Five Minute Friday-Routine

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Happy Friday Divas! A few years ago, Five Minute Friday was a weekly post for  our blog.  I’m so happy God saw fit for it to come back!

What is Five Minute Friday?  Glad you asked. Each week, Christian writers from all over the world write for five minutes on the same word and place a link to their posts on the Five Minute Friday Blog.  Today’s word is ROUTINE.

As a fitness professional, talking about routine is well…routine.  Although we all want to roll our eyes when some one mentions making healthy choices and exercising regularly, we know it is for the best.

The thing about routine most people don’t talk about is before things actually become routine….you have to do things without the motivation to get started.  In addition, in our “I want it now society”, routine is less desirable than pills, surgery or a quick get-slim diet because routine does not provide immediate results.

Routine is the best path but is not the easiest or shortest.

We can all plainly see healthy routines are helpful (whether we actually do anything or not) in terms of our  physical bodies.

Our vision becomes hazy with how the routine of our perspective affects who we are on the inside.

Do we have a routine of seeing all the things going right versus the few that are not to our preference?

Do we have a routine of finding the lesson in trying times?

Do we have a routine of being thankful in the face of NOT GETTING WHAT WE WANTED?

De we have a routine of not getting easily offended?

Do we have a routine of offering forgiveness?

Do we have a routine of praise?

Do we have a routine of prayer?

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”     – John C Maxwell

What do you need to make a part of your life routine?

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 1 Corinthians 9:25

 

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday-Regret

FMF Regret

Happy Friday Divas! A few years ago, Five Minute Friday was a weekly post for  our blog.  I’m so happy God saw fit for it to come back!

What is Five Minute Friday?  Glad you asked. Each week, Christian writers from all over the world write for five minutes on the same word and place a link to their posts on the Five Minute Friday Blog.  Today’s word is REGRET.

Regret is one of those words we just don’t like. Once you have experienced it, you really don’t want to be friends with it again.

One good thing about getting older is that I have been through a few things and I have noticed some choices and patterns that produce regret.  Although five Krispy Kreme doughnuts smell so good and simply melt in my mouth when they are hot, experience has taught me…I will regret eating them later.  Although the word “SALE” makes my heart beat a little faster and the thought of getting a really good deal makes me happy, my wiser years on earth have helped me recognize…I will regret un-budgeted spending… later.

Yet sometimes, we feel optimistic (it happened to them but it won’t happen me) so we dance with choices that are horrible partners who step our toes, clap off beat, and drop us during our dramatic dip finale.  It is when we fall and experience the pain of being dropped…we remember regret.  Once we start to regret things, we begin to say futile statements that all begin with…”If only I had”.

In our dance fitness classes, the music is really loud and participants are so focused on doing the correct steps, they are not focused on the events of the day or past regrets. Hip to hip, women of all races, ages, and stages shake their shimmys in our classes while dealing with their own regrets. On a simple a gym floor, regret is escaped…temporarily.

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But to leave our regrets behind for good, we must have a repentant heart and leave them at the only place that can bear their weight…the cross.

 

For [godly] sorrow that is in accord with the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow [the hopeless sorrow of those who do not believe] produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (AMP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday-Beauty

FMF BeautyHappy Friday Divas! A few years ago, Five Minute Friday was a weekly post for  our blog.  I’m so happy God saw fit for it to come back!

What is Five Minute Friday?  Glad you asked. Each week, Christian writers from all over the world write for five minutes on the same word and place a link to their posts on the Five Minute Friday Blog.  Today’s word is BEAUTY.

When the word beauty is mentioned, the better part of me wants to go all cliche:  “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” or “beauty is all around us”.  But the truth is, if I am not intentional with my thinking, the word beauty reminds me of a good hair day with my make-up done just right and perfect lighting for a great selfie.

Culture defines beauty for us.  Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, reality TV, home design sitcoms all provide us imagery of “beauty“.  Through those images, we begin to compare the beauty portrayed on screens with the reality of our lives.

