An organization of Cultural Arts and Development.
"A time to Dance...A Time to Speak"

Monday, September 19, 2011

NOBODY GREATER at Primitive Christian Church, NYC

There is no one like the Lord! No one who heals, helps, delivers, and saves like the Lord. Even when times are rough, I feel discouraged, the end of my rope...there is still hope...for there is God and no one, I mean NO ONE...NO NO NOBODY IS GREATER.  He came in my life when I was just a teenager...I have interests, people, relatives, jobs, relationships...come and go...but no one has been consistent, faithful, awesome, totally more than I could ask or think because after all HE IS GOD...Nobody is greater than the Lord.
What a privilege to dance before the message by Pastor Enid Rios-Rivera whose message of exhortation lifted us out of what ever was holding us down...lifted us out of any hopelessness or helplessness as we recounted the testimonies in God's Word and even real life testimonies of sisters in our midst.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Northeast Worship Institute -Closing Processional Choreography by Freddie Moore and Daryse Osborne

We learned this dance during the 2 days at the Institute. We are grateful to dance before the Lord and have such great teachers. In this You Tube video you will see Martin Bowman, Angela Bowman, Karen Hunter, Leslie Rios, Natalie Arenas, and Zoe Quintero from Primitive Christian Church. We also learned movements from the choreodrama choreographed and directed by Freddie Moore during the day classes of the Institute. The film footage of that would be on the class DVD's.
We saw the choreodrama "IN HIS PRESENCE" in Jersey City at the Cityline Church (Pastors Joshua & Paula Rodriguez) on this past Saturday night and were greatly blessed. Some of the students from that cast (the discipleship series) we met at the institute last Saturday. It was great to see them ministering as a big group with Freddie Moore and Footprints Dance Company. All the students of the Institute are hungry to learn more and may enroll in the 2011 Discipleship Series this fall.
"In His Presence" will be ministered again in Camden and New Haven this summer. Go to for more information.
I was greatly encouraged this past week to remember to take time to seek God in the secret place. To always make time to be in His Presence. I know that a lifestyle of seeking God's Presence at the altar of brokenness will make all the difference in my life. So much to time to waste.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 2011 update

Quick update. Just finished Ceu Kingshill Praise Dance Class. Excellent! We hope to have a class with her in Laban in the future. Laban from a Christian point of view. Should be interesting. Working on the annual Easter play for Resurrection Sunday at Primitive Christian Church. My husband has written another great script and I am one of the contributing writers. Between the Christmas play and the Women's History Day dramatic piece I guess I am now doing more writing. Reminds me of my high school years when I tried to catch up with my best friend Judy. She wrote with out reservation constantly. I really respect people who can do that. My base is the Bible and all the life-lessons that I have experienced. There is so much material there. I am ruminating on what to teach this summer for our intensives at church and maybe I can do some at the Casa do Brasil site that Ceu has introduced us to. I hope to go up to New England and get involved in a gospel dance concert. And as always, prepare for the Women's retreat dance piece that seems to get longer every year. Let's see if we can keep it under 20 minutes from beginning to end. No we don't dance for 20 minutes straight but it is usually dance theater with text, background music, props...etc. I have a tap dance residency and the children are learning at a rapid rate. Did I pick up that quickly in 3rd grade???
Looking forward to what God has for me...Well for is the play, the play , the play!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

GPS - Finding Your Direction

Day #17 ONE MONTH TO LIVE. My Mom said she wanted to get us something electronic for Christmas and I couldn't think of a GPS fast enough. As a teaching artist, Substitute teacher, and arts ed administrator for 7 months, I realized that I am in the habit of getting lost. And getting lost royally and then when I reach the location I am still circling trying to find a place to park that my parallel parking challenged ability can know God has been so patient with my driving. But last year must have been His time to send me out into the real world because I had to park more uncomfortable ways (for me...not you) and I knew it was His way of pushing me out the nest whether I liked it or not. So with GPS mounted and Mapquest in hand, I trust this will be a better year for me...well at least driving.
"The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Frederick Buechner (quote found in One Month to Live)

