the shores of the Mediterranean by the Muslim extremist group ISIS. In the video, ISIS led the 21 men, dressed in orange, to the beach where they were beheaded simply because they believed in Jesus. To live, all these Coptic Christians had to do to was renounce their faith in Christ. Audrey wrote: “You must remember that night, months ago, when I saw the video of those 21 precious Egyptian men kneeling on a Mediterranean beach. I stared at the procession … I knew that I was looking into the sickening, quaking black hole that is death. The captives prayed, their lips moving silently, their eyes closed or raised to the heavens. What were they whispering, in those last, fast-fading moments of their lives? Were they afraid? What …

HeavenlyJoy-youtubeCapture

VIDEO: Heavenly Joy’s response to Howard Stern was so cute

I was watching America’s Got Talent and this cute five-year old girl named Heavenly Joy came out. Her talent was singing. She was incredible and actually reminded you of child-star Shirley Temple (1928 – 2014) whose Hollywood film and singing career started in 1932 at the age of five. Heavenly Joy received a standing ovation for her expressive performance of “In Summer” from the movie Frozen. The judges unanimously voted her through to the next round. One of the judges, Howard Stern, turned to Heavenly Joy and said, “I think Shirley Temple is living somewhere inside of you, is that possible?” Heavenly Joy replies emphatically, “Not Shirley Temple, Jesus.” “There you go, now you are talking,” Stern replies.  

Mariane Anderson christening Liberty Ship SS Booker T. Washington, 1942: Wikipedia

The 100 year voice

[by Earl Blacklock] Marian Anderson was a black singer in the U.S. whose singing ability was considered exceptional. Famed conductor Arturo Toscanini once told her she had a voice “heard once in a hundred years.” In 1925, she began singing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and was an immediate success. She followed that up with an appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1928, and a tour of Europe in the 1930s. She sang at the White House for the President and the King and Queen of England. A black singer in the U.S. during the 1930s faced enormous obstacles. In 1939, she was barred by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) from playing at Constitution Hall. There was a public outcry against the decision, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of the President. She, along with thousands of other DAR members, cancelled her membership in the organization in protest. She went further, helping to persuade Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes to permit Marian to sing in an open air concert on the steps …