Flesh Versus Spirit

Part 5

Trying to do life without God is like trying to dance without music.  

Flesh gives birth to flesh, which only produces fleshly things.  This ends up being “Me focused”, which is deadly in a marriage. 

God’s Word-Galatians 5:19-21   Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

This is not how I want my marriage to look. But…

Spirit gives birth to Spirit, which produces spiritual things.  “It’s not about me.”

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

For us to walk or should I say dance in the spirit, we will need God’s help.  It is impossible without God. 

East Coast Swing 

Triple Step, Triple Step, Rock Step

The steps are small and light

Oldies, Country, and Big Band

  • Love Can Move Mountains-Celine Dion
  • Why Don’t We Just Dance-Josh Turner
  • Somebody Like you-Keith Urban
  • I Run to You-Lady Antebellum
  • Operator-Manhattan Transfer
  • Why Wait-Rascall Flatts

In Sync

Part Four

How do you make your marriage flow like the music in a dance?  The Holy Spirit can take your marriage from walking to dancing.  The Holy Spirit should play the role in our lives much like the role music plays for the ballroom dance couple.  It dictates what we do, day-to-day. 

When we surrender our lives to our creator God, and His Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides within us.  This will guide us through the ups and downs of life.  We don’t ever have to do life alone.  

If Dan and I are listening to different “music”, we will not be in sync together as a couple.  We will not flow together. It will be much more difficult to keep our marriage close. 

Each of us has to choose what “music” to listen to. Will it be earthly or heavenly?  

If you let God guide you in your marriage, you will no longer be walking, but dancing!

Swing

Count:  slow-slow-quick-quick 

Keep Knees relaxed.

Think:  1950’s rock and roll 

  • In the Mood by Glen Miller – a traditional song from the swing era
  • Rock & Roll Music by Chuck Berry – 50s rock & roll
  • (Let me Be Your) Teddy Bear & All Shook Up By Elvis – 50s rock & roll
  • Little Deuce Coupe or Runaround Sue by the Beach Boys –  50s rock & roll
  • Take Me as I Am-Faith Hill
  • Hello Dolly-Louis Armstrong
  • L-O-V-E –Nat King Cole
  • Stuck Like Glue-Sugarland
  • Come Dance With Me-Frank Sinatra
  • The Twist-Chubby Checker
  • It’s Only a Paper Moon-Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
  • Hallelujah, I Love Her So-Ray Charles
  • Happy (from Despicable Me 2”) Pharrell Williams
  • Rockin’ Robin-Bobby Day
  • Powder Your Face with Sunshine-Dino

God’s Word-Ephesians 4:30  Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

It’s A Dance, Not A Walk

Part Three

It’s a dance, not a walk.  This is a phrase Dan and I heard from our instructors as we began ballroom dancing together.  When you begin taking ballroom dance lessons you will look a bit stiff at first.  Your steps will look very mechanical.   You will be concentrating on what step to do next.  You are trying so hard not to step on your partner’s toes.  There is so much to think about.  The music takes you to a new level with your dance.    

The music will make your dance flow.  The music has to “get into your soul.” The music will take you from walking to dancing. 

Feel the music, let it get inside you.  The music will take you down the dance floor and put a flow to your step.  

It’s a dance, not a walk. 

Rumba

Count:  slow (hold step for 2 counts)-quick-quick (side together),  slow-quick, quick (Latin hip movement.  Hint – it’s all about the knees…)

A spot dance with small steps

Think:  Latin, sassy, romantic

  • The Way You Look Tonight by Michael Buble
  • Quando, Quando, Quando by Michael Buble
  • Wonderful Tonight by (you guessed it, Michael Buble)
  • The Way I Am-Ingrid Michaelson (More complex beat)
  • Smooth Operator-Sade
  • Jardin D ‘himer-Duo Gadjo and their Hot Friends
  • Lovesong-Adele
  • You’ll Be In My Heart- Vio Friedmann
  • Endless Love(rumba)Ballroom Orchestra-Hits for Ballroom Dancing
  • Song from a Secret Garden-Ballroom Orchestra and Singers

God’s Word-Psalms 108:1   My heart, O God, is steadfast;  I will sing and make music with all my soul.

Do You Hear The Beat?

Part Two

Can you hear the beat of the music?  The beat of the song is what determines the speed and type of ballroom dance you will be doing.   It will keep you moving together as a couple on the dance floor.