There is no beauty in the ugly space of comparison.

I read a quote by John Ray:  “Beauty is power, and a smile is its sword”.

Wow.

In our fitness classes, we have so many moments of beauty and none of them involve perfectly decorated homes, delicious and ornate desserts, made up faces, goddess bodies or fashionable outfits.  However, each one of them have a smile somewhere in the mix.

Earlier this month, we celebrated our very own Cindy Novack as she danced breast cancer right out of her life.  The smiles I witnessed that night were not only beautiful they were glorious. When Cindy rang the  bell in the front of our class…beauty manifested.

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Just this week, two ladies in class jumped on stage and led the warm-up. Look at those smiles–swords of beauty.

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Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;good news makes for good health.

 

Post Election Lesson From the Divas

When I watch the women in our class dance it out each week, I am simply amazed. Amazed to see women from all different walks of life greet each other with hugs and laughter and then dance their hearts out together.  On any given class day, you may see one “diva” as we lovingly call ourselves challenging another diva to dance harder, shimmy her shoulders, shake those hips just a little more or simply asking about a sick loved one.

Yesterday was the day after the election.  Because we have women who represent the beautiful melting pot quality of our country, I am positive there were women elated over the election results and those who were devastated. I heard many conversations about the eery vibe or tense atmosphere at various workplaces. Yet, ladies still hugged each other, talked about their kids’ activities and encouraged each other about regular-ol-life stuff.

Class started with Mandisa‘s Freedom song. The lyrics are so absolutely riveting and an awesome way to start our class.  The chorus of the song says:

Can anybody hear me?
Does anybody know what I’m talking about?
When you’ve been delivered like that

You’ve got to shout it out
Lift your hands up in the air
Shout Hallelujah
Lift your hands up in the air
I have been set free

The Divas were free indeed. They were free just as we all were to vote and choose. Yet the most amazing part of this “freedom” was the choice to keep moving forward despite the outcome.  No matter what side of the election they were on last night, the divas showed up and danced.

The Divas have a lesson for Americans:

  •  Be compassionate and have empathy-If your candidate won this election, think back to another election where you didn’t get your choice and it is likely you can relate to how others may be feeling. So keep smiling. Don’t post gloating words on social media.  Don’t keep talking about how horrible the other candidate was.  Simply say hello to someone enthusiastically then do a few hip twirls together…trust me it feels amazing!
  • Accept what is with JOY- If your candidate did not win this election, please know, God is in control.  No one gets anything by chance. Accepting the results of the election as God’s will and trusting that HE knows what HE is doing is really the only thing that makes sense.  So keep smiling. Keep dancing. Don’t spew bad words about elected officials you don’t like.  Don’t get mad at everyone you know who voted differently than you. Shake your shimmy just a little harder and go dance-challenge someone. (LOL)

Is it really that simple? YES IT IS. We have all had teachers and bosses we loved and those we couldn’t stand. Just like the divas, we didn’t lay down and stop living. We kept moving. Sometimes it may have been like Paula Abdul (2 steps forward and 2 steps back) but we kept moving.

So America, keep moving.  Keep dancing. Be compassionate. Have empathy. Love…and shake yo shimmy!

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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Uninvited Session 3

bitternessHola Divas! We have been journeying through the Uninvited Bible Study by Lysa TerKeurst.  The Uninvited Bible Study is all about the big R…Rejection. No matter your walk of life, skin color, size, or core beliefs, rejection has its way of creeping into your personal space.  Each week, we have been uncovering new truths about rejection and how to handle it.

Each week, Lysa gives a statement to hold one to:

Week 1:  Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love, live loved.

Week 2:  I can choose to bring my emptiness or God’s love into any situation I face.

Week 3:  Attention, Intention and Prevention.

Watch Lysa’s teaching on session 3 HERE.

Lysa spent a great deal of time teaching on  1 Samuel 25 during session three.

