Made in His image.

Made in His image.
Photos courtesy Jan Ethridge Photography

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What I Know About My Savior

Normally this is a place for our dance ministry to post about upcoming events, share news about performances, and offer insight and encouragement to our dancers, and others, through devotions grounded in scripture.  This past week has been filled with so many twists and turns, mountains that refuse to go away, and obstacles that make you want to give up, both for myself, our dancers, and others close to me,  that I felt God leading me to stop and reflect on His promises.

They enemy would have you believe you're alone in your struggles, but here's what we know to be true from God's word:

1. Our Heavenly Father loves you right where you are. (Romans 5:8)
His love is not conditional on you getting your "act together"; it's not a reward held out for good behavior or something that can be taken away from you if you make a wrong move. He loves you where you are, today! It's incredible! He is crazy about you! Yes, you! Inside and out. There's nothing you could do to make Him love you any more or any less. He delights in you. The God that created solar systems and every living creature is crazy about you!

2. Jesus has paid it all. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
It is an amazing transformation when you put your trust into the Man that died on the cross to free you from sin. We are all so broken and lost in things we have done, guilt-ridden or love-depraved.......until we choose to surrender it all and put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And then guess what? It's over! You are free! Free from the guilt that liked to creep back in every couple of weeks, free from judgement, free from condemnation, and free to experience the fullness of God's love! Jesus paid it all and our great God says He has removed your sin from you as far as the East is from the West. When you are in Christ you have been made new! So don't go back and dwell on the things that your Lord conquered. Continue to seek after Him in every part of your life and you will discover a freedom that nothing in this world can match.

And as a child of God, there are so many more promises made to you. Cling to them when doubt or fear come knocking.

3. The Lord is your strength. (So lean on Him! You don't have to do the fighting.)
4. Nothing can separate you from His love. (Nothing! Period:)
5. He works things out for the good of those that love Him.
6. He delights in blessing you!
7. He is the King of Kings! (So there is no problem too big for Him to handle.)
8. He will never leave you or betray you.

So when times are rough, circumstances confusing, hope depleted, or you just don't know where to turn, stop and meditate on the promises of your Heavenly Father who loves you. Talk to Him and cast all your burdens and worries on Him through prayer. And as you spend more and more time in His presence you will start to recognize His voice more and more.

"In this world you will face tribulation, but take heart! For I have overcome the world!"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Life of Purity


​​A Life of Purity 

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16
 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

​What does the word pure make you think of? Pure gold, pure honey, pure water, pure white snow...they have all maintained their original form without anything being added. Pure is defined as “free from anything that would contaminate.” This Scripture says that we are to live a life of purity. What do you think are some things that contaminate our lives from being pure? Our senses are on overdrive with all of the filth that we see and hear on an everyday basis. We are inundated with a culture that elevates sexuality (especially outside of a marriage relationship) as something that is public and common. Words are thrown around that are rude, hurtful and demeaning as comedic and common language. 

​So how do we remain pure when we are surrounded by filth? Sometimes it feels like you are wearing your favorite white clothes in the middle of a big mudslide trying to keep them unstained. 2 Timothy 2:22 says “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” We must actively pursue things that are holy in order to avoid being caught up in things that will pull us down. Sometimes that literally means fleeing, running from situations, people, or things that pull us down.

​ Often the impure things we crave leave us feeling empty and never really satisfy the need we have for relationship. They can become like idols (something that we put before God). Psalm 24:3-4 says “Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.

​”They are days that I feel like my heart has become corrupted by this world and I feel guilty and unclean. God does not leave us sitting in our filth! We have a God that loves us, that sent His Son Jesus to this earth to die on the cross and free us from our sins. Scripture says that His blood washes us white as snow! Maybe you feel like you got caught up in the mudslide. You are not left there! Jesus can redeem any situation!

 He can take you out of the mud and wash off all the filth so you are sparkling white again. That is the beauty of grace; Nobody has gone too far that God cannot redeem their situation!So we must choose to walk in purity. Not because it’s a rule of being a Christian or because somebody told us to. We choose to because we love Jesus and don’t want anything to stand in the way of that relationship. What is one thing you would like to change in your life to live more pure? How can you begin to take steps toward that?

​“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fields of Faith

We had been preparing for this night for weeks and what an incredible event it turned out to be! Hosted at the arena of NWFSC, FCA and youth groups from all over the county showed up to pray for each other, their schools, their leaders, and families; to share their testimonies, and to worship their God.

