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!)

Five Minute Friday-Beloved

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off.  I am so thankful that I found Five Minute Fridays!  FMF gives me an opportunity to just “freestyle”!

Many of you have told me that you really enjoy reading the FMF posts!  You can read previous FMF posts: HERE.

Today’s word is BELOVED.

GO:

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:1-2

In the bible verse above, the word beloved means esteemed, favorite, dearly loved, or darling. How amazing it is to be called beloved and God’s children in the same sentence.  Even more amazing than being called beloved is being loved by such an amazing God.

The playlist from class on Thursday (Valentine’s Day), was all love themed.  I think my two favorite songs from the night were our ab song: “One Love” by Whodini (when hip-hop was hip-hop but I digress) and our cool down:  How He Loves by the Dave Crowder Band.  Yes, such a wide variety  of music genres but that is how we roll!

We crossed our arms over our hearts and then lifted them in praise as we sang, Oh..how He loves us so, Oh how He loves us, how He loves us so. A simple cool down at the end of a dance workout served as reminder that the God of the universe, the same God who hung the sun and the moon, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our part in the dance is to BE-LOVED.

STOP

Don’t forget to join us for bible study(8:30am–Let It Go by Karen Ehman) and class (Soulful Saturday–Devoted Fitness/Zumba Toning) on Saturday February 16, 2013!!!  See our calendar for details!

Let It Go Girl!

imageHello Divas! Today I am participating in a blog hop on Melissa Taylor’s blog! Melissa hosts online bible studies and is currently hosting an online bible study of the book Let. IT. Go! Isn’t that so cool? Right along with us, there are thousands of women all over the world learning how to LET. IT. GO.!

Each week, Melissa provides blog post topics from the book. One of the topics for today is to write a prayer inspired by a wonderful truth Karen wrote on page 54 of the book:

When we willingly accept our lot in life, welcoming all that God is trying to teach us through it, we lose the drive to over control, to micromanage in an all-out attempt to appear perfect and ensure everything in our lives is “just so”.

Divas, if anyone needs to remind herself of this truth it is me. As much as I feel alone sometimes in trying to navigate life while wearing all the different hats that I wear, I suspect I am not really alone. I bet willingly accepting and welcoming all that God has to teach us sounds glorious to you too. Lord give us the strength! Here is my prayer today:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for another day. Your ways are truly above my ways. You are all-knowing, all-powerful and gracious. Oh Father, help me with my “want to” on willingly accepting where I am in life right at this very minute. Although I know you are ultimately in control, I keep manipulating and agonizing over trivial things to make what I want happen. Forgive me.

My futile attempts at getting and keeping everything “just-so” are exhausting. As I exhale, may your presence energize me. Today, I choose to be thankful for what you have done and are doing in my life and I am trusting you to navigate me towards my best. Today, I choose to LET. IT. GO!

Amen

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Homework for this week:  Read through chapter 4, complete the session 2 “between-session” study guide questions.

If you are in the Kernersville, NC area, join us for our Let. IT. GO. bible study this Saturday 8:30am -9:15am (just before class).

All about Perspective-Unglued Bible Study Chapter 8

Hello Divas! It is hard to believe that we are already on Chapter 8 of the book Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst. Prior to chapter eight, we have worked on identifying our “unglued” tendencies and learning how to properly process our emotions.  Chapter eight deals with the “glue” that holds identifying and properly processing together—PERSPECTIVE.

I found a definition of perspective that made my jaw drop:  The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance—WOW. 

In the book, Lysa shared a story about how her daughters used to argue over paper placements when they were out to dinner.  We all know how this goes, some one spills water or writes on the other’s placement and bam…whines, screams, and drama over a PAPER PLACEMAT! Seriously???

Cough, gag, ok …that example was VERY close to home for me.  But really, children tend to come unglued about very small things.  Have you ever watched a child melt over not getting something they really wanted or over another child not sharing?

What about us?  Do the things that cause us to come unglued DAILY really matter in the grand scheme of things?  Ok, lets say DO matter.  Can we find ANYTHING to be thankful for and then be gentle in our response?

At the beginning of chapter eight, Lysa stated: “Perspective calls forth a gentleness I can’t seem to find any other way”.  This is so true.  When you mentally grasp that things could really be MUCH worse and you have SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL for, you display a more gentle nature. 

Have you ever spoken to someone right when they return from a mission trip?  They get it!  Perhaps we need to seek out some serving activities like:  serving in a soup kitchen, going on a mission trip, or helping a family in need to help us gain some perspective.