In 1 Samuel 25 we find three characters, David, Abigail and Nabal. David became furious with Nabal who was a wealthy landowner because he rejected him. David overreacted to Nabal’s rejection and was about to step out of God’s will and take revenge until Abigail intervened.

The way Abigail handled herself with David provides us with three tools to use when faced with rejection: Attention, Intention, and Prevention

ATTENTION

Abigail approached David and his men, and bowed at David’s feet. She respectfully addressed him, and asked him not to pay any attention to Nabal (her husband), admitting that he was a fool.

When we focus on foolish things, we give them the power to alter our circumstances, consume our hearts, and redirect our direction.

INTENTION

Abigail recognized that all David really wanted was food for his men. So she brought him food for his men. Abigail uncomplicated a very messy situation by discerning David’s intentions.

Staying focused on our intention, (our true motive), when rejection rears her head will help us process things through the lens of humility.

PREVENTION

Abigail reminded David of God’s faithfulness in his life, and humbly warned him not to derail his destiny by taking justice into his own hands.

One way to prevent the fangs of rejection from sinking in too deep is to trace God’s faithfulness in your life.

Romans 12:19 (MSG) ….Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.

One of my favorite quotes from the Uninvited book is on page 62:

“With the fullness of God, we are free to let humans be humans-fickle and fragile and forgetful”. WOW.

Please read through chapter 11 to be ready for session 4.

Read our discussions from previous sessions HERE.

Uninvited-Bible Study-Session 2 Prep

uninvited-qa-lysa-terkeurst-400x400Hola Divas!  Welcome back to our Uninvited Bible Study by Lysa TerKeurst.  As we discussed last week, Uninvited is about the big “R”….rejection.  Each week, Lysa leaves us with a statement to hold on to.  In session one, our statement was actually a challenge: “Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.  Live Loved.”

If you missed session one:

 

  1.  Read the Dance Fit Divas Uninvited Session One Recap 
  2. Watch Session One with Lysa TerKeurst
  3. Read Chapters 1-5 to be ready for session

To study the subject of rejection further, watch/listen to Reverend John Howard Wesley’s sermon entitled “Overcoming Rejection”.  I have literally listened to this sermon more than 20 times and have shared it with anyone going through a period of rejection.

Uninvited Bible Study-Session 1- Live Loved

Hola Divas! We started our newest Bible Study, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, last night!!!! The Uninvited Bible Study is all about the big R…Rejection. No matter your walk of life, skin color, size, or core beliefs, rejection has its way of creeping into your personal space. The job you wanted but someone else landed, the love of your life who left,  the friend who will not return your calls, the denial letter, the list goes on and on.  We can all put up a tough front and act like what they said or did had no affect on us.  Yet deep down, the rejection we feel is stuck like the orange on your fingertips when you eat Cheetos.

In the book Uninvited, Lysa describes rejection in a way that is really clear:  “Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me….We connect an event from today to something harsh someone once said.  That person’s line becomes a label.  The label becomes a lie. And the lie becomes a liability in how we think about ourselves and interact in every future relationship.”

One big lesson from session one was:  Rejection never has the final say.  With Jesus, we are forever included, loved, accepted….invited.  But we must choose to “live loved” instead of being and feeling rejected by circumstances.

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Our world clamors at us loudly and keeps us distracted with emails, texts, social media, career, family duties, hobbies, friends, church…etc.  It is almost impossible to “live loved”.  “Living loved” was Lysa’s challenge to us and an effective method to use to walk through our lives .  Living loved means knowing God loves you and SURRENDERING to Him instead of attaching our identity to how things play out.

Living loved is rooted in an intimacy-based identity.  Which means, we must actively seek God to know what He says about us and our situations.

If we are honest, we talk about out situations with our friends more than we actually sit quietly in prayer and meditation.  We pass judgments and evaluate circumstances and people almost instantly instead of settling ourselves by getting God’s perspective.

