Spiritual Rhythms Spotlight – Dan & Leann LaBossiere
Maintaining spiritual rhythms when during life’s big changes can be challenging. Dan and Leann LaBossiere are ministering in a foreign culture and have a newborn. Now, more than ever, it is important to find that rhythm that speaks to your soul. The LaBossieres’ testimonies may broaden your thoughts on spiritual practices that bring you into Christ’s presence.
Hi! We are Dan and Leann LaBossiere. Our current home is in Tokyo, Japan, where we have been serving as Territorial Envoys. For the last two and a half years, we have been working in the Youth Department at THQ. Over the last year, we have been working on starting a new ministry for the Japan Territory in Creative Arts. Four months ago, we welcomed our first baby into the world, Nolan. He is filled with abundant joy and has provided much light to our family through this pandemic season.
What is your spiritual discipline?
Dan: Worship, specifically music
Leann: Writing, specifically digital calligraphy
Both of us are devoted to the arts. We each try to discipline ourselves by using the arts to become closer to God. For Dan, he is disciplined in worship, specifically through music. Dan loves to play the guitar and drums, and our home is constantly playing worship music. Much like an athlete, musicians must also intentionally practice, train, and be disciplined to their specific instrument. He began this more specific discipline when he decided to learn to play the guitar by himself. Dan does not play his music for the sake of perfecting songs or new melodies. I often hear him playing from the other room with complete freedom and reverence for God. He blends songs, lyrics, and sometimes drops the guitar entirely and will sing out in worship to our Father. Something so pure is inspiring (especially for a wife with very limited musical abilities – haha) and done with the intention to draw closer to God.
I try to discipline myself through writing. For most of my life, writing has been a creative outlet for me through journaling (prayers, scripture study, and confession)
For me, I try to discipline myself through writing. For most of my life, writing has been a creative outlet for me through journaling (prayers, scripture study, and confession), but over the last several years, specifically in Japan, writing has shifted to more of an art form. Over the last few years, I have disciplined myself to write more specifically scripture, prayers, and words of affirmation using digital calligraphy and typography.
Why did you choose it? / How did you get started?
Before moving to Japan, Dan would never have described himself as a worship leader or a guitarist. Drums were always his main instrument. When we came to Japan, however, he mentioned that he knew guitar basics, which led to him being asked to lead worship on several occasions. What then started as a need to be prepared to lead others developed into a deeper connection between Dan and the Lord through his personal worship time. Dan started and is currently responsible for leading the Territorial worship team in Japan, as well as leading the English worship team at our local corps.
As I have learned more and more Japanese, writing scripture out in another language has forced me to spend time submerged in a new style of writing, with new scripts and characters. The pace of writing has slowed. I am no longer writing in a comfortable format but spending time creating the strokes of the characters of a language that does not come naturally to me and therefore creating focused thought. This extra time has allowed me to really soak in the words and appreciate what it is that I am writing. I have chosen to discipline myself with this method of writing because art and learning are two things that I am passionate about. I can discipline myself through writing with the purpose of godliness while enjoying my time creating.
How do you presently practice this discipline?
For Dan, leading worship in two languages means spending extra time ensuring that he understands what it is that he is saying at any point in a song. It is not just about knowing what sounds to make, but the meaning behind each word in each verse or chorus of a song. Dan spends time worshipping the Lord on his own, outside of group practices, taking the time to align the concepts in each song in English and Japanese.
Currently, I am part of a women’s group that shares daily written scripture verses. There is a calendar posted into the group at the beginning of each month that highlights one verse a day. I spend time with the Lord by first writing the verse out in English. Because that comes naturally to me that only takes a few minutes, so then I spend time translating the verse and meditating on the way it translates. While I write out the verse in Japanese, I pray over the verse and how I can apply it to my own life.
What has been your personal benefit to this practice?
The objective of practicing a spiritual discipline, whatever discipline it may be, is to dive into and grow in holiness.
The objective of practicing a spiritual discipline, whatever discipline it may be, is to dive into and grow in holiness. To use action, with the right motivation, to become more like Jesus. For me, writing has improved my knowledge of who Jesus is, what his Word tells us, and more recently, has helped me to better understand and love my Japanese brothers and sisters. I know that it is the same for Dan when it comes to music. Music transcends language barriers and helps to connect people in the Spirit when words alone sometimes fail.
Any resources or anything else that you find helpful:
- all of my writing creations are done through the ProCreate app using an iPad/iPencil