Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Heart of Life Is Good

Sitting here in Jackson's cold sterile library, alone with my thoughts; listening to a song by John Mayer called "Heart of Life" and feeling melancholy, thinking about life...

How's life going for you? Mine is going pretty good, optimistically speaking, but reflecting on all the despairing headlines in the news ( the violent earthquake in Italydisastrous flooding in the neighboring state of Louisiana, chaos in the Middle East, and political chaos here on the home front) I am reminded that "pretty good" is just not the case for everybody. I know even some close to me, in my circle of friends, that are dealing with some pretty tough stuff these days. I consider myself to be in a pretty blessed season of life right now, but honestly, I can't help but think that surely trouble is gonna find me. It's inevitable, isn't it? For this reason, I am reminded not to hold onto my life, or anything in it, too tightly.

So what do we do when trial and adversity strike?


NOT FRET, for one thing (for it only leads to evil- Ps. 37:8)! I feel like Romans 12:12 has been a theme verse for me lately.

" Be joyful in hope,  patient in affliction,  faithful in prayer. "

Romans 12:12

This morning, during my reading in Matthew God provided me with an answer to my question. Matthew 16:21-28 says:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

...So from that, I concluded that the answer to what we should do when trial and adversity strike, is to keep hope, remember God's promises, and have eternal perspective.

I mean, think about what the worst bad news in all of history probably was; hearing that Jesus was to be crucified (having not known, or maybe having not the faith to believe that He would rise again to be our great eternal, victorious, savior, redeemer, and bridegroom) 
And in the moment of Christ sharing the bad news with his disciples; because He had eternal perspective  Christ was able to rebuke Peter, who opposed the thought of Jesus' God-ordained destiny...which was a destiny of hope and promise.

that just amazes me!

...and because Jesus was able to have in His mind, the concerns of God above merely the concerns of man, the GREATEST news in all of history was then able to come about; The good news of the gospel; that Jesus as an ultimate sacrifice would die on the cross, and shed his blood for all of man kind, taking on the punishment that should have been ours so that our sins might be forgiven, and that we might be made whole and live reconciled to God!

Mindblowing!

I see from this account how, realistically YES, affliction is hard to face; for on lookers (Peter and the disciples) and for the victim ( Jesus himself) as this can be explored further in other chapters in the bible. But I can also see how God had a far greater purpose and plan that was to come out of Jesus' trial and death, and Jesus knew it. He trusted God, and we have a lot to learn from his example about our own trials and afflictions keeping hope, remembering God's promises, and having eternal perspective, so that ultimately God can bring glory to himself, which as a believer is our greatest desire, and blessings for us will be reaped in the process. It is promised.

...So as John Mayer's song says:

"Pain throws your heart to the ground, LOVE turns the whole things around ... 
No, it won't all go the way you think it should ... 
... But I know the heart of life is good" 
 
So... I have no more reason to be melancholy. Let's keep hope, remember God's promises, and have eternal perspective. Below I have listed some fitting truths and promises we can remind ourselves of in the midst of life's twists and turns:

  • "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28

  • "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." ~Genesis 50:20

  • "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." ~Hebrews 4:15-26

  • "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." ~Proverbs 3:5-8

  • "For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." ~Isaiah 55:8-9

  • "I know Lord that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted" ~Job 42:2

  • "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." ~Matthew 10:28


Please feel free to add additional scriptures you find helpful in the comments below! 




--------------------------------------

On a different note, here is some good news to share with you! I leave to Brazil for my missions trip in TEN DAYS! And my airfare is almost completely covered now, aside from 50 more dollars! Praise the Lord! If you feel led to support my trip financially, click here! I CAN'T BELIEVE there are only ten days left before heading out. Our days have been so full here (and of Christmas choreography of all things)! I have had no time to even think about Brazil...aside from every time I watched the Olympics ^_^ I don't know how to pack or even what season it is over there, winter? spring? I will definitely be taking bug spray. I guess I have to start getting on the ball with all that. Do any of you have any good packing tips or advice about traveling to brazil? Do Share!

I can't wait to start blogging and updating you from Brazil! We are VERY expectant of the Lord and of what He's going to do through us. For the inside scoop and more detailed information, please sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page. Below is a list of things you can join me in prayer about, concerning Ballet Magnificat Alpha's missions trip to Brazil. 
  1. Pray for divine ministry opportunities, for salvations, and deliverance EVERYWHERE we go!
  2. Pray that language barriers would be overridden.
  3. Pray that God's favor would rest upon us, especially in terms of setting up our trainee program.
  4. Pray that God would draw people to our performances, and that they would logistically go well.
  5. Pray that as we pour out, we would also be poured into; that we would find time of refreshment along the way; personal time to spend with God despite are busy schedule.
  6. Pray for travel mercies, and good health.