Isaiah 26:3-4 summed it up best:

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
4  “Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. (AMP)

Challenge:

Before you check your phone for emails and social media notifications in the mornings, give God the very first of your day through Bible reading, prayer, or meditation.  (It doesn’t have to be a long process, try just your first few minutes before interacting with world).

Gaining His perspective before the day even begins might not be a bad idea.

Want more info about our study? Check out the Dance Fit Divas Meetup Page.

 

What Makes You Happy Bible Study-1

Hola Divas and welcome to our newest Bible Study, What Makes You Happy by Andy Stanley.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will explore the pathway to REAL happiness.  We will meet live May 14, May 28, and June 11, at the Parks and Recreation Center in Kernersville at 8:30am.  At each live session, we watch a DVD teaching from the “What Makes You Happy” series by Andy Stanley, read God’s Word and discuss what we have learned.  Can’t get up that early? Don’t live close to us? Don’t worry…follow this study right here! A link to the full message from Andy will be provided at the end of each post.

Let’s Go!

We all want to be happy. As Americans, happiness seems to be part of who we are. What we think will make us happy today, creates a new problem tomorrow we did not consider. The very thing we dreamed about and couldn’t wait to get two years ago is most likely sitting in a box waiting to be donated to charity.

Andy called the happiness “guaranteed” by magazine articles, tv commercials, and facebook ads,…caffeine-happy because happiness from stuff wears off and then we need another “fix”.

In session one, titled “Nothing,” Andy drove home a couple of ideas:

  1. Happiness is always associated with a WHO not a what.
  2. What makes you happy?  NO THING
  3. Happy people are at peace with God, themselves and others.
  4. Peace with God paves the way to peace with ourselves and equips us to make peace with others.

Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. “And love your neighbor as yourself”.

In session two, titled “Plan for It,” Andy reminded us of Jesus’ instructions on how to be happy by teaching on the beatitudes.

Matthew 5:1-10 (NIV)

5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In the original Greek text, the word makarios is used instead of the word “blessed”. Makarios means happy, blessed, to be envied.

At first glance, the Beatitudes don’t seem to have ANYTHING to do with happiness.  But during our time together IRL (in real life), we learned they have EVERYTHING to do with happiness.  Two verses that really stuck out during our discussion were Matthew 5:3 and Matthew 5:5.

Two verses that really stuck out during our discussion were Matthew 5:3 and Matthew 5:5.

Matthew 5:3

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 5:3 NIV)

“Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. (AMP)

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (MSG)

Andy illustrated Matthew 5:3 with a few statements:

  • People who are “poor in spirit”embrace their daily dependence on God regardless of what they have.
  • People who are poor in spirit recognize that everything is NOT up to them.
  • Happy people are dependent on Him and have a personal relationship with Him

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (NIV)

“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle[the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth. (AMP)

Andy provided a new way of viewing meekness and how it relates to happiness:

  • Meekness is a proper estimation or valuation of oneself within the broader context of God’s creation and love.
  • Meekness provides acceptance of  the place where God has placed me
  • Meekness helps me stop striving to go further than where God has called me to go. (WOW!!!)

Watch the full messages and get discussion questions here:

Session 1: NOTHING

Session 2: PLAN FOR IT

Crash the Chatterbox Session 3-Discouragement

Crash the ChatterboxHola Divas!  Welcome back to our Crash the Chatterbox Bible Study!  If you are just joining us…GREAT!

Here are the deets:

1.  We are in the middle of an awesome Bible Study by Pastor Steven Furtick called Crash the Chatterbox.

2.  The chatterbox is the voice in our heads that utters lies. Lies unfortunately we believe. The chatterbox can be non-stop, intimidating, insinuating, irritating and tiring.

3.  The thoughts we think become actions and emotions.

During each session of this study, we review a tactic the chatterbox uses against us and a strategy to CRASH the chatterbox. Last week, we focused on condemnation.