Our dancers performed two pieces during the night, "You Won't Relent" and "Light Will Shine". So many people were generous in their encouragement at what it meant to really see worship happening through dance.  Each piece was very different from the other; one reverent but passionate and the other an all out expression of joy, and we were so encouraged to hear over and over again that the visual imagery of worship through our dancing helped focus hearts on our amazing Creator and touched hearts with the message of His peace and love for us.
Several students shared their testimonies and I have to say, it moves your heart to see so many young people praying together in small groups for each other and those that haven't yet accepted Jesus as their Savior. We continue to pray that the youth in our community would be bold in living their lives for Christ so that by their example others might also find the freedom in surrendering it all to the One that freed us from sin. He is an awesome and faithful God!
And even after the lights were up and the crowds of students had dispersed.....our dancers kept right on dancing:)

Monday, September 30, 2013

As our dancers prepare for our first full-length contemporary ballet, we've been using our devotional times to talk about different sections of our story and how they relate to God's word. One piece that will be particularly difficult is "Transcendence" in which our main character, after suffering a loss, turns away from God and tries to find comfort from the empty promises the world offers. And while our story ultimately finds our main character coming out of her tragedy with a personal relationship with Jesus, we took some time as a group to talk about what it is like when we turn to the wrong things in hope of finding peace.
Have you ever experienced something so difficult, so terrible, or so devastating, that you question your beliefs? It's not an easy thing to experience or sometimes admit, but many of us will go through tragedies in our lifetimes that shake us so badly that we struggle with where to turn for comfort and peace. In this part of our story, the main character (name TBD) has suffered the loss of her father and while her mother and sister are clinging to their faith in God to bring them through, our main character can not understand how a loving God could allow something so awful to happen. Rather than place her trust in the Lord to deliver her through her pain.....she decides to run from Him and turn to the world for relief.
When I think of what it is like to turn away from God it's not a pretty picture to say the least. But a few things in particular kept resurfacing over and over again as I prayed about how we can convey this part of our story through our dancing. The first is selfishness. Our culture tells us constantly that "we" are enough. You can do anything. You should have anything you want. You should pay attention to the way you look. You are all that you need to be happy. When we are constantly focused on ourselves and our own desires, how easy it is to lose sight of the bigger picture our Heavenly Father has planned for us. We become jealous, spiteful, and sometimes willing to do whatever it takes to be the "best" or "first". We lose our compassion and sympathy for others and as we become more obsessed with serving ourselves we ultimately fall prey to loneliness, depression, and anger. It is so tiring trying to keep up with everything this world tells you is necessary or important. It's exhausting to constantly be worrying about 'things'...and that's all they really are right? "Things". And when you think about it, how terrible would it be if the only worth we could have for ourselves is how we appear in others eyes, who are just as broken and lonely as us.
The Bible says in Matthew to  "enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many."
In Transcendence, we will be conveying what it is like to live without trusting and following our Creator. It's a dark and scary place to find yourself, but our story comes to a wonderful ending. The Lord says that in Him we can find peace. "In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart for I have overcome the world!" And that is our great joy as Christians:) It's an incredible victory for us! When we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior, who rescued us from our sin and the empty future this world offers, what an overwhelming relief to know that we can live our lives in confidence that our God is bigger than anything this world can throw at us. Even death.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fields of Faith

                In just a few weeks our dancers are performing at NWFSC for a county-wide FCA event called Fields of Faith. This is going to be an amazing opportunity to get the youth of our area together to uplift each other, our schools, and our leaders in prayer. We are also praying that as some of the students share their own stories of coming to know Jesus, many will make the decision to put their faith in the One who paid it all for us on the cross.
             The CALLING has been working hard on the two pieces we will be performing, but more than knowing the choreography, our prayer is that it will be the presence of the Lord and the joy we hope to convey through our movements that really touch the hearts of those there at NWFSC. How blessed we are that we get to DANCE for the Lord and share His message of hope and love!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thirty One Party Fundraiser

Please join us June 20th-29th for our Thirty One Fundraiser! By clicking on the link and selecting "My Parties" - "The Calling Dance Company, you can help support us by making a purchase. We are trying to raise funds for our non-profit status, but have also partnered with New Tribe Missionaries, Brett and Morgan Gordon, as they prepare for long-term missions in Papau New Guinea.

The CALLING Christian Dance Ministry is committed to using the powerful imagery of dance to spread the gospel of Christ in our community. We promote a healthy body image and use the gifts our Creator has given us in dance to glorify His name.