Unless I know my niche in life...I will also be lost...royally lost. God has given me 3 crucial resources according to the book which is 1. my gifts, 2. my passions, 3. my struggles. I think one of my gifts is teaching. Now whether or not it is best spent in a classroom, or should only be in the context of a performing art is something to ponder but it is definitely teaching. Education to me is a practical usage of a larger gift that is mine which is encouraging. So anything that involves teaching, coaching, mentoring, and promoting is right on my street. I don't need an internal GPS to find that. My passion is for the arts. I express it many ways but find my greatest joy in the context of faith and African-American culture. And how I love musicals...I could sing and watch them all day long. I think I drove my co-workers at my last job crazy as I practically found a new musical everyday from the You Tube. No wonder I had so much fun as an undergraduate at Emerson College!!! Many people know I love to dance, but to sing/dance/act...better. Many can do it better than I so I direct. I directed my first scenes at 16. It was a great dream fulfilled to direct in college. My Mom thought I wanted to go to theater school to act but I said no, I want to direct.
So what experiences am I passionate about? These days I am passionate about building legacy, about passing on what God has given me. Every time I conduct a workshop, seminar, intensive, or boot camp, something inside me sings. Eric Liddell said in the movie Chariots of Fire "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."
When I train others to come forth like a mid wife brings forth a baby, I feel God's pleasure. I really enjoy doing this along side my husband Martin because it is like 2 sides of the heart at work. We have worked side by side long enough that he knows where I am going, but he also gives a sharper perspective that is sometimes the translation of what I am really trying to say. My assistant Karen has also been very helpful in making these moments count in the lives of others.
And then there are struggles. Spending 7 months at a job that didn't yield a full-time permanent job, can I consider that a struggle? Not to mention struggles with money and struggles with health? In all my struggles I can honestly say I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met along the way these last 10 years that include my husband and his family, various co workers in arts administration, arts and education, and ministry. Thankful for the old friends from college and grad school that have reconnected to remind me about the passions I once had so I can revisit them.
So today I'm going to check out my internal GPS system again and see where we are going for 2011. I think this will be an incredible year!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sandpaper - Smoothing the Edges

Day #13 ONE MONTH TO LIVE. 2 quotes come to mind today.
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Eph 2:10

"We're like blocks of stone, out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much, are what make us perfect. The suffering in this world is not the failure of God's love for us; it is that love in action." C.S. Lewis. see Shadowlands

I am going to face the blows of the chisel as I face the challenges of this life. I am going to be in relationships that rub me, sharpen me, to help me become that masterpiece (workmanship) God has in mind. Rather than run from that I embrace that today so I can be all God wants me to be.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Boxing Ring - The 12th Day

Day #12 ONE MONTH TO LIVE - Boxing Ring:Resolving Conflicts by Fighting Fair.
A great chapter that we reviewed today at church. I have to be honest...I can't stand conflict. They often think that women are the ones that want to talk it through and the man is the one who leaves trying to ignore conflict...but I think I'm the one. My husband loves to talk it out and analyze and reanalyze. Well it is crucial to learn how to fight fair. I flow best in my art and ministry when I have my misunderstandings and conflicts resolved.
Let me just make a husband and I are concerned about the Ted Williams story. We were troubled that the man with the golden voice with all the media attention and job offers would fall the minute he started to rake in the money. I am actually relieved that the real Ted Williams is starting to be revealed so he can get help. After years working in a rescue mission my husband has seen countless of "Ted Williams" type guys. All we can hope is that Mr. Williams will deal with the issues that led him to his homelessness to begin with. Whatever conflicts he is facing as he reconnects with his family will be crucial in his reentering into mainstream life.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

