Tuesday, September 30, 2014
We had a lot of fun this past Saturday at our first Creation rehearsal! You can see our progress above.....and yes, I forgot to turn off messaging on my phone so we had a slight interruption:)
Save the date for May 14th, 2015 when you can see this piece performed at Mattie Kelly!
Posted by Brittany Swain at 12:25 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2014
What a blessed, blessed day! I have been looking forward to this day for weeks! Finally!
The Beth Moore simulcast!As my dear friend and I pulled up this morning to the church, coffee and Bibles in hand, watching all the women pour into the building, you could feel the anticipation.....we were excited, because we were here to get a word from the Lord!
Now if you have ever studied the Word of God alongside Beth in one of her studies, or listened to her speak, you know this blessed woman is anointed and has a sweet, sweet passion for women:) It is with this deep passion that she speaks from the heart, directed by the Holy Spirit, offering great lessons that usually include very honest and even hilarious stories from her own life. And let me tell you something...there were times today she had us laughing so hard, the tears just rolling over our cheeks, I'm sure ladies heard my snorts a few rows back:)
There is something so completely awesome about studying God's Word together as a large gathering of women. We were just made to be around each other! We were made to love on each other and lift each other up. We were made to share in each other's joy and be the shoulder for someone else to lean on. We get joy in being able to celebrate with one another and ya'll it's scriptural!! Our joy is made complete when we are SHARING our faith and our joys with one another!
Beth walked us through many points today of being a female well. That is to say, walking in womanhood greatly (and it has nothing to do with make-up, attire, profession, or marital status!). She reminded us that in scripture, each time a woman encounters Jesus they are changed! Healed, transformed, forgiven, loved, restored, you name it. There is not one kind or type of woman He rejects. Not one. There is not one set of circumstances that He will refuse to walk through right there next to you and not one sin for which He will withhold His saving grace. Widows, sisters, poor, rich, old, young, single, married, cohabitating, divorced, disabled, depressed, lonely, damaged.......whatever the story, the woman is loved!
We had some good reminders of what it means to be Christ-like in our friendships. She told us that in a survey she conducted earlier in the week, she had asked, "What are some things that have caused hurt among our Christian friendships with other women?" And don't you know the answers resonated: Comparison, competition....jealousy. How often are we so callous to one another out of the need to make ourselves feel better about ourselves? How often do we toot our own horn to one-up our girlfriend? I mean if insecurity had a smell, Lord help me get the reek out of my own self and wash me in Your grace!
It's important to remember who we are in Christ, but also to remember who we are not. She gave us these beautiful words on the screen to write down, to memorize, to remember and to etch on our hearts:
"I am a woman of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ,
loved, pursued, and chosen, equipped with words of life,
clothed in strength and dignity, commissioned here and now
gifted by the Spirit, forgiven and unbound!"
Loved, pursued, and chosen.......if we allow Him, Jesus can rescue us from loneliness and bless us in a relationship like no other on this earth. Whether you realize it or not, He is pursuing you! Yes, you, the one reading this! Let His love wash over you and you will know a freedom like you have only imagined! Forgiven and unbound......no chains of sin can bind up what Christ himself has set free. And yes, we are commissioned. We have been called to a purpose. Not later at some point somewhere in the future when all the circumstances are right, but now, in this moment, He has a plan for you. Oh how I pray that I would always be ready not just to receive His word, but to respond to it!
I know that for some, these words don't yet mean anything. It's so easy to dismiss them if you aren't currently walking with the Lord. There's too many of us conditioned by this world to miss the eternal perspective. Beth said something today that I so desperately want my children to understand: You can "know" all the right things.....perhaps even to the point of being saved, but honey, if you don't have a personal, real, relationship with God in His Word, if you aren't daily walking with Him....you will miss your destiny! Your destiny!
It's so easy. If you ask Him to, Jesus can and will rescue you from sin to an eternal life spent with Him. If you have perhaps been searching for something missing.....maybe not even realizing what it was...just knowing that something about your life wasn't quite complete.....I pray that you would ask Him into your life today.
You don't have to do anything more than invite Him in and He will transform you into the person, the child of God, you were always intended to be! He loves you right where you are in this moment....so much so that rather than loose you, He chose death on a cross, willfully taking on the punishment that was rightfully ours, so that by believing in Him, you would live with Him forever!
So what does a woman of God look like? There is a beautiful poem you can read from the Living Proof Ministries blog here. (And I hope you'll scroll down too on that page and read her closing commission in bold!) And to my sisters that were there today too, I would love to hear what else was said that resonated with your hearts today! How awesome it is to walk with the Lord!
Posted by Brittany Swain at 8:24 PM
Sunday, September 7, 2014
So I'm sitting here with what may or may not be my third cup of hot tea for the day, making my lists for the week, diligently putting off the laundry that needs to be folded and writing down goals and deadlines for the year ahead with The Calling. We have once again been blessed with talented dancers with passionate hearts for Jesus and I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to allow us to spread His gospel through the art of dancing!
It's easy for me to fall into the trap of getting overwhelmed with the mountain of details it feels like lie ahead of us when we embark on a new production. So rather than getting lured away from the ministry's focus, I thought I'd spend some time in the Word. I've been studying the book of James and verses 22-25 go like this:
"But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For anyone who is a hearer of the word only and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror, goes away, and immediately forgets what it was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets, but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in all he does!"
And as I'm meditating on what that implies, I'm thinking, "Yes Lord, exactly!" Allow us in all we do not just within the ministry, but in our individual lives to be doers of the Word not just listeners. Let us train our eyes on You first and all these things shall follow. Let us trust in You Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding because You promise to direct our paths. Let us encourage each other and be quick to listen and slow to speak, bridling our tongues. And let us always be worshipping You and coming to You in prayer.
In our small group time earlier this week the question was raised, "What often keeps you from hearing Gods voice?" My answer came quickly......my voice:) When I really stop my worrying I can almost hear an audible voice saying, "Sweetheart, I got this."
Yes He does:) I really can't wait to experience what lies ahead, but as I drag myself up from this table and take one last caffeinated sip, I'll close this post with some clips from last season's rehearsals.
Dancers, you amaze us with your sweet spirits and your talent! You are EACH beautiful and as I put this video together, know that you each passed over my mind in a sisterly love:) What an awesome journey the Lord has allowed us to take together!
Posted by Brittany Swain at 8:21 PM