On Fire for All Things Christ

Posts tagged ‘transformation’

Less Salsa Seasoning

For the past five years of my life, I was very involved in salsa dancing. I loved the music! I listened to it all day at work and sometimes I would even practice my shines and shoulder isolations while at my desk. I often amused my coworkers as they passed by and saw me jamming away. When I went to events and socials, I danced my heart out for hours and hours. I was even on a dance team. We practiced regularly and performed locally and throughout the country.

I loved the feeling of belonging that the salsa community seemed to bring. It felt good to have so many friends who shared the same interest. I also loved that it was a popular and fun activity and that it was something my sister and I enjoyed together. I enjoyed the community, the dancing, the culture, the music, the relationships and all else that came along with it.

Now, I knew that this wasn’t a hobby I would do forever. I knew that some day I would get to a point in my life when priorities would change and cause me to step away from the salsa scene. Even before I knew Christ, I had these thoughts, I just didn’t know when it was going to be time to let go. And even after turning to Christ, God didn’t immediately change me to let go of the salsa dancing. It was a process. I often prayed for God to make His desires my desires, and slowly, those prayers surfaced into actions. He changed my passions and heart to be less and less involved with dancing.

Several times I actually felt I was compromising with God… just a few more months… after this performance… when we finish this choreography. I would even say to Him, “What kind of a sister would I be if I leave my sister’s dance team?” I already attended less salsa activities. And over time, I even started a sort of salsa ministry. It was my own unique way of evangelizing into this dark world. After all, God calls us to be a light in a dark world, not a light in an already lit world. I knew I was not of this world, but I still had to be in it. So I thought, as long as I’m at these events, I’m going to do God’s work and get a little dancing out of it too. It was as if I wanted to justify my desire to go dancing. Were my motives right? My answer is a sure no.

One way I would evangelize is that I would write random scriptures on small sheets of paper and hand them out to the people I danced with. It was my form of feeding the Word to others in an unconventional way. I actually received good feedback when I did this, and after a while, some dancers even came to expect it. How awesome was that??!!! Some gave me thanks, others gave me encouragement, or even better, others asked me questions about my faith. It was an open door to a conversation about Christ that may not have been there otherwise.

Some other ways I would evangelize was by flyering cars outside the studios with gospel tracts. (You can read more about this in my older post, Tract Record). Or, praying with the performers before their dance shows. Occasionally, I would even bring my Bible to dance practice and read scripture passages. However, I never did any of these things for too long. I would always change it up and let God work through me differently in fresh ways.

Recently, I got to the point where I felt God was saying, “Edmee, I’ve been letting you compromise with Me for far too long. I want you now to leave the dance team and open yourself to the other promises that I have for you.” Knowing this, I still took my time in letting go. I fought God for weeks, until one day, I just said, “Yes Lord.” It wasn’t easy to bring the news to my sister and my dance partner, but it needed to be done. It was a sort of bittersweet experience.

It’s been 4 months now since I said Yes to God, and 3 months since I left the dance team. At the time when I said yes to God, a few other things in the vine of my life were also pruned away. Things I wasn’t quite expecting or ready to let go of, but I know and trust God in His plans and timing of these things. In faith I stand to the promises He will bring forth and in honor I offer my life to Him. That I may die to my flesh so that I can have life in Him.

Be blessed my beloved brethren and join me in transformation to a life in the perfect will our loving Father has paved for us.

Tract #1

A chosen labor of love, my first tract written for the beginning of 2010.
I have made this tract available in PDF if you’d like to use it for your own ventures.

— start tract —

Are you searching for something new this year? Something out of the normal? Something WAY better than what you have now? Something life changing? I pray for you and encourage you—in faith—to pick up a most glorious book called the Bible and find its true message! Okay, did I loose your attention already? Please, don’t turn away or be discouraged. I know what you may be thinking… the Bible??!! Yes, the Bible. I know…it’s a big book! It was written long ago and yes, it is very lengthy. But, no, it is not hard to read and no, it is not a waste of your time. Just try it!

