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.

Word Theme, Playlist and Schedule Changes

Last weekend, we had our normal “Soulful Saturday” class featuring Devoted Fitness  and Zumba toning but we added a twist.  Each diva was asked to bring a white t-shirt to class so she could write her “word theme” for 2015.

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Sometimes a single word can change everything.

At the beginning of January, many people make resolutions for how they want the year to be.  By January 31, resolutions have been abandoned for one reason or another and the feelings on inadequacy, “what’s the point”, and why try rear their ugly heads.

We ended the first month of 2015 by declaring a word theme for the year to help keep us focused but be flexible to allow life to happen.

We started the first day of February with dance, praise and POWERFUL WORDS!

One glimpse at these smiles and you know God is GOOD!

Several people have asked me for Saturday’s playlist…find it HERE.

WE DO NOT HAVE CLASS THIS SATURDAY (February 7, 2015 or March 7, 2015) DUE TO A SCHEDULING CONFLICTS… check our calendar HERE.

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The Best Yes…Playing Your Part

 

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Hola Divas! Welcome to our fall Bible Study…..The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst!  I don’t know about y’all but September is the “real” New Year for me.  It is the beginning of a new school year, new extra curricular activity schedule….new traffic patterns, new car pool….simply put, the “real” new year. As such, what better time to critically evaluate how we spend our time?

 

 

The Best Yes will help us:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom-based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your Best Yes today.

During our first session together, we learned what the “Best Yes” is.

The Best Yes is us playing our part…. at school, at home, at work, wherever we are!

So how do we get this “Best Yes”?

We find our Best Yes by asking God what we should do with our schedules….big things and little mundane things.

When we ask Him, He will guide us.

Isaiah 30:21  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 

We ask God…sometimes.  But often, we need an answer now or we become so busy… asking God simply slips our minds.

I so desperately want to hear God’s voice directing me on which steps to take…don’t you?

Lucky for us, Lysa provides us with a process for arriving at our best yes!  Read chapters 1-3 and join us later this week as we read through God’s Word and discover what steps to take towards our “Best Yes”.

Wonder Woman

 

 

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!

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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.)

 

Determined….NOT Desperate-(Made to Crave Bible Study)

Made to Crave Bible Study

Hola Divas!  Welcome to week three of our bible study, Made to Crave by Lysa TerKuerst.  If you are just joining us, you may want to check out previous Made to Crave  posts or visit our Meetup Page

During each session, Lysa gives us a theme word.  For the first session, the word was empowerment.  Our word for this session is Determined.

Webster’s online dictionary defines determined as: having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it. 

Determined is a mindset.

At the opposite end of the “mindset spectrum’ is desperate.  Desperate is defined as: feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with.  

As Lysa so eloquently put it…Desperation breeds defeat. 

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

In Genesis 25:29-34, we find an exchange between two brothers illustrating what desperation can do:

One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry.

(Can you say set up for desperation?  When I arrive home after working all day exhausted and hungry…the best intentions in the world just may not be able to keep me from  running to a drive through instead of cooking a healthy meal.)

Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”

(Do we have some sibling rivalry going on?  Jacob did NOT have Esau’s best interests in mind.  However, Esau’s defenses were down…he smelled the soup, the saw the soup, he wanted the soup, he simply had to have the soup. So….. he went straight into crazytown-manipulation-drama-king mode:

“Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”

I am sure NONE of you have eeeevvvver  gone into drama queen mode (the attitude, pouting, noodle-necking, sulking, silent treatment, oh no I am fine…just about to die), when you desperately wanted something.

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Divas, we have to be careful with desperation…it breeds defeat. We want …..and we want ….and we start manipulating to get what we want and before we know it….desperation turns our manipulation back on us,  and WE GET PLAYED!

But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.

Divas would you trade your inheritance for soup?  

soup 

One method of handling “physical” desperation is to not allow ourselves to get soooo hungry we become desperate.

Part of the homework for this week is to determine in advance what we are going to eat so that we are not caught off guard…exhausted and hungry!  If you need help, check out our post on the plate method and plan out at least 3 days worth of meals.

Maybe you don’t have a food issue.  Where do you become so desperate in your life that you make “feel-good right now” decisions with painful long-term consequences?

Come on back later this week as we talk about “spiritual determination”.

Keep us posted about how things are going in the comments section!

 

Empowered with the Plate Method

Made to Crave Bible Study Hola Divas! Welcome to week 2 of our Made to Crave Bible Study. If you are just joining us, check out what the Made to Crave Bible Study is all about on the Dance Fit Divas Meetup Page. Then, read last week’s post about going from feeling deprived to feeling empowered.

In preparation for the viewing of this week’s video session, the homework for last week was to read chapters 1-3 and answer the quick reflection questions at the end of the chapter.  The homework for this week is to read chapters 4-6 and review the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

Please know, the homework is NOT mandatory!  However, at the very minimum, please post a quick weekly comment (in the comments section) to let us know how you are progressing.

In chapter three of Made to Crave, Lysa talks at length about “getting a plan” to assist us in making healthy changes.  We all know the saying, you don’t plan to fail, you simply FAIL TO PLAN.  Before you say, Plannnnnnnnschman….just think about all those Monday mornings full of resolve that morphed into Monday afternoons full of defeat because there was no plan.