If you can’t hear the beat, you will not be together as dancers.  You will be off rhythm from your partner.  Because you are off sync, you most likely will step on each other’s toes. 

Dan and I, through our 12 years of teaching Ballroom dance, have seen individuals struggle with hearing the beat.  We feel we can teach someone the dance steps, but to teach someone to hear the beat we have yet to accomplish. 

If the leader of the ballroom dance can not hear the beat, he is unable to lead his dance partner.  We find they do not continue dancing together as a couple.  

You have to hear the beat to dance together. 

Fox Trot 

Count:  slow-slow-quick-quick

Smooth Dance

Men-Heel- toe, Women toe- heel.

Tips: Travels!  NO BOUNCING

  • Come Fly with Me
  • A Foggy Day (In London Town)
  • For Once in My Life
  • I’ve Got the World on a String
  • Night and Day-Frank Sinatra
  • Nice and Easy-Frank Sinatra
  • Beyond the Sea-Bobby Darin
  • I only Have eyes for you-Sinatra-Basie
  • The Way you Look Tonight-faster tempo-Sinatra
  • Cheek to Cheek-Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong

God’s Word-Psalms 98: 4-6 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;

    break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,

    with the lyre and the sound of melody!

6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn

    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Feel The Music

Part One

In Ballroom dancing, music has a major impact on your dancing experience.  Without the music, there would be no dance. 

The Music determines…

  • what type of dance you will be doing according to the beat pattern: (Waltz, Swing, Fox Trot, Rumba, etc.)
  • when to begin the dance
  • tempo (rate of speed) of dance
  • length of the dance
  • danceability

When Dan and I begin to teach our class a specific dance, we like to play the music and count out the beat together.   For example, when we teach a waltz we play a waltz-type beat song.  (See below for Waltz music)   Then we count out the beat as a class.  The Waltz has a constant measure of: 1-2-3, and 4-5-6.  The tempo is slow.   This helps the students with the beat.  Each specific dance has its specific beat and rhythm.  

Part of learning to dance is to hear a song and know what type of dance you will be doing.  This comes with time and practice.  

Music will take you from walking to dancing! 

Waltz

Count: 1-2-3, 4-5-6… constant measure (slight rise on the “2” count)

The woman leans her upper body back slightly into the man’s hand

Relaxed knees

Think:  Smooth, flowing, romantic, graceful

Waltz Music to Download:

  • Fascination by Nat King Cole – nice and slow for beginners
  • Their Hearts are Dancing by The Forester Sisters-Great Beat
  • Could I Have This Dance by Anne Murray
  • Husbands and Wives by Neal Diamond –  this has a great 1-2-3 beat,  easy to hear the counts
  • Tennessee Waltz by various artists – traditional waltz
  • Moon River by various artists – traditional waltz
  • A Daisy in December-Serenade-Mike McAuley & Winifred Horan
  • Rainbow Connection-Beverly Mahood(faster)
  • You light up my life-LeAnn Rimes
  • Play Me-Neil Diamond(faster)

God’s Word-Psalms 104:33  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;  I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

A Vibrant Life

God’s Word shares with us many verses on forgiveness.  He knows the importance of forgiveness for a vibrant healthy marriage.  He knows if we are to live a healthy life, we need to forgive.  

God forgives us over and over again.  He tells us to do the same.  Colossians 3:13 -Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NLT)

If there is unforgiveness, our hearts and soul are affected.  Actually, everything we do is affected.  We can not love as God intended if there is unforgiveness.  We can become ill with our unforgiveness. 

John Hopkins Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. 

God shares this knowledge in His Word.  He knows the importance of forgiving others.  

Forgiveness will give us healthy relationships and vibrant life.  Our marriages will benefit from the act of forgiveness. 

If you want to stay healthy, forgive quickly.

It’s Not About Me

A few blogs ago, I shared how when Dan and I teach our students a new dance step, we separate the men and the women.  We begin to teach them separately their specific dance steps.  Then after repeating the steps many times, we put the husbands and wives together as ballroom dancers.  It is much easier to do your individual steps than when you try a ballroom dance move together.  You soon realize, it is just not about me.  I have Dan to think about.  I will need to work with him as a leader.  I will have to grant forgiveness when he makes a mistake.  I will need to be his biggest cheerleader.  I will need to practice patience when my toes are stepped on.   I will need to practice grace.  I have to – if I want to continue the dance.  It is not about me, but about us.  