KICK START: Living Life full Throttle

Day #8. Can I share some words with you that recently inspired me?
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs its people who have come alive." Howard Thurman.
"The greatest power we need in our lives is the power to begin again"
These quotes are from Chapter 8 of ONE MONTH TO LIVE. 
 I have made many mistakes and I either don't begin again or go in denial
to try to avoid dealing with how bad its been.
My prayer this evening... 
Lord, I surrender to do the things the way you want them done.
 I deny my own agenda to follow yours. 
BELOW. Is the prophetic encouragement spoken at church last night through Rev. Dr. Sylvia Bradfield+Mitchell. She sent me the transcription today via my email account. Please read and pray what the Lord may be saying to you this day.
The Lord is saying, "I want to love the world through you! 'Write the Vision' (Hab. 2:2) 'make it plain...'. 
Find what your calling is and do it! DO IT WITH  ALL YOUR HEART!The world is so needing to know my love 
and you can offer it to  them.  "Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord
is written Upon you." (Isaiah 60:1 NKJV) you are so greatly loved by Our Lord.... 
and He wants you to live fully and to His honor and glory! Psalm 91:14-16 says,
"Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will set him on high,
because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and  I will answer him; 
I will be with  him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor  him, With long life I will satisfy him, 
And show him My salvation." You are so greatly loved by Our Lord and I love you and all is offered
in the precious and costly Name of Jesus.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dreamsicle: Thawing Out Your Frozen Dreams

"There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, 'Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.' " Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep. they're still here.-- Erma Bombeck
Friday Day #7. On the 7th day and am so happy to have spent the evening in the house of the Lord. The church came forward for prayer. You could sense the collective faith of the saints in powerful prayers of agreements.
Remember when Jesus asked "who touched me" when he was in a big crowd and it turned out to be the women with the issue of blood? I think I finally understand now how Jesus could feel the drain of virtue from His body when the women touched Him in faith. Tonight near the end of prayer I could tell that virtue was draining (and I was only standing in agreement and I felt it). We must always keep our pastors and leaders in prayer. They really do lay down their lives for the sheep in many ways.
I thank God for my Pastors who have encouraged me to follow my dreams and fulfill my purpose in God. Even tonight when I got prayer myself at the end I sensed God building and comforting me to go on in my life to fulfill God's purposes in my life. My recent dealings with work are a bit disappointing but it is actually a blessing...forcing me to persevere even stronger to defrost those things God has placed in my heart. I will defrost my dreams.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Monkey Bars: Risking Greatness

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that'snot what ships are for." William Shedd
Day #6 of Fasting/Praying and reading ONE MONTH TO LIVE. The quote above is one of the opening quotes of Chapter 6 Monkey Bars. I loved the opening story of his child who he lifted on the monkey bars and let go play on the bars by himself. When his son was tired the son said "Okay, get me down." The author told the child to let go and that he would be caught by the father. The child became worried and scared. When the child became tired and couldn't hold on anymore the father was right there and caught him. How often do I do the same...holding on...reluctant to take risks and let go and fall in the arms of the Lord. I think of how my family went through such pains to keep me safe (actually passing on their own fears), that I have lived so much of my life "playing it safe." What would my life had been like if I was more willing to take risks? I like the reminder of this chapter that some of the most successful people have gone through incredible failures prior to their success including Henry Ford and Oprah Winfrey. Henry Ford went bankrupt 5 times! So I guess it's time for me to "let go of the monkey bars." I need to handle my disappointments better. I'm sure there are a few things that I need to step out and risk. Time to face my fears. What am I waiting for???
Prayer tonight was sweet and loving. Friday night is the 7th day of prayer that will end with communion and prayer for our individual needs. May God be glorified. Didn't God say that if we believe we will see the glory of God? I am expecting to see His glory!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How Great is Our God

Tonight we gathered again on this Day #5 to worship the Lord. We sang Chris Tomlin's "How Great is Our God." Pastor asked me to prophecy in my movement. I can only rely on the Holy Spirit to move through me. I had my extravagant flags and began to proclaim the greatness of my God with the movement of the flag. I was also able to minister expressively to the Lord in the dance to bring the visual to that song. I trust that there was a shift in the atmosphere as we all engaged in pure worship. I'm careful where I position myself in the congregation. I really don't want to be a distraction to anyone. Once again the Presence of the Lord was so sweet. Pastor highlighted some points in the book many of which I mentioned in my last post. I was reminded by Pastor that God has given us these bodies and that it is our responsibility to take care of them. Many of the things we pray for healing could have been avoided if we took better care in the first place. Really sobering but true.

Oxygen Mask

Day #4 & #5
I am sorry that I missed #4 entry on Tuesday. The 2 new chapters in ONE MONTH TO LIVE are about Staying Connected and Oxygen Mask. The importance of staying connected to the Lord to effect any change in your life. As the church met last night we had a wonderful time in the Presence of God. You may think I am crazy but with my spiritual eyes I saw the glory cloud as we prayed, praised, and worshiped the Lord. Then Pastor prayed for our homes and symbolically blessed each home by anointed every key chain in the house that we had left on the altar. We went home in expectation that at the contact of the key to the door that we would witness a change in our home situation. It's time to walk out in faith.