God is SO Good.
Thanks for reading!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 
______________________________________________
   Related Content  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tamara's Transformation


TESTIMONY TUESDAY!

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!


So I first heard of Tamara Lowe when I came across her presentation that has gone viral on youtube called "One Minute Sermon". Maybe you have seen it. If not I have provided the video clip below. It is 'tight'! Though 'very in your face', her presentation is original, impressive, entertaining, relevant, and powerful! It got me asking "Who is this lady!?" And it was to my surprise (I should have known...) that there lies an amazing testimony behind this woman!




*Tamara's story of transformation:

Tamara Lowe grew up on the streets of New Orleans. At age 10, she was taking drugs. She became a drug dealer at 12 and dropped out of school in the eighth grade. For the next decade, she went from one drug-induced high to the next. Then, Tamara had a life-changing transition - she got motivated.
When Tamara looks back at the spiritual dimension of her success, she remembers that she was put off by religion. Her mother was Jewish and her father was Catholic, and neither one of them regularly attended weekly worship services. Tamara was not interested in God, the Bible, or organized religion as a child or a teenager. At 17, someone gave her a Bible as a Christmas present. She thought it was not a very good gift, considering she was a drug addict. Knowing that the gift giver would ask if she had read the Bible, and not wanting to lie, Tamara figured she would read a few sentences from the New Testament so she would be telling the truth. She assumed the Bible was an old-fashioned book that was hard to understand and irrelevant. However, she found when she started reading it, she couldn’t put it down. 
Tamara read the parts about Jesus and found herself addicted to the Bible. She finished reading the New Testament in about three weeks. Through reading the Bible, she found her life radically changed and she had a new motivation in life. It was not religion that changed her life, but a personal encounter with Jesus. She got off of drugs, earned her high school equivalency diploma, and went to college. Her faith is a great motivator for everything she does. In her 28 years of being a Christian, she has read the Bible from cover to cover many times over and still gets excited. Applying its words and wisdom is the secret to her success.
Motivational seminars have become Tamara's calling. To her surprise, she has ended up working with five U.S. presidents (Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush, and Bill Clinton), numerous world leaders (British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev), politicians, heads of state, business leaders, professional athletes, Hollywood celebrities and other influential people (including Billy Graham, Colin Powell, Joe Montana, George Foreman, Goldie Hawn, Charlton Heston, Bill Cosby, Christopher Reeve, Rudy Giuliani, Mary Lou Retton, and Mother Teresa).


"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
~Ephesians 3:20


*as seen at http://www1.cbn.com/700club/tamara-lowe-motivational-dna

Be Blessed!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 


__________________________________________________
   Related Content  


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Personal Testimony from Yours Truely

TESTIMONY TUESDAY!


“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!


When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
 ~1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Presented below is a 20-minute video clip of me sharing a part of my personal testimony during the 2016 Ballet Magnificat SDI. Please keep in mind that speaking in front of a crowd of 300-some people is not exactly in my comfort zone. I am by no means trained or skilled in public speaking, nor do I consider myself to be a good communicator, so please be gracious if you choose to view this, turn up your speakers as the audio is low, and be blessed. ^_^





Thanks for stopping by, I hope you were blessed!
Do you have a topic idea or suggestion of something I should write about? 

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Leave a comment below!

______________________________________________
   Related Content  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Beginning Again


Our 4-week summer dance intensive is all said and done. Thinking back to those 4 weeks warms my heart as I reflect on the faithfulness of God during that time. So many hearts and lives were touched by Him, including mine. God always seems to move in big ways during Ballet Magnificat's summer workshop, which obviously is more than just about ballet, but about using our dance to cultivate a concentrated atmosphere of passion and worship for God. It would be hard for any one student, teacher, or counselor, to leave our workshop without loving Jesus more, and THAT is a good way to finish off one season, and start into another. 

After workshop, us company members are given one week off to rest and recoup before the start of another season. One of my favorite things to do with that week is "Be still, and know that he is God" (Ps 46:10). What I mean by that literally, is that along with allowing my body to be still, rest physically, and recharge, I like to spend that week in complete devotion to seeking God; seeking Him more personally, in contrast to the prior corporate setting of workshop; seeking Him even deeper for myself, that my soul as well might be renewed and refreshed in preparation for beginning another new season of ministry with Ballet Magnificat.