The chatterbox tells us how bad we are. He or she diminishes the seriousness of sin when they are tempting us and magnifies it after we have fallen. This is a successful tactic because when condemnation is at play, there is usually some truth mixed in with guilt.

What the chatterbox is essentially trying to get us to believe is that we are disqualified by our actions.

In our quest to overpower Condemnation…Pastor Furtick challenged us to know the difference between condemnation and conviction because condemnation is counterfeit conviction.

Here are just a few examples:

Condemnation leads us to believe that we’ll never change and that we aren’t worthy of God’s love. Conviction gives us hope that, even though we sinned, God is still at work in us.

Condemnation paralyzes faith for change, keeping us in bondage. Conviction bears the fruit of faith for change, freeing us to fully grow in the love of God.

Condemnation causes us to wallow in despair and self-pity. Conviction leads to God-centered hope.

To further drive his point home, Pastor Furtick used the “3 P’s” to describe condemnation.

Condemnation makes us think our sin is:

Permanent-there is NO HOPE for any change

Personal-tainting our very identity

Pervasive-extending to every part of our lives

Condemnation does NOT come from God.  God will convict us but he does not condemn us.

We read a Biblical Example of this in John 8:1-11 when Jesus was asked what should be done to a woman “caught in the act of adultery”.  The Pharisees reminded Jesus of the “stoning to death penalty” rule for “those type of women”.  Completely calm, Jesus made the following statement:  “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Surprisingly..cough cough..no one said a word.  In fact, they all left the scene and Jesus told the woman:  “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Since condemnation does not come from God, we can refuse to accept it just like we do an unwanted package.  Without even opening and engaging, we can simply write ” RETURN TO SENDER”.

Return-to-Sender

At the end of our study time, each of us wrote down some of the things the Chatterbox had been screaming at us on a sheet of paper.  We folded the papers and put them in envelopes and wrote RETURN TO SENDER on the outside of them.  Then each woman put her envelope full of the Chatterbox’s condemnation INTO THE SHREDDER!

Chatterbox-Condemnation

Read Chapters 11-13 to be ready for our next session!

Watch the Week 3 Session Recap with Pastor Steven on Condemnation.  (This excerpt is different from what we saw in class an excellent reminder!)

Crash The Chatterbox Session 2

Crash the ChatterboxHola Divas!  Welcome back to our Crash the Chatterbox Bible Study!  If you are just joining us…GREAT! Here are the deets:

1.  We are in the middle of an awesome Bible Study by Pastor Steven Furtick called Crash the Chatterbox.

2.  The chatterbox is the voice in our heads that utters lies. Lies unfortunately we believe. The chatterbox can be non-stop, intimidating, insinuating, irritating and tiring.

3.  The thoughts we think become actions and emotions.

During each session of this study, we review a tactic the chatterbox uses against us and a strategy to CRASH the chatterbox. Last week, we focused on fear.

In case you haven’t noticed, Chatterbox says things that  evoke a sense of fear in us….fear of things within our control and those outside of our control.

The chatterbox uses fear to bully us into cowering and giving up or becoming irrational and making drastic decisions.

What the chatterbox is essentially trying to get us to believe is the future is full of danger and sorrow.

To overpower our fear, …to CRASH the chatterbox…we must learn to say OUTLOUD what God WILL do.

God WILL:

Be the cornerstone of our lives. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Protect us. ( 2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Restore our joy. ( John 10:10)

Give us peace that surpasses understanding. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Put us back together. (1 Peter 5:10)

Open our eyes to new opportunities. (Psalm 119:18)

We can never tune out ALL the chatter—the lies in our minds—but we can learn to tune IN to God’s voice.

The chatterbox says the future is dim, lonely, horrible, but God WILL preserve and protect us.

Pastor Furtick reminded us: “We will never hear God’s voice above all the others if we are tuned into the frequencies of fear”.

Watch the week 3 recap and learn to “fix your focus” to hear God’s voice above all others!

Read chapters 8-10 of the Crash the Chatterbox book to be ready for our next session.