26 March 2010

Why Dance?

If you know me at all, you know that I highly enjoy dancing. It may seem silly, or perhaps a waste of time, but I would argue that dancing is much more than about having a good time.

You have to be a humble person to be able to dance. Sooner or later you will mess up, direct someone in the wrong direction, mis-read a dance step, or simply not know what you are doing. You have to be willing to admit you messed up, and be humble enough to ask for help when you have no idea what you are supposed to do.

Dancing teaches you patience. It takes time to walk through a dance and learn the steps before you can even get the chance to dance it through with you music. Or perhaps you already know the dance and you must learn to wait patiently as others learn.

You learn to help others. When first starting out, you are concerned for yourself and how to do it right. As you progress you start to look out for your partner, then your set, then others in your line. You begin to look out not just for yourself but for others with which you are dancing.

You have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most exquisite pieces of music. Just dance Pat Shaw's version of Mr. Beveridge's Maggot and you'll know what I mean.

If you don't know how to listen you shouldn't dance. It's not even just listening to the caller, but listening also for the music for it will tell you when to perform the next figure. Paying attention to the caller helps, too. ;-)

So dancing isn't just for fun. It will stretch you. God has used my experiences with dance to shape me into the person I am today. Four years ago, I would never ever have thought it possible for me to have the nerve to actually stand in front of a group of people and call dances. I was extremely shy and uncomfortable actually looking at my partner when I was dancing with them. I was not outgoing at all and probably would have nearly died if I had to speak in front of a group of people. Dance, however, forced me out of my shell and taught me how to be comfortable interacting with other people. Here I am today - helping my brother lead our dance group and calling dances.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and dance!

18 March 2010

A Sabbath on the Lord's Day

I have had this article in my drafts for quite some time. I decided it's about time that I share this with you! :-)

I think it is an excellent idea. We are so surrounded my our technology that it would be beneficial to take regular breaks and unplug. We ask God to speak to us, yet our lives are so filled with music, iPods, emails, all sorts of electronics...we have no silence in which we can hear Him speak. This is why our quiet time with the Lord should come as soon as possible in the mornings, before the distractions start flooding in. Do the bare minimum you have to do to wake up, and then make it your priority to spend time with Yahweh - not just in His Word, but speaking to Him and listening.

A good point brought out in the article is the temptation towards legalism. It is easy to think ourselves better because we don't get on Facebook on Sundays. Yet the prophet Isaiah tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. It doesn't matter how good we are, it is never good enough. I can't enter into heaven on my own merit. My very best is nothing better than a pile of dirty, filthy, stained rags. Do I lose hope, seeing how not matter what I do, it is naught? No, for by Yahweh's grace, I am being sanctified, and am being made more holy and more like Him. I can not do it of myself, I must plead with Yahweh to work in me - to sanctify me, to grant me the desire to seek after Him, to help me follow hard after Him. By seeking to unplug from the source of so much distraction, I am more free to focus on Him on His day. It isn't easy, especially at first, and I admit that sometimes it is difficult to do it for a full twenty-four hours. You can even start out with, say, twelve or fifteen hours, and work up to a full twenty-four hours. Persevere and I think you will find the eternal rewards worth the struggle.

Soli Deo Gloria,
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04 March 2010

Yes, I'm writing about *that* again...

Well, sort of. This is actually something I wrote a while back (if you don't believe me, just check the date of the article. It was published not long before I wrote this!). I've edited and added to my thoughts before publishing it here, of course. Stacy Macdonald has done such a good job with her article, that really there isn't much I can add to her work.

The article by Stacy Macdonald on courtship and betrothal is located here:

There is no cut and dried way that a courtship should happen. Each couple's story is going to be amazingly unique. How each family implements biblical principles is going to be different. But the thing is that there are biblical principles that should be followed. That's my disclaimer before I state my thoughts on the above article.

I agree with Mrs. Macdonald that if there is an interest there, that one of the best ways to get a glimpse of the other's character is through interaction with the other person in a family or group setting. The emotions should and must take the sideline as you are trying to ascertain the character of the other person. Does their theology line up? Do they share a vision? Can I submit to/love as Christ this person? Topics such as these above should be worked out before anyone even thinks about involving the emotional aspect of it.
When it is discovered that this is "the one", that this young lady would share in his vision and submit to his leadership - it is at that point where the man can (and should) approach the father to ask for her hand in marriage. This is by no means the limit of the father's role. As the young lady's God-given protector, he should be "checking out" and getting to know the young man both before and during the courtship.

The emotions should be involved as little as possible until there is a firm commitment. No, it is not possible to be one hundred percent stoic, but there are certain pitfalls that can be avoided. In the beginning, one-on-one interaction in person should be limited, if not prohibited. I would even venture banning such phrases as "I miss you", "I love you", "Can't wait to see you again" and so on. The betrothal/engagement period is the time to focus on developing a romantic relationship with the person you are planning to spend the rest of your life with, while the courtship should be focused on whether or not this person is the one God has meant for you. There is always the possibility that this is not the one that He has intended for you. Our sin-ridden lives are not perfect and hearts will be broken no matter what model you use, but there is certainly a way that is wiser than the rest.

There's my "snippet" on the topic. I enjoy talking about the subject, though I much prefer the conversational layout than merely stating my opinion!

In Yahweh,