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.

IMG_0869

 

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

 

 

 

 

How to decide what is best…Your Move Bible Study

Has life EVER provided you with a circumstance that you NEVER thought you would be in and there was a decision that had to be made quickly?

Unless you live under a rock and never leave your rock palace, it is impossible to evade trying times and the split-second decisions that come with them.

So what do you?  How do you decide what is best?

Options-Decisions-Choices

In our newest Bible Study, Your Move by Andy Stanley, we have been learning how to make sound decisions when the time frame is short, options are limited yet a Diva still has to put on her big girl panties and make a decision.

Throughout the Bible study,  we are challenged to ask ourselves four questions to make sound decisions with God’s help.

Session one, Andy inspired us to get gut honest with ourselves and ask….

Why am I am I doing this….REALLY? Stated another way….Am I being completely honest with myself? Or …what is the real reason I am making this choice?

Determining our true motives for leaning towards one decision over another is very important because as Andy reminded us, we spend tremendous amounts of time and energy deceiving ourselves.

There is a Biblical answer for why we can rationalize and convince ourselves to do things that are not the best for us:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) 

I don’t know about you, but I have sweet talked myself into a plethora of bad decisions:  unwise and unnecessary purchases, dietary indiscertions, over booking my schedule, procrastinating, surfing the net or flipping through Facebook (just to name a few).

Taking a few moments to ask ourselves (“Why am I doing this…REALLY?”) enables us to get gut honest.  For example:

I am surfing the net because I don’t want to clean up, prepare for the next day, or finish the report.

I feel lonely and shopping makes me feel better.

I am afraid.

When we ask ourselves why….it allows the Holy Spirit to guide us towards the best decision.

After we determine WHY we are doing something, session two suggested we ask ourselves:  “What story do I want to tell?”.

Image source:  http://threadling.com/

Image source: http://threadling.com/

In every decision-making environment, transition period, or drama producing activity, we are writing the script for our future story.

To illustrate this point, Andy used the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50).   Joseph faced family betrayal, slavery, and imprisonment.  Often, he was forced to choose between no win options.  Yet despite difficult situations, Joseph made choices with God-centered integrity and faithfulness and he was later rewarded.

When Joseph was finally able to reconcile with his family he said these words:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20

WOW.

This morning, we discover the third question Andy suggests we asks ourselves….”Is there a tension that needs my attention“.

Join us in person for Bible Study in Kernersville, NC get the details on our Meetup Page.

Or if you are too far away or you have schedule conflicts…get the handouts HERE.  You can also watch the actual video messages from Andy Stanley  You Tube. Click HERE for the session one message.

Made to Crave Bible Study-Peace

Made to Crave Bible Study

Hola Divas! It seems like FOREVER since we have gotten together!  We were not able to meet at our normal time two weeks ago due to an event at the Rec center and then we had a BIG SNOW. Sooooooo, let’s spend a little time getting back on track!  If you are just joining us…your timing is perfect!

For our current Bible Study, we are reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen.  We have had a blast laughing at each other and learning from each other! It has been nice to know that we ALL struggle with something..especially when it comes to food choices.

When we meet in person (just before our Soulful Saturday classes at 8:30am), we watch a video devotional by Lysa TerKeurst that goes with the book.  With each session, Lysa gives us a word for the week.

During the first week, our word was EMPOWERMENT.  Lysa’s main point for week one was for us to change our perspective about making healthy food choices.  We have been moving from feeling deprived…..

Deprived to feeling empowered…..

empowered

One method we shared to help with feeling empowered was the Plate Method.

Plate Method

Did you catch that half of the plate is veggies?  Just checking! (LOL!)

For the next session, we talked about being Determined NOT Desperate.

When we are  desperate,  we want instant gratification.  We become laser focused on what we want. We see what we want. We think about what we want. We simply MUST have it or we couldn’t possibly live on!

In desperate times, we just might do, say, eat, or give away….ANYTHING!

girl-eating-chocolate-cake-280X280

 

For this week’s session, our word is PEACE.

Peace Sign

Often, how peaceful we feel is tied to our decisions.  Our decisions about what we eat and what thoughts we allow to take residence in our minds.

When we start a healthy eating plan and then have an indulgence, we begin to feel guilty.  When we step on the scale and it does not reflect all of our hard work for the week, we feel defeated, frustrated, and angry.

There is NOTHING peaceful about feeling guilty, frustrated, defeated, or angry.

scale

As you prepare for our time together this week, reflect on 1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP)

All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character]and edifying [to spiritual life].

We CAN have, eat, or think ANYTHING we want….but not everything we acquire, consume, or ruminate over is constructive.

As you go about your days this week, ask yourself this question about EVERYTHING:

Is this the wise thing to do/eat/think about? (Taken straight from Andy Stanley’s Best Question Ever)

Oooh, challenging huh?  Not should I eat this, do this, think about this, go here, date him/her..but is this the WISE THING TO DO?

Remember, everything is permissible but not all things are helpful!

When you get weak, think on this:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. (Philippians 2:13)

Please make sure you have read through chapter 6 to be prepared for this week’s discussion!