Sacrificing time to intensely seek Him through his word, through prayer, and through fasting are all things I concentrated on doing this past week off, and let me tell you, I have never felt more revived, more recharged, or more enthusiastic about living life, as I do now. By seeking God in these ways I have gained a deeper knowledge and understanding of who He is, which has enriched my faith, worship, and communion with Him. In my humble opinion, I think every believer at some point needs to take some time out, to "retreat" if you will, to seek God intensely as such, for however long, at least once a year; to immerse yourself in His word, to talk to Him and quiet your mind that you might hear back, and as Matthew 5:6 says, that you might "hunger and thirst for righteousness and be blessed!" He will meet with you, and show you more of himself, and it will be revitalizing to both body and soul and It will have been be worth it!


"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." ~1 Thessalonians 5:24

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." ~James 4:8


... Don't get me wrong, normal life still went on for me this past week. It's just that the normal life stuff isn't as noteworthy, ^_^ but I can share it with you anyways:

 Reading:  


In my pursuit of God this past week, I decided to re-read "A Hunger for God" by John Piper. I have read it before but it is SO good. I think it may be one of my most favorite books of all time! I could probably read the whole 200-paged book in one day if I let myself. I highly recommend it! I am not exaggerating when I say: It changed my life.

Crazy Cool Fact I Bet You Didn't Know:
Did you know that John Piper has all of his books available online for free download! The whole books---for free!!! I love this man! He writes good stuff! Check it out:


Crafting: 

Experimenting with watercolor again, I've made some new cards available in my Gift Shop!



I found these cool animal stencils in the craft section at Walmart. I bought them for the girls in my workshop group this summer to use, to make stuff with, but I think I am having more fun with them then they had! I used an X-acto knife to cut shapes out of card stock to make my own stencils too! Stencils are great for simple, bold shapes and patterns. The stencils became a bit delicate when wet by the watercolor. I loved the results though! Once the stencils dried, they were as good as new! I had to be careful not to wet the paper too much or the color would bleed past the outline, under the stencil.

I used washi tape to keep the stencils from moving.


Uh oh! Opps, too much water.

Simple, bold shapes can easily be painted without stencils. You just want to make sure you don't outline the shape, then fill it in, unless that is the look you are going for.

Observe outline vs. no outline


Instead make the shape on the paper using clean water first, then add color to it, dipping your brush into the desired colors of paint and then to the water on your paper! Have fun mixing and blending colors!

It is best to do water coloring on the appropriate kind of paper. Even still, if your paper is cheap like mine water spots may appear. No worries, they disappear once dry!


Cooking: 

Feast your eyes upon this delicious, colorful, healthy meal I threw together this week!



A Veggie Burger Taco, with Crispy Over Baked Sweet Potato Fries, and a Mango Smoothie, all so easy to make!

Cleaning:


Being that all my housemates had gone on summer break, I was able to navigate around the house pretty freely and had lots of time and space on my hands for some good deep house cleaning. From kitchen to bathrooms, ceilings (which I repainted- talk about an arm workout!) to floor, I kept myself busy getting everything pristine and in order. Maybe I am just a cleaning geek but I find a clean house at the end of the day to be highly satisfying! ^_^

One of the projects I tackled that I would like to tell you about was bleaching the caulking along the showers and tubs in our bathrooms. I found this amazing post on Pinterest about how to remove mold stains from caulking like magic, so I decided to try it out for myself and I was thoroughly impressed! 

What you will need :

  • Bleach
  • Cotton beauty coils used for perms (I actually didn't have those but the "Finding Nemo" paper towels I did have on hand worked just as well!) 

Basically, all I did was take strips of paper towel soaked in bleach, and placed them on top of the moldy spots of caulking to sit overnight. I was so excited the next day to find the caulking almost completely restored to it's normal brilliant white state! Check out the photos! It wasn't perfect but I am confident that one more night doing this bleach treatment will do the trick!

...well with that week behind me, it is time to start another. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus!

His goodness shines with brightest rays
When we delight in all his ways.
His glory overflows its rim
When we are satisfied in him.
His radiance will fill the earth
When people revel in his worth.
The beauty of God's holy fire
Burns brightest in the heart's desire.

~As seen in "A Hunger for God" by John Piper.