Okay, so maybe you don’t have a Bible. Please, I encourage you to get one. Here is a little story… have you ever gone to the bookstore and taken a quick glance at the religion section and seen all the different types of Bibles available? Have you thought “why in the world are there so many Bibles… isn’t the Bible just “The Bible”? Isn’t there just one?!! The first time I went looking for one, I saw so many, I was thinking… okay, I’m here, I see them, now what? How do I know which one to choose? Isn’t there suppose to be just one? Yes, there  is only one “Word” as we say. In essence, they are all fundamentally the same. It’s just that with modern culture, different types of Bibles cater to different people. For example there are Bibles with really big text for better legibility, there are Bibles for students, there are Bibles with notes and tabs for finding things and Bibles that highlight Jesus’s phrases in red so that His words stand out. If you’d like a suggestion on which Bible to pick up, try the New Living Translation. That’s one that I have.

Okay, so now you’ve got your Bible. 🙂 In reading, I recommend you start with the Gospel of John found in the “New Testament”. John was one of Jesus’s disciples and he lived in the same time as Jesus did while on Earth. This section of the Bible is titled “John” because he wrote it and it is his testimony of the life of Jesus.

As I mention all these things, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t know who is who,
or where things are. Over time, you will learn who is who and where is what. Consider it similar to going to a city you’ve never been to before; as you drive around and start going to places you begin to recognize landmarks, streets and things like that. So the same will happen as you read and become familiar with His Word.

As you read John’s account of the life of Jesus, I pray that you come to know who Jesus is and why He wants to be a part of your life. I pray for a renewing of mind and understanding of why God brought Him for YOU. (look up John 3:16) Jesus WILL take you away from the normal and mundane. Jesus WILL give you something better than what you have now. Jesus WILL change your life. All you have to do is let Him in!! With much love I pray for your transformation of mind and spirit. In Jesus’s holy, loving and saving name. Amen!!

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1: 4-5

— end tract —

Tract Record

Last November, I went to the Joyce Meyer Conference in Houston and on my way out, there were evangelists handing out tracts. As we walked, my friend was handed a tract. He glanced at it and tucked it away in the front pocket of his Bible cover. I was curious about it, so I asked him  if I could have it. It was a card-style tract with a color illustration on the front and a message on the back. I See Dead People was the title. I studied the illustration, then flipped it over to read the message. After reading it, I noticed a sort of varnish on the paper in the mark of a cross. (Yes, that’s my design terminology.) My friend then said, “Oh, it looks like its been anointed with oil.”

A few days later, in discussing tracts with another friend, she mentioned that she had access to all sorts of tracts and that she could get some for me. I was very excited! With the supply from her, I was going to flier cars! (My way of non-confrontational evangelizing.) Later, my friend mentioned that she only had tracts in foreign languages, so instead, she would make me a tract. In my naiveness, I thought, we can make tracts? “What would you like the tract to say?” she asked. “What do you mean?” I asked in reply. I hadn’t realized that there are actually tracts for all sorts of things like drug addiction, abuse, gambling, etc. I had only seen tracts about going to Heaven and salvation.

In her commitment to keep her word of supplying tracts for my venture, my friend made me tracts. Her extended effort to make the tracts for me was indeed an act of fruitfulness. Not only did I now have tracts to flier cars, but now a seed had been planted in my heart to make the same effort. So, later that month, I wrote my first tract. I didn’t know what I was going to write about, but surely, God provided His words, I sat down in quite one afternoon, and the words simply flowed out. I finessed, printed, cut and they were almost ready!

I prayed over the tracts and started anointing the back of each one with an oil I had just gotten for Christmas a few days earlier. Being new to anointing things, I came to discover that the cross mark I was drawing with the oil was making the paper appear translucent over that area. (Kind of like when you touch paper with super-greasy fingers from french fries or potato chips.) I thought, oh well, so the recipient will plainly see the translucent cross, I certainly wasn’t bothered by that!

The surprise:
After anointing the last tract, I looked at my piles that were now ready for distribution. I was pretty proud of myself and my work! I picked up the last tract and opened it for one last glance over. Looking down towards the bottom, where I drew the cross with the oil, I saw and knew that it was no coincidence — I had drawn the lateral line of the cross right over the word “transformation.” It was perfect I thought! What an added blessing!

I had intended to keep that tract for myself as a keepsake, but instead, I decided to give it to a friend I reconciled with just an hour after I passed out all the tracts I had made.

Whether I hold the tract in my hands or not, I still have memory of it and God’s goodness in what He let me see on the tract and what He’s doing in my life.

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