Download: Priesthood Teaching

priesthood instagram 2Yesterday I had the opportunity to present a short teaching to a few of the staff at The Prayer Room. This was one of my externship requirements, and I had a lot of fun studying and praying through my chosen topic, putting together notes, and then preaching for twenty minutes! I introduced my teaching with a short spoken word piece called Priest Forever that I wrote almost two years ago and have had the opportunity to perform in a couple different IHOPU venues in the past.

I spoke on the priesthood, specifically four aspects of what it means that we as modern believers are priests before God. As priests, we 1) stand before God on behalf of man and 2) stand before man on behalf of God. We do this in four specific ways:

  1. Adoration
  2. Intercession
  3. Proclamation
  4. Preparation

As I did with my previous Mary of Bethany teaching, I have both the audio and the notes available for download! The notes include the full text of the spoken word piece complete with Scripture references.

MP3 audio – Four Functions of the Priesthood teaching 11-3-15

PDF notes – Four Functions of the Priesthood with bonus Priest Forever poem

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Heartsong Handmade

I promised an official announcement as soon as my new Etsy store was up and running, so here it is!

Heartsong Handmade features handmade brown paper/mixed media greeting cards with a vintage, shabby chic inspired style. I’ve been using a lot of the fabric scraps I have in my collection from past sewing projects, as well as old book pages and illustrations, and I enjoy seeing how various materials can come together to create something entirely fresh and unexpected.

Check out some of my favourite cards below, and then go to the page and check out more! You can also follow me on Pinterest to see more designs as soon as I post them.

Also, buying from my Etsy store is a great way to support me as an intercessory missionary and get something fun for yourself or a friend in return! 😉

Starlings in Winter Poem

Vintage Nautical

Vintage Victorian Storefront

Dance Is What The Soul Looks Like

dancersaretheathletesofgod.tumblr.com

I went to my cousin’s college dance show today. It was stunning. I haven’t been on stage as a dancer since… March 2009. Ouch. I wanna dance again. I dance constantly alone at home and in the back of the room during worship, of course, but I miss the choreography and the challenge of really pushing myself to express an emotion through every inch of my body.

My favourite thing about dance shows is finding the themes and stories being portrayed through the music and movement (and supported by the lighting, costuming, and all such theatrical elements). My favourite numbers are always the most subtle and abstract, the modern dances that seem to tell a story you can barely catch the edges of. Dance has the ability to celebrate and/or illuminate human nature, the human experience, and the deep shared history that binds us together. Grace and strength, harmony and dissonance. Dance is the story of us.

One of the numbers that opened the show was entitled “Perdido” (which means “lost” in Spanish) and featured a man and a woman on a dark stage. They started slowly, facing each other, and they seemed to awaken and discover each other before breaking away. Their movements seemed to constantly separate and then come back together. There was correlation, symmetry, and also an intensity of discord. I sensed joy and vitality and celebration and unity, and also separation and yearning and despair and confusion and shame. It was as if they needed each other and were bound together, but they were incapable of maintaining the harmony. They ended with the woman leaning backwards over the man’s back as he hunched over with his fists over his face, as though hiding from a deep inner darkness. I don’t know what exactly the choreographer’s original vision was, but to me it was a picture of the Fall. The brokenness of the relationship between Man and Woman, and also between God and his Creation. There was an echo of beauty fractured by fear and shame. It was a profound reflection of the world we live in.

Another of the modern dances that spoke to me was called “Atonement” and featured an ensemble of dancers, male and female, each wearing a straight ankle length black wrap skirt with a bright colour as the lining. Upstage centre was a video screen. The intensity and violence of the music and the dancers’ movements were accented by the images and words flashing across the screen. WAR. POVERTY. TERRORISM. The dance continued, displaying the depravity of humanity and the broken state of our world. The long skirts reminded me almost of ancient Japanese samurai styles, and seemed to represent the ancient violence of this struggle, and the fact that the diverse ensemble of dancers wore the same costume reminded me of the solidarity of humanity. We are all the same; we are all caught inside this beast.

Then the music changed, and a solo dancer performed gracefully while images of Ghandi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King Jr. came across the screen. The soloist was rejoined by the ensemble, and words like PEACE, HUMANITY, and COMPASSION appeared behind the dancers. The music regained intensity, and the struggle continued, displaying the war between light and darkness that humanity is caught in the middle of.

I wondered what the dancers felt as they performed. Did they feel, as I did, that this was a prayer going up to God for salvation from this mess?

Yes, dance can be a prayer. Dance speaks in ways that words can’t. Dance is music made flesh. It’s shape, movement, speed, precision, grace, and strength telling a story in four dimensions. I have danced joy, freedom, and love… and also desperation, anger, and loneliness. In those moments, I feel like what my body is doing on the outside mirrors what my spirit is doing on the inside.

I love the creativity of God that he gave us this art with which to communicate. To dance is to be fully alive and aware and expressive. To dance is to put feelings into motion. Dance is the colour of life.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Ecclesiastes 3:4