Today is about the importance of taking care of yourself before you can help anyone else. The first time I heard the script on the plane to put the oxygen mask on first and then help your child I thought was odd. However, as I have aged, I see the wisdom of grabbing the oxygen first and then help others.
So I need to get God's breath of life and renewing in the area of my mental, physical and spiritual fitness. I have any number of excuses of why I am not more fit but I want to live longer and more productively so I have got to get more physically fit. The book poses a great question: "How would you rate your health in each of these four areas--spiritual, physical, emotional, relational--from one (terrible) to ten (fantastic)? What's the greatest challenge to improving your health in these areas? What can you do to work through this challenge?" There will be some changes made!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Time Squared

Day #3. We are into the third day of fast/prayer/ and reading ONE MONTH TO LIVE. It is wonderful to seek the face of God. Unfortunately, my body feels like it has been hit by a Mack truck that decided to run over me again on the way back. I don't think its the fast...but spending the day with a group of highly kinetic 2nd graders that have a reputation around the school as being a handful...well. So that would have been tiring on a good day, but on this day...really a workout. I was on my feet for hours today.
On day #3 the book focuses on how do we spend our time? If I want to squeeze the most out of this life, my marriage, my ministry...I desperately need to recalibrate how I am using my time. And the Shooks bring up in the book an area my husband has been after me for years "the Productivity Paradox." In other words, if I take the time to sabbath, to rest, to recharge...STOP WHAT I AM DOING for a period of time...I actually will be more productive. My pastors practice it all the time...I don't know why I've been so hard headed? What activities am I doing that are actually wasted time? And what keeps me from using time more effectively. The book suggest that I monitor this for the rest of the month. Well you don't have to tell me twice.
Looking for this to be a productive and effective year for SEASONS OF PURPOSE. So Amen to working efficiently and resting effectively.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Living Passionately

Day #2 of Living My Life as if I only have one month to live. As I follow my home church in this time of prayer and fasting Pastor Marc reminded us today to live our lives passionately. How can I approach 1) accepting the grace as a gift from God 2) Managing my time 3)Remaining connected to the source 4)Defrost My Dreams 5) To Not be Afraid of the Mountain 6) L-I-V-E. It would take a while to explain this but the area I really need to attack is the time management issue. The other is to "defrost my dreams." He encouraged us to take that dream off the back burner and put it on the front burner. So I am asking my self WHY HAVEN'T I STARTED MY SCHOOL YET...ugh.
So on the day #2 I want to live this life passionately and not wait until the "someday" when I get off my bum and do something. It's time to act now!!!!! As we pray and fast together I sense an open heaven and a closer communion with the Lord. I can't report any specifics of what God has said to me but it was like the static from the fall is gone...the line is heart, mind and will is ready to receive. So...I look forward to what God will tell me about Primitive's Worshipping Arts ministry, look forward to how God will lead Martin & I in developing Seasons of Purpose, how I can impart what God has given me to bless others in worshipping arts ministry, and what God has for me to do to finance our home and ministry.
Dear God I open my ears this day to hear from you...I am thankful for the Bible that speaks Words of life to me today, and I thank you for all my friends, family, and especially my husband who have inspired me to live passionately and fulfill my dreams.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

One Month To Live - Starting the New Year Intentionally

DAY 1 Happy 2011, and living by intention. This year, my home church Primitive Christian Church in Lower Manhattan is reading through the book One Month to Live. I hope to blog everyday for the next 31 days how my life is altered through this process.

As a church we always start out the new year to stop, fast, pray, seek, and reflect. How does God want me to serve Him this year? What is He saying to me. Looking forward to a year of greater productivity, miracles, faith, obedience, and organization. Looking to love my Lord and my spouse as never before.
If I only had one month to live, I would want to leave a legacy on this earth and pass on what God has given me. The only way I can do that is I have to be in prayer to get my direction, organize my environment, put the vision on paper, and identify those who can carry on the vision.