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There are very few things in life that genuinely touch my heart like seeing a daddy dancing with his daughter!! The first time as a small girl, then fast forward to the grand finale on her wedding day!! (Aaaawwww!!!!!)

When our family moved here to Wentzville in January of 2008, the first thing my husband asked me to do was sign him up to take Grace (then 6 years old) to the city dance! The next year, Sophie was old enough to join them. Since then, it has always been a sweet occasion to let our little princesses get all dolled up to go dancing with their daddy!! He recognizes how important that relationship is and the necessity to be a godly example in their lives. I thank God for that! Every day we should model our lives after Christ, but it is a very special thing when a father shows his daughter how a man after God’s own heart should love and respect her. She then learns what to expect from a future suitor!

For a few years, we continued the tradition of the attending the city dance, but something was missing. Ed said, “You need to do this at church! You should offer a dance that focuses on Christ and use it as a way to draw people to the Lord!! Use it as an outreach!” At that time, I was part of the Koinonia Ministry Team, and it seemed like a perfect way for the homeschool ministry to reach out to our community!!

This dance is absolutely about loving God and loving people!! It is a vehicle intended to draw folks who wouldn’t otherwise come to church and welcome them in!! Please invite and encourage others to come!! This is not an event for homeschoolers only!! The goal here is to invite people from our community to hear about the love of Christ!! We use the dance as a means to that end. 1 Corinthians 16:13: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”

The evening goes like this:

Dads arrive with their daughters all dressed up and beautiful!! They check in and then head to the Fellowship Hall. There they take a formal picture, and enjoy a little fellowship before dinner. When mostly everyone has arrived, the men pray and everyone eats together!! After dinner, the DJ invites everyone to the sanctuary where there will be a time of devotion. At that time, a male speaker (who is a little further ahead in his parenting walk than the dads that are attendees) speak about the importance of a relationship with Jesus, being a Godly father, and raising their children in the Lord. Topics also touch on the importance of the father/daughter relationship and how to model the way a godly man should treat her. Past speakers include: Larry Knox, Prentice Robertson, and Mark Scott. We have been blessed by their wisdom, encouragement, and love of God!! At the same time, and without their knowledge, the moms are feverishly transforming the Fellowship Hall from Dining Hall to Ballroom!! When the devotion has ended, they direct everyone back to the Fellowship Hall for dessert, photo booth fun, and dancing!! Psalm 150:4 reminds us to “Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with flute and strings!” Ecclesiastes 3:4 says that there is a, “time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance!” And so…they dance! It is a wonderful evening! All year long, girls and dads come up to me and tell me of the great time they had together and how they can’t wait until next year’s dance! Moms tell me of their girls coming home and gushing over dancing with their daddy!! They also go home and talk about the topic of the devotion and how to be more intentional in raising children who love the Lord!!

We typically fill the Fellowship Hall to capacity!! It would be awesome to run the dance two nights in a row with a good mix of believers and new people! So, next February, when you see ads for the dance in your bulletin, tell everyone you know!! This year marks the 9th year that Ed took our girls to a dance—the girls are 15 and 11 years old!! I cannot tell you how precious their memories of these dances are! The dance entertained a good mix of the really young and teens alike—it was so special to watch those “big” girls dance with their daddy! Honestly though, I don’t know if more tears were shed by the girls or the dads themselves!! Proverbs 14:26: “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence and his children have a refuge.”

 

Posted by Nickole Jude with
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[Job 1:6-12 ESV] 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "From where have you come?" Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." 8 And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" 9 Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." 12 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

The last seven months have been very difficult. My personal life and Solid Rock have taken some hard hits. Our staff of 24 has experienced a child who was blind in one eye and needed surgery, 3 spouses with cancer, 2 serious car accidents, 2 husbands unemployed, a teacher with a blood clot in her brain, a teacher with emergency surgery, and the year ended with my dad, whom I loved and respected my whole life, passing away two days after Thanksgiving. As I reflect back on all that transpired, I have wondered if God and Satan had a very similar conversation about me as they did about Job. God has graciously placed a hedge of protection around me for a good part of my life, and in 2016, He shifted the hedge.

So what do you do when God shifts your hedge of protection? How do you fight the war that is raging around you and deep inside you where you have thoughts and feelings you can’t even speak? There is only one answer to that question and it is cling to God!

During this time of my life, I have learned that Spiritual Armor is important (Ephesians 6:10-19). Verse 12 for me has been instrumental, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” My battles are not against my spouse, my co-workers or my church. My battles are against Satan and his army of dark forces. Just recognizing that one fact has kept me from fighting with people and instead running to Jesus with my anger, frustration, and fear. And then, of course, I suit up…put the armor on and keep it on all day—for me, especially the helmet. My mind can run wild if I allow it and the helmet of salvation protects my thoughts. Priscilla Shirer said it so well when speaking about the helmet of salvation; “Receiving salvation is not the same as applying salvation. The first redeems us, the second restores, protects, and shields us daily from the attacks of the enemy.” My mind needs that protection.

Besides the armor of God, the Lord revealed this verse to me when my dad died—John 12:27-28a NLT: 27"Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, 'Father, save me from this hour'? But this is the very reason I came! 28 Father, bring glory to your name." Jesus was about to go to Calvary and He prayed, “Father bring glory to your name.” He didn’t pray to be saved from a torturous death which I would have been tempted to do. So, I am following Jesus’ lead. I want those struggles to somehow “bring glory to God’s name.” I want my dad’s death to “bring glory to God’s name.” I want my ministry at Solid Rock to “bring glory to God’s name.” For what other reason am I on this earth but to allow my life to point others to God.

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV says; “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." I recently memorized this verse. It helps me to remember that even in my loneliest hour, or when life is so very hard or when I feel so far away from God, He is not far from me. It is God who goes before me. It is God who is with me. I have no need to fear; I can fully and completely trust God!

 

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