Thanks for reading!
I hope you have a great week!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

______________________________________________
   Related Content  

Veggie Burger Tacos

-   Fast .   Quick .   Easy .  Convenient .   Healthy .  Colorful .   Delicious .  -

Ingredients

  • 2 veggie burgers
  • ¼ red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large mango diced (I used a package that I bought of pre-diced tropical fruit)
  • 1 cup of Barbecue Sauce
  • ½ an avocado
  • 3 green onions diced for garnish
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  • corn tortillas
  • I also added diced carrots and some spinach to this recipe for added color and nutrition (totally optional)



Directions:

  1. Cook veggie burgers according to the directions on the box and set aside.
  2. Chop your red cabbage and set aside.
  3. Dice your mango if not pre-cut like mine. Set aside.
  4. Using a blender to mix your avocado and barbecue sauce together is what is suggested, though because I am lazy and don't like to clean the blender I just mixed them together by hand and that seemed to work just as well. ^_^
  5. Chop cilantro, green onions, and carrots and set aside as garnish.
  6. Once veggie burgers are done cooking/baking, break burgers into crumbles.
  7.  Pull out your corn tortillas and top with burger crumbles, cabbage, spinach, mango, and BBQ sauce! Lastly add the cilantro, green onion, and carrot garnish and serve!
Avocado BBQ Sauce

Buen Porvecho!

So Flavorful!

ddd

Crispy oven baked sweet potato fries compliment this entree wonderfully!


comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 
______________________________________________
   Related Content  

Summer $atisfaction

I can't think of anything more satisfying in the summer than a nice cold smoothie on a hot day, and saving money! Today I want to share with you one of my tricks for doing both!


Because I am not a coffee drinker, whenever I would go to Starbucks for a social outing, the Naked Juices were my beverage of choice (before they stopped carrying them). One day at Starbucks when I went to purchase my Naked Juice the barista asked me if I would like my juice to be blended. No one had ever asked me that before!? Not sure what to expect I said, "SURE! Why not!" It was amazing. She took my bottle and blended half of it with an estimated equal portion of ice (free of extra charge), and Voila! My juice was doubled, AND transformed into a refreshing, ice smoothie of deliciousness! Handing me my blended drink, and my still half full bottle of juice, she made my day! I really feel like I got a bang for my buck that day and I learned that blending juice with ice is something that I can do at home to transform my juice into satisfying smoothies and save money! Those Naked drinks are delicious and so good for you, but cost a pretty penny. My conscious is put at ease purchasing them now though, knowing that I can double these drinks by blending them with ice to get my money's worth. Bolthouse drinks do well being blended as well. 

You gotta try this!




Happy Summer,
keep it cool!


Thanks for stopping by!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 




______________________________________________
   Related Content  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Crispy Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I am such a novice when it comes to cooking in the kitchen. With me, nothing too fancy or exceptionally impressive is to be expected. But that is okay. Everyone has got to start somewhere. Today's recipe is a simple, but delicious one! Who wouldn't love cooking some savory summertime sweet potato fries! I always crave french fries in the summer and sweet potato fries are a delicious alternative. Check out the recipe that I used, provided below, but first you have to check out THIS very helpful post which provides excellent tips on how to ensure that your sweet potato fries come out nice and crispy.

Crispy  Oven  Baked   Sweet   Potato  Fries



Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne (optional- for a spicy kick!)


Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 450 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. I have also tried using foil; sometimes when I have neither of those on hand, I just spray the sheet with oil which also suffices.
  3. Wash and peel potatoes.
  4. Cut potatoes into 1/4''  fries.
  5. Put fries into a gallon sized Ziploc bag with oil and all spices EXCEPT SALT, and shake up; Mixing in spices, making sure that all the fries are coated well.
  6. Spread fries out evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, turning fries occasionally. (I just turned them over once at the 15 minute mark ^_^ )
  8. Season with salt. Serve. Enjoy.


That knife looking tool with the moose on it is the best, most efficient thing I've ever used in my kitchen! I've never seen anything like it, have you? It just appeared in our "gadget drawer" one day. With house mates moving in and out over the years, I never know what belongs to who, or where some of the things in my house even came from, But I LOVE this tool! It is so easy to grip and cuts like no other! It makes cutting my potatoes into fries, a breeze! I use it for all my fruits and vegetables.

After doing some research I found out it is called a Ulu. Wikapedia describes a Ulu as:

an all-purpose knife traditionally used by Inuit, Yup'ik and Aleut women. It is utilized in applications as diverse as skinning and cleaning animals, cutting a child's hair, cutting food and, if necessary, trimming blocks of snow and ice used to build an igloo.
...Like Alaskan Eskimos probably take the credit for this amazing tool! How can I convince you further that you need to get one of these things? As I've shared, my Ulu works great in the kitchen, but how cool is it to know that it can be a multi-purposed instrument! I have some Ulus listed in my amazon store if you are looking into owning one. They are work the investment!




