Artist bio

Courtney Moody is a dancer and writer who believes God has called her to create. She is currently a principal artist with the Brandon Ballet, and has performed roles such as Diana in “Diana and Acteon,” the Sugarplum Fairy in “The Nutcracker,” and the Pas de Trois in Auguste Bournonville’s “Le Conservatoire,” as well as performing with other organizations as a guest artist. In her writing career, she recently graduated as an Honor Medallion Graduate from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in creative writing. Her published work can be found in the Cypress Dome literary journal and YellowJacket Press' anthology, "Chasing Light."

Title

Not Flesh, Not Blood

Medium/Genre

Other

Artist Statement

This piece is a spoken word poem written and performed by me, coupled with a contemporary ballet piece I choreographed to it, featuring music by Keys of Moon (available through Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)). My process was first to draft and edit the poem, then to record it. After combining this with music, I choreographed the movement to it. Finally, I recorded the dance and then utilized Adobe Premiere Rush to edit the video together. This work combines my two fields of dance and writing, unifying two separate gifts from God into one.

How it fits into contest

This piece is largely inspired by Ephesians 6:12, which says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

So often, we label things to fit with our physical eyes: coincidence, unfortunate, anxiety, depression, etc. Never do we want to dig deeper to admit that these invisible enemies are from the one enemy we have. Yet even these smallest things are forces from the enemy to take us down. Depression and anxiety have become major beasts in the Spiritual Battle in the current generation, yet we brush it aside as imaginary, excuse it as dramatics, or cover it up with prescriptions. Still, they rage on. In these darkest moments, when we feel all alone and like our heart is being squeezed, is when we must take God's Word and stand against the enemy. As we speak God's Word with power and take the Holy Communion to remind us of Jesus' sacrifice, we will find God's strength and the enemy will flee. It is only in this way we can finally find freedom from the thoughts that barrage our minds and overcome the Spiritual Battle through Jesus Christ.

Credits

Courtney Moody: Writer, Speaker, Choreographer, Dancer, Audio Editor, Video Editor
Kimberly Moody: Videographer
Richard Moody: Videographer

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

Guest Artist (Dance)
Poetry Readings
Choreography

Transcript / Lyrics

Not Flesh, Not Blood
Ephesians 6:12

Do you have an enemy?

You’ve probably never asked, but pause—think.

Do you have an enemy?

Because friend, you have one, though he can’t be seen.
You are his target because you have a light to bring.
This light makes him seethe and aim to snuff you into smoke,
he lurks like a lion ready to claw through your throat;

he’s the car that emerges when you’re crossing the street
he’s the stranger’s face knotting in disgust when you meet
he’s the weight in your chest while the sun laughs in the sky
he’s the bubbling in your stomach, though your friends don’t seem to mind

Yes, you have an enemy—

he's there at midnight when the stars shiver and quake,
when the yelling in your head could shake the world awake,
and it feels as though the lion is gnawing on your lungs
and you look up to your ceiling and reach out for above

and for a moment—the stars seem to align into palms,
the darkness pierces their volar and echoes the psalms
and you wonder: “is this where the book ends?”
“with my pages ripped out and tossed into trash cans?”

Friend, no.

Grab the hands you see etched in the sky.
It’s someone with a shield who will never leave your side.
Grab the finished book He gives you, let it build walls around your soul,
swing the words that are sharper than the sword of Sir Percival
and when it feels like you’re stolen from, killed, destroyed, done,
grab the bread and grab the juice and take it like a drug
only this drug will never hurt you, won’t eat your mind and skin.
This communion will restore you and settle your heart within.
These things will light a candle to illuminate the dark
and that enemy will run faster than a sunrise chases a lark.

So to those that are crumpled on the floor like dirty laundry,
to those who are swimming through a hurricane in the sea,
to those who bleed out tears and scream until they’re hoarse,
to those who suffocate while seeking out a life source:

My friends, you have an enemy, but you have a Defender too.
You don’t have to break your bones anymore because He is greater inside of you.
You’re walking through a battlefield, but the war’s already done,
You can march out with no bullet holes because Jesus took each one.

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