It’s a perfect illustration of how marriage begins.  Two individuals coming together as one.    Each of us has our own separate and different backgrounds.  Different personalities, families, habits, traditions, and struggles. 

Over 40 years ago, a quiet, reserved city boy named Dan came to have his first date with a crazy farm girl named Lori.  I can only imagine his thoughts during that first farm visit.   Oh my! 

Lori Manning & Dan Bailey 1982

On our wedding day, Dan and I became one.   We were in the honeymoon stage and really didn’t know what lay ahead.  

I believe God put two totally different individuals in a marriage to practice grace and forgiveness.  I know Dan closer than anyone else.  I can’t expect perfection.  To truly love Dan is to set aside my own selfish nature.  Selfish and marriage don’t mix.  The good Lord has to work with me daily.  

Marriage=Us

 

God’s Word-Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Watch Those Toes!

Part of dancing is making mistakes.  I like to say, mistakes are part of the learning process.  When you learn a new step with Ballroom dancing, you have to do it over and over and over again before it looks smooth.  With this, it will look a bit rough at times.   You will step on each other’s toes. 

2 great examples of making mistakes as part of learning are beginning to play an instrument or learning a foreign language.  Both take lots of practice and repetition.  Many of you can relate to these two examples.   How many times did you say the wrong thing when learning a new language?   It can sound a bit rough as you are learning a new instrument.  We had 3 daughters play the violin.  Oh, the screeching of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ 

Mistakes help you identify areas you need improvement.  When Dan and I have taken dance lessons, we come home and practice.  We find out quickly what areas we need help in.  Then for the next class, we know what to have the teacher help us with.

If we are afraid of making mistakes in ballroom dance, we will never attempt more difficult dance steps.  Our progress of becoming better dancers will stop.  Mistakes=Learning=Progress

Because you are learning a new skill with someone else, you will need to extend grace and mercy to your dance partner.   Yes, you will need to over and over and over again. : 0 You will both make mistakes. 

If you don’t want your toes stepped on, you will need to give up ballroom dancing together. 

God’s Word-NLT Colossians 3:13

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

U-Turn

Have you ever had your plans take a u-turn?  What do we do when it happens? 

It definitely seems like it has happened more often to Dan and me since Covid began.  

A recent example was a trip to visit our daughter Adrienne and her husband Ankur in Seattle this month.  With a new home, the inside painting was on the schedule.  We also planned a snowshoe trip in the mountains.  We were looking forward to our time together. 

With a canceled flight, it was soon quickly realized it was not going to be easy to get there.  We did arrive at 2 a.m. Iowa time.  As soon as we arrived we got the bad news of our daughter testing positive with Covid while we were in flight.  She was not feeling good.  : (    Now what were we to do with this U-turn?  Do we go home?  Tears began to well up in my eyes.  How can this be?  I realized that we were not going to be together with our daughter and son-in-law much on this trip.  How heartbreaking. 

With our daughter’s suggestion, we rented a car and took a trip to the Oregon Coast for 5 days.  It was not what we planned.  But with every u-turn that happens in our life, we have to make the best of the situation. 

This brought to my mind how much we are not in control of what mostly happens in our day.  What we are in control of is how we respond in the midst of our U-turns.  I pray God will help me to accept whatever may happen in my day. Praying He gives me the strength that I need for what comes my way.    

We soon found our path taking us on to a beach with our paint clothes, snow boots, and winter coats.  We made the best of the situation.

And yes, in the end, we had 2 beautiful days with Adrienne and Ankur. 

It’s up to us how smooth the U-turn goes. 

God’s Word-Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Unplugged

In the last few months, Dan and I have had the privilege to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains and to the Pacific Northwest.  Both trips were a great getaway for the two of us.  

We decided not to bring the whole world’s problems on our vacation.  Yes, we unplugged from the news.  I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to get away from the bad news.  I felt it made me happier and in a better mood.  It may have been the mountains, the beach, the hiking trails, being with Dan, but I am thinking it was from being unplugged.  

If you think about it, we now have the whole world sitting in our pockets and purses with our cell phones.  We also have the whole world’s problems.  How dreadful.

Do you ask yourself, why am I in a bad mood?  Why am I not happy?  Maybe, some unplugged time might help you with a breath of fresh air.  Maybe.. we need to limit our time and be more selective with our news feeds. 

It is good to be informed but not inundated.  

Negativity affects all our relationships.  

Unplugged-try it for a happier you!