Five Minute Friday-Ocean

Oceans FMFHappy 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 OCEAN.

For many people, the beach is a favorite vacation spot because of the OCEAN.  The smell of the OCEAN air, the sound, and the color draw you in and mesmerize you enough to endure the messy sand and expensive hotel rooms.  The beauty of the beach and turquoise blue water of the Caribbean makes all the hassle of getting there so worth it.

Each week, I get the privilege of seeing an OCEAN of women (and a few men), dance away their troubles for one hour.  The hug from a friend in class, the sound of your favorite class song,  the feeling of accomplishment after the push up song, or the simple joy of laughing at yourself when you miss a step, make the hassle of getting to class worth it.

The quote:  “Life is like the OCEAN. It can be calm or still, and rough or rigid, but in the end, it is always beautiful” reigns true as long has you have on your “perspective glasses”.

Each week, one of my students keeps my perspective glasses in focus.  We have made a ritual of hugging before each class and his determination to get the steps right and the sheer glee on his face when we do Rolling Like a River by Tina Turner…soothe my soul.

Katina and David

 

His spirit and innocence are captivating and refreshing and a gentle reminder there are OCEANS of God’s love all around us.

Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.  His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 136:6)

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.

 

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.

Crash the Chatterbox Session 1

Crash the ChatterboxHola Divas! We had the great pleasure of starting our newest Bible Study….Crash the Chatterbox! If you missed it….you MISSED it!  Don’t worry, we will recap the Bible Study right here on the blog! So here goes….

Inside your head is a chatterbox.

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.

The voice we hear quickly manifests into thoughts.

Thoughts that turn into emotions and reactions. (We reviewed a worksheet that listed how we react when we believe a thought. The worksheet is part of a process called “The Work” by Byron Katie. See the worksheet HERE.)

In Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others, Pastor Steven Furtick focuses on four key areas in which negative thoughts are most debilitating: insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement.

He also teaches four confessions to CRASH THE CHATTERBOX.

  1. God says I am-to overpower insecurity
  2. God says He will-to overpower fear
  3. God says I can –to overpower discouragement
  4. God says He has-to overpower condemnation

During session one, we focused on insecurity.

The chatterbox tries to make us feel insecure by attacking our identity:

-You’re not pretty or smart.

-You are not talented enough.

-You will NEVER get over ________.

-You are stuck and never going anywhere.

-You will be alone FOREVER.

To CRASH the chatterbox when it tries to make us insecure about who we are, we have to say OUT LOUD who God says we are.

God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:4)

God says I am the head and not the tail…above and not beneath. (Deuteronomy 28:13)

God says I am his workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)

God says I am redeemed. (Romans 3:25)

It would be easy to repeat these confessions if the chatterbox is always forthcoming. But the chatterbox is a master of deception. It tells a little of the truth but distorts things.

Pastor Furtick gave us an example of this in Chapter 1:

Forthcoming:

Perhaps you should take steps toward spending more focused time reading your Bible, because God has so many promises and truths He wants to reveal to you today.

Distortion:

If you really loved God, you’d spend more time reading your Bible, like people do who have their priorities in order.

Both statements contain of seed of truth. The difference is the first statement has an undertone of AFFIRMATION. The second statement has an undertone of CONDEMNATION.

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 we are worthless and rejected, but God says we are His beloved children through Christ.

Watch the highlights of Pastor Furtick’s message “I know I am”.  (Be sure to watch even if you attended Session 1…this video is different from what we watched in our actual study.)

To be prepared for our next study, please read chapters 1-7 in the Crash the Chatterbox book.

Join us in person!  RSVP on our meetup page.

Five Minute Friday-Here

Hola Divas! Happy Friday.   One of the most requested things from our blog has been the Five Minute Friday posts. Sooooo, they are back! Each week, Kate Motaung posts a one-word prompt on her blog and women from all over the world write from their hearts for five minutes then share their words.

If you have never read our Five-Minute Friday posts in the past, you really need to check them out! Today’s word is HERE.

Sometimes, getting to your destination is a reason to celebrate.  As you get settled, you take a breath and happily announce..”I’m HERE!!!”.

At other times, HERE is an emotion.  Someone asks you how you are and you simply respond…”I’m HERE“.

HERE can be a destination, an emotion, a way of specifying your location, or a simple answer to let your teacher know you are in class.

Most of all….HERE is the only place we can be right now.

Although I know this, I spend a lot of time rehashing feelings and happenings from old destinations and worrying about those I have not yet experienced.

All my thinking can get pretty noisy.

Perhaps that is why I like the music in our classes so loud.

It makes it kinda hard to do anything but shake, smile and sweat with a great beat and beautiful faces surrounding you.

80’s Class July 9, 2015

But what seems so simple…a dance fitness class, is actually part  of our preparation for our next assignment.

As we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others.

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

 

Zumba girls

80’s Party July 9, 2015

 

Five Minute Friday on Saturday-FREE

Hola Divas and happy weekend!  One of the most requested things from our blog has been the Five Minute Friday posts.  Sooooo, it’s back…a day late but back nonetheless!  Each week, Kate Motaung posts a one-word prompt on  her blog and women from all over the world write from their hearts for five minutes then share their words.

If you have never read our Five-Minute Friday posts in the past, you really need to check them out! Today’s word is FREE.

Earlier this month, we had an 80’s party during class.  To say it was a blast is a complete understatement.  The Divas went all in with costumes, make-up and a boat load of sassy-ness.

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Look at the smiles…these ladies were FREE……for one silly moment.

With every thing going on in our country, FREEdom has seemed hard…polarizing even.

But there is something liberating about shaking your hips, sweating, hooping and hollering with a room full of other women…and it all starts with a prayer.  Yep, that’s the way the Divas get down.

God’s word is true….”For where two or three are gathered together……there am I in the midst of them”. (Matthew 18:20)

I caught a glimpse of what being FREE really means standing on stage, watching beautiful women of all sizes, shapes, colors and life circumstances dance to a rendition of Gloria Estefan’s 80’s hit “Conga”.

FREE was that exact moment.

Divas Dancing

FREE was not thinking about anything else but being fully immersed in what was happening and being so thankful for it.

Dance Fit Divas Free-80s