Proverbs 21:5 Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

So, just as Lysa said in the book, NO ONE PLAN WORKS FOR EVERYONE!!!!  Researching to find a plan that works for you is time well spent.  However, we are human and when we are excited and ready to make changes, researching feels like it could take FOREVER.  Knowing you Divas would be ready to take this healthy eating thing and run full speed ahead, I shared the ” Idaho Plate Method” with the ladies in our first Bible study class.

The “Plate Method” is a simple way to help in the change of perspective from Deprivation to Empowered.  No weighing, no carrying around measuring cups, and no expensive “Special Foods”.  Sounds great right?  What is the catch?

Well…see for yourself:

Plate Method

1.  The first catch is that with the Plate Method, you use a 9 inch plate instead of a large plate.

2.  The second catch is  1/2 of the plate should be filled with 2 servings of non-starchy vegetables!  (Yes, I know…in the US the meat goes on the biggest section of the plate!—-From deprivation to Empowered!)

3.  The third catch is 1/4 of the plate should be filled with lean meat (3 ounces cooked) or other high-protein food and the other 1/4 of the plate should be filled with a starchy vegetable or whole grain serving (amount varies depending on food selected) and have a serving of fruit or dairy.

I love the plate method.  I must admit, am not big on dairy so I usually just have water with my meals.  (But this is the beauty of feeling Empowered…do what works for YOU! )

Do you think you could try filling 1/2 of your plate with veggies instead of a huge serving of meat/carbohydrates? Of course you can….ask God for your want-to!

 

Faith

 

Made To Crave Bible Study-Empowered

Made to Crave Bible Study

Hello Divas and welcome to our newest Bible Study…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.  If you are looking to:  

Break the cycle of “I’ll start again on Monday,” and feel good about yourself today.

Stop agonizing over numbers on the scale and make peace with your body.

Replace rationalization that leads to diet failure with wisdom that leads to victory.

Reach your healthy goals and grow closer to God through the process…….

This study is for you!

Please take note:  this study will not be a how-to manual or the latest, greatest dieting plan. Made to Crave is a helpful companion to use alongside whatever healthy eating approach you choose — a book and Bible study to help you find the “want to” in how to make healthy lifestyle changes.

We had an amazing time on Saturday during our first session!  Don’t worry if you are not in our area or if you are just joining us!

Here is what you need to do this week:

1.  Purchase the book Made to Crave

2.  Read chapters 1-3 and complete the few short discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

3.  Read our weekly blog posts AND comment (in the comment section) about how your week is going!

During our sessions on Saturday we watch the video lesson that goes along with the study.  One very important point Lysa made in the book and on the video is:

In order to eat healthier and make lifestyle changes, we need a how-to ( a plan on what to eat)but we also need a want-to (the spiritual motivation to make lasting changes.)

Every session, Lysa provides us with a word for the week.  This week, our word is EMPOWERED.

Just think about it.  Every time we say we are going to go on a “diet” and we swear off this or that, we end up feeling deprived.

Deprived

image source: www.womansworld.org

This week, use Lysa’s tip of switching your perspective from deprived to EMPOWERED.  Yes those doughnuts your co-worker brought in look good but you can feel EMPOWERED by making the choice not to have some with God’s help….and not simply because you want to lose weight but because God made you wonderful (Psalm 39).  Even better, even if you chose to have a doughnut, you can choose to just have ONE!  EMPOWERED!

empowered

 

..may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Hebrews 13:21

Maintain Don’t Gain-Turkey Day Tips

Maintain Don't Gain Challenge

Ok Divas, we are almost a full week into our “Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge“.  Since the BIG GAME (Thanksgiving) is only a few days away, we need to do a little “pre-game” preparation! The old saying is true……we don’t plan to fail…we FAIL to plan.

So, just like with all the football games that will be going on…we have to have our own playbook.file3091346979128

Here are just a few tips to help you avoid a fumble in your fitness goals on the biggest eating day of the year.

1.  Don’t fast all day: I am sure none of you will skip a meal since you would lose a point in our Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge, but just in case you thought you might save all of your calories for Thanksgiving Dinner…forgetabouit! Waiting all day to eat is a great way to guarantee that you will overeat and be cranky!

2.  Drink plenty of water:  Staying hydrated is one of the best methods to assure that you will not overeat.  Often, thirst is mistaken for hunger.  Plus, with a belly full of non-caloric water, you won’t have room for more pie!

3.  Load up on veggies:  When making your plate at Thanksgiving dinner, fill at least one-half (1/2) of your plate up with veggies.  Filling your plate with veggies helps with portion control and if you eat them first…you may only have room for a spoonful or two of that delicious baked macaroni and cheese!

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4.  Move your body-Go for a walk, turn on some music and dance, play Just Dance or Dance Central on the Wii, Xbox or PlayStation or work-out with the Dance Fit Divas on our youtube channel!  Just don’t sit around all day eating!  If you are in the Winston-Salem, NC area…join us for the Katina and Courtney combined work-out Monday November 25, 2013 6:00pm!

5.  Spend more time with people you love and be THANKFUL!  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Happy Thanksgiving!

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.