Dancing Makes it All Better

With all of the snow, we had to cancel class this week.  I know it has only been a week, but it seems like EONS since we have danced together.  Perhaps it was just me, but being “snowed-in” became “not-so-fun-anymore” half-way through day two.  To add insult to injury, my sweetie and I were separated due to a business trip so we were not “snowed-in” at all! Plus, today was/is Valentine’s Day…and I am alone.

Without a simple little Snow Dance Challenge that made me laugh until I cried, I might would have cringed as I watched everyone’s posted pictures of their Valentine’s gifts.

Instead of cringing, I had a song of praise in my heart! God has surrounded me with some awesome people…who love to Dance.  Annnd, if you didn’t know……..Dancing makes it all better.

Dance

One of our “divas” challenged some of us on Facebook to dance one of our class routines in the snow since we couldn’t have class.  She and her daughter posted their video early yesterday morning and that started a firestorm of “Snow Dance Videos“.

Several ladies from our class posted videos and then ladies and GENTS from other classes and cities began to post.  With each crazy dance video, God reminded me how much HE loves us.  What a blessing to be ABLE to go outside and dance around like crazy people and then POST videos that confirm our craziness on the world-wide-web!

If you are one of those “non-dancers” who just don’t believe that hopping, salsa-ing, shaking, doing a jazz square, or simply doing the bird dance will make you happy, I challenge you to read up on the Cebu Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines. Once infamous for its gang violence, the prison is now famous for its dancing prisoners.  Dancing is MANDITORY for Cebu prisoners.  If prisoners refuse to dance, they lose privileges!

cebudancinginmates

The prisoners’ hard work has spawned one of the unlikeliest hits on the Internet — a reworking of Michael Jackson’s 1980s smash hit video “Thriller.” Filmed by the prison boss, Brian Garcia, the video has drawn more than 56 million hits on YouTube. But more than just internet fame, Garcia says there has not been a violent incident in nearly a year and a half. “They are just not hostile anymore,” he says.

The dancers are a mix of accused murderers, rapists and drug dealers. They are led by a choreographer who is accused of mass murder.  Authorities at the prison say that dance gives the prisoners a renewed sense of worth and confidence, helps them learn to work together, allows them to exercise and increases their self-esteem.

A movie will soon hit theaters called “Dance of the Steel Bars”.  “Dance of the Steel Bars” is a story of corruption and redemption featuring the real life stories of the CEBU prisoners.

Through a silly little “Snow Dance Challenge” we danced together virtually and felt so good we couldn’t help but smile and perhaps we too became a little less violent:)

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy…… Psalm 30:11

Dancing makes it all better.

If you STILL don’t believe it… watch my Snow Dance Video: (Click HERE if you cannot see the video in the post.)

 

Bad Girls of the Bible-The Sinful Woman

Hola Divas! Welcome to our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs.  (YAY!) Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s WifeLot’s Wife , Woman at the WellDelilahSapphiraRahabJezebel, and Michal.

Our Bad Girl for our final week is a girl who had been around the block more than a few times in more than a few ways.  Like many of our bad girls, she did not have a name.  She is just called the “Sinful Woman”.  Ooooh….what a way to be addressed.

Sinful Woman

Our bad girl’s story started with a dinner party with an A-list guest attendance.  With all kinds of boldness, our girl crashed the party.

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. Luke 7: 36-37 (NIV)

She heard that Jesus would be there and she just HAD to go and see HIM for herself.

As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Luke 7:38 (NIV)

Can you imagine how many people began to gawk and gasp and what was going on between the Sinful Woman and Jesus?

Well, Simon not only gasped he was appalled….

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Luke 7:39

Isn’t it funny how people who know your past, never seem to let you live it down?

The Bible tells us that Simon was talking to himself.  Perhaps he just thought the sentence above or maybe he muttered it under his breath.  But Jesus heard him.  Jesus knows our thoughts….we can’t hide and neither could Simon.

Jesus responded to Simon by telling a story about forgiveness and then he contrasted Simon’s behavior and the Sinful Woman’s behavior.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Luke 7:44-46

OUCH.

Simon learned a valuable lesson.  Jesus sees us differently from the way the world sees us.

When we interact with Jesus we learn who HE is but we also discover who we REALLY are.

Then Jesus lowered the sonic boom for all of us:

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

How is our love?

Does our love show how grateful we are to Jesus for saving us?

Have we forgotten how much we have been forgiven?

Do we need to confess some things so that our true worship can begin?

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48  Hallelujah!

In the final verse of the chapter Jesus spoke to the Sinful Woman and said:  “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

In the book, Liz Curtis Higgs gives us a formula for igniting our faith based on the actions of the Sinful Woman so that we too can go in peace:

“Seek Him openly. Abandon self humbly.  Worship Him completely.  Embrace his forgiveness joyfully.”

I would also add BE QUIET! 

There is no account of the Sinful Woman talking. She worshiped without words and let Jesus speak to her.

As the Holiday Season rushes in, and the burdens and drama stack up in our hearts, remember the Sinful Woman who showed us there is power in listening, expecting,  and soul-cleansing quietly before the Lord.