If you would like to participate as a dancer or sponsor please email us at

Sunday, June 16, 2013

First Annual Concert

What a night! We have covered this night in prayer since we started the preparations back in January and God's presence was all around! What an overwhelming response to what we hope is only the beginning of this new dance ministry.
All of the components of worship came together in a way that only the Lord could have orchestrated. The music from our incredible band members brought such life to our dancing; our speaker's words prepared the audiences hearts to hear and receive truths about our Heavenly Father and infuse the dances with meaning that would otherwise have been overlooked; and our dancers moved with their hearts and let the love of the Creator shine through!
It was so moving to see how God could take a small seed of an idea and create such a concert of worship that only He could have brought about. That He would choose to use us as instruments of His worship to share His love and grace with others was so humbling. He can do more than we can ask or imagine and I am so excited to see where He continues to lead us in this journey to use the imagery of dance to glorify His name and bring more hearts to His kingdom!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Dancer's Prayer

I saw this somewhere else, but wanted to share:

Dancer’s Prayer

My Lord of this Dance, I willingly present to you my body, my soul, and my spirit. I submit them to the desire of the Holy Spirit. Glorify yourself within me, as I put away my own purposes and motives. Move within my body for your purpose. I pray you accept my dance offering to You and use it in your Will to heal, free, and bless others. In the Name of your Son, Jesus. Amen

Friday, June 7, 2013

One Week Away

We are one week away from our show. We have received an overwhelming amount of support and enthusiasm from our community and as we get closer to the performance we are keeping so many things in prayer.
We are praying for the continued safety and health of our dancers, praying for all the pieces and details we've worked so hard to put together to glorify God and His kingdom, praying for the hearts of the audience, and that we would be used to reach people for Christ.
And now, what I have to remember, is just to surrender everything to the One that created each of us in His image, and trust that He will complete the good work He has started.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 6th "Worn" Rehearsal

What an incredible rehearsal today. I wanted to share a run through from our piece "Worn" that will be part of the June 14th performance at Niceville High School. God is always there to carry us when we need the supernatural strength that surpasses our own. We played around with different dancers representing the Holy Spirit and God's grace. Take a look!

Video-Harborwalk in Destin

A few weeks ago, we got the opprtunity to dance at Harborwalk's Spring Fest. I love the power in this song by Plumb, "Need You Now". It was a little windy outside, but such a cool venue to dance in and share the message that God is still with us in our deepest struggles.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How it all started

All my life I have danced. It has been an incredible gift of expression and I cannot imagine my life without movement, choreography, and yes, even the countless chances to essentially play dress-up on stage. It is a God-given talent and for a long time I have prayed and asked the Lord to show me how I could use this gift for His Kingdom.

As a young dancer, I trained and performed for many years with Atlanta Ballet and devoted every summer to a new summer program; in Houston, Boston, New York. Dancing, like any other sport, requires hours of training each day, and often times is emotionally and mentally demanding as well. For a brief period of my life, the strenuous requirements on my body and the hours of standing in front of a mirror, eventually led to an eating disorder. The truth was that this talent that had been meant for so much more had become an idol in my life. For a short time I left dancing altogether, I just couldn't handle the stress I had placed on myself.

I started getting more involved in church in my college years. I had come to know Christ several years before, but can't say that I had been consistently faithful in growing in my walk with the Lord and challenging myself to live as He has called His followers to live. I began to be mentored by an amazing woman of God who happened to direct a Christian dance school at a local church. I began to teach for her and suddenly a whole new realm of possibilities was opened up in terms of how dance could be relevant to worship today and how it could be used to reach young dancers and even our community for Christ.

In 2006, after marrying my wonderful husband and having our first child, we moved from that town and relocated to be closer to family. I again had to wait on the Lord to navigate me back to a dance family. He brought me to another incredible dance studio and for the last five years I have been blessed to be a part of a truly inspiring dance family!

Still, in the back of my mind, I kept praying for God to show me specifically how to use my gifts to glorify Him. In 2012, I began talking candidly with a fellow dance instructor about the possibility of us teaming together to start a dance ministry as part of what our studio offered. In the midst of those few weeks, I learned that a dear friend of mine with whom I had danced with in college was moving back to the states from Australia. She had been dancing with Hillsong and had previously been a dancer for a Christian dance company based out of Texas. It was just like God to start putting the puzzle pieces together in ways that only He can.

In December of 2012, my two dear friends and I started The Calling. At first we had about five excited dancers, but that quickly grew to 20+. Without financial backing, but after much prayer, we set our first concert date of June 14th, 2013.....before we even had a single dance choreographed. We started rehearsals, led the dancers in prayer, and committed our dancing to the Lord. We were asked to dance in churches and slowly the Lord brought more attention to our little group. I am amazed at how gracious He is in allowing us to be a part of drawing people to His kingdom and always get chills when I feel His Holy Spirit among us as we're performing. We are excited to see where He will continue to guide and direct us!
                                                                                                                              - Brittany

June 14th Performance at Niceville High School 7:00pm

Come join us, June 14th, at Niceville High School, for what we are praying will be an incredible night of worship! Featuring a live band covering the music of Hillsong, David Crowder, and many other contemporary Christian artists, this will be a powerful night of glorifying the Lord through the powerful imagery of dance.

Tickets are free if reserved before June 1st otherwise it's just $5 at the door. You can reserve your tickets by emailing or by calling us at 850-428-4682. We continue to pray for the performance in advance, and continue to watch to see how God  will use our gifts and talents to spread the message of His love throughout our community!