I wanted to make sweet potato fries for my church potluck the other day. I ended up spending nearly 5 hours in the kitchen making 8 batches of sweet potato fries; experimenting with different methods on how to make them come out crispy. I know...I need to get a life. Below are my most favorite discoveries and helpful tips:

  •  Soak potatoes in cold water for 45 minutes to an hour before preparing to cook them. This draws out excess starch allowing your fries to cook at the way through better.

  • Cutting your fries into equal sizes, and spacing them evenly on your baking sheet will allow them to cook at the same rate.

  • Cooking less rather than more, at one time is key! You don't want to over crowd the poor little sweet potato fries. They need proper space to allow moisture to easily escape and evaporate quickly, otherwise your fries will steam rather than bake.

  • Adding salt to your fries AFTER they've been cooked is better than adding it to them before. Cooking your fries with the salt will draw more moisture from your fries, causing more steam, and jeopardizing their crispiness.

Buena  Suerte & Buen Porvecho!




^_^
Thanks for stopping by!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

______________________________________________
   Related Content  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Olympian David Boudia's Story

TESTIMONY TUESDAY!


“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!

In Honor of the Olympics!





Happy Tuesday!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

______________________________________________
   Related Content  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ballet Magnificat SDI 2016 Workshop Recap

Boy. Did I do a lousy job at keeping ya'll informed this past month, or what?! It has been a WHIRLWIND! Though I have failed at consistently updating my blog and keeping you 'in-the-know' about my life and the on-goings here at Ballet Magnificat, you better believe that I've got memories to recount, and pictures to share with you now!

After 30 Days of living in the dorms of Belhaven University, eating cafeteria food, being in charge of 12 adolescent girls, 47 hours of teaching ballet, 10 nights of leading small group bible studies that never ended on time (that doesn't included the other nights when we would lead special events such as creative worship), 20 nerve wrecking minutes of public speaking (all company members are given the opportunity of sharing a personal testimony over the mic in front of hundreds of people!) meanwhile, juggling all that with our status of being professional ballet dancers; taking class and rehearsing during lunch hours, 2 performances later, and over the course of the whole program after witnessing multitudes of students surrendering their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and joining the family of God, I think it is safe to conclude that this year's Ballet Magnificat Summer Dance Intensive has been PHENOMENAL; jam-packed with fun and excitement!!!

Here, we like to say, "Our summer camp is a Christian ballet summer camp, but it is not only for Christians, nor is it only just ballet." Each year God uses our summer dance camp to draw people to himself, and it is a major privilege and honor to be a part of and witness. This year the theme for our workshop was "Unshakeable". The theme verse was Romans 12:2
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
My awesome group of girls (pictured below) memorized this passage!

Me, the 12 precious lives I was responsible for overseeing, and my awesome assistant!
I believe that it is safe to assume and say that most all of the 300+ students, counselors, teachers and staff that participated in this year's workshop were all transformed by the work of the Lord, to some capacity, over the past four weeks!

My dorm room at Belhaven University

Here am I with a group of students in level 6 who I got to teach variations class to.

Here am I teaching a ballet technique class.

Below is a video clip of one of our evening events that we like to call 'Creative Worship'. It is a time where we simply worship God however we desire, and being dancers, this includes freely using our talents, giftings, and passion of movement and dance to worship.




Provided on the weekends for the students, were conditioning classes. We tried to make these classes a real event for them to look forward to! We usually put a theme to our conditioning classes, that they can dress up accordingly. In the past we've done 80's, Superheros etc. This year we went with "Gangster". Check out the footage below of Bess and friends from the Omega Company leading the class. I promise we are nice! ^_^ 






One Sunday evening, my group and I had a time of
"Testimonies, Tea, and Tears". It was a very special and sweet time.

Last Day. Move Out Day.  Empty Room. Sad Sight.
...but I've been saving the best for last. My exuberant, sing-songy group of girls produced this entertaining video that I believe encapsulates our time and life in the dorms, during the Ballet Mag summer intensive. Sweet as can be, I just love seeing their faces in this video. Perhaps I am a bit biased, but surely this video will at least bring a smile to your face!



Again, I must apologize for such scarce updating during this past month of July, but I do hope you enjoyed the recap I provided in this post. Returning to my regularly scheduled program; I am bubbling over with excitement about all the new blog entry topics, DIY's, projects, and ideas that I have coming your way! Also, I have some exciting things coming up with the start of the new 2016-2017 season, including a trip to Brazil in just 5 more weeks, that I can't wait to tell you more about! Your going to want to stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

______________________________________________
   Related Content