The Key verse for the entire chapter was Philippians 4:4-5: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

In other words:

Find some reason to be thankful regardless of what is going on. Smile and don’t miss the chance to rejoice!  Gain some perspective over your situation then quiet and settle your mind so that you can respond to EVERYONE (not just the people who are nice to you) with gentleness (a sweet temper that is the result of joy in the LORD).

I think in all the times I have read Philippians 4:5, I totally missed the “The Lord is near” part. When we are able to gain some godly perspective, we realize that God IS near.  In fact, He has been here all the time! He has been making a way out of no way for eons.

Have chapters 7 & 8 read for our discussion on Saturday!

Blessings,

Five Minute Friday-Look

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off.  I am so thankful that I found Five Minute Fridays!  FMF gives me an opportunity to just “freestyle”! Many of you have told me that you really enjoy reading the FMF posts!  The word for today is LOOK. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Each week, I get the grand opportunity to step out onto my physical and spiritual platform of a stage and lead a sea of beautiful women each week in class.  I LOOK out into each of your eyes and just melt.  When the music is on, you sing along and move with out a care in the world.

When new Divas come to class, I hear some of you telling the newbies… “Just LOOK at her (meaning me) and you will be fine”.  What an amazing place God has placed me!

It is fun to LOOK up at the beginning of class and see y’all hugging and laughing.  I think the best part of it all is at the beginning of class when we get a neighbor and LOOK her in the eye and say: “NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY, YOU CANNOT LOOK LIKE ME”.

There are NO comparisons in class, wish we could be like that in real life. 

God has designed each of us to LOOK differently.  We all have something wonderful to give to the world. 

My favorite line from the movie Avatar is “I See You”. 

Sometimes we get so busy LOOKing that we don’t see. 

God sees you and He loves you.

Don’t forget to wear PINK tomorrow for class! We will be dancing “princess style” in honor of Addison Simmons tomorrow!  See the details HERE.  Also don’t forget to come on out to bible study with us tomorrow… Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst!

Five Minute Friday-WIDE

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and then write until the timer goes off. The word for today is WIDE. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

I don’t know about y’all, but on Monday morning it seems like the distance to Friday is not only long but WIDE and treacherous.  When I finally make it to Wednesday, (HUMP-DAY), I can see the weekend flickering in the distance and what seemed so WIDE and long appears to be much closer than half-way there.  I am sure dancing and sweating off the cares of the week with all of you fabulous Divas really helps to change my perception. 

Perception is a funny thing isn’t it?  There is always a WIDE array of opinions on a particular subject.   Even twins don’t always see an identical circumstance in the same way.  Another crazy thing about perception is that it can change–sometimes quickly at other times it may take a lifetime.   It has always been said that it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. 

When we were cooling down on Wednesday, I was drenched in sweat and already feeling better from just the crazy energy you gals gave me in class.  Then, I listened and worshiped to our new cool down song, Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave.  God changed my mind. 

Just after the first verse, I thought I might burst into tears:

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last

Wow, that has been me for the last couple of weeks.  Little things have kept coming up and all I could see was a WIDE valley of stuff I screwed up and worry about the future.

Then next part of the verse and chorus almost literally knocked me off my feet:

Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

I am NOT who I used to be.  I AM REDEEMED and the battle IS NOT MINE!!!  Thank you God for changing my perception right there on that stage standing in front of a WIDE variety of women from all different cultures, backgrounds and walks of life. 

Dear God,

May our eyes, hearts and ears remain WIDE OPEN so that we can see, feel and hear what YOU are doing.

Psalm 18:35-36

You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great.  You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. 

Click HERE if you cannot see the embedded video.

Don’t miss Soulful Saturday and our new bible Study (UNGLUED) on Saturday September 21, 2012! Visit our Meetup for Details!

Five Minute Friday-Focus

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and then write until the timer goes off. The word for today is Focus. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Focus is one of those things that we all know we need to perform well at anything yet we just don’t seem to do it.  I have to catch myself sometimes with all of my multitasking.  I am sure none of you: put on your make-up while driving, talk on the phone while typing on the computer, or watch TV while trying to read!  So many studies have shown that multitasking is really NOT efficient.  Isn’t it funny that we multitask to get more things done only to end up frazzled and with LESS done?  (Perhaps it is just me!)

Maybe you don’t multitask.  But, have you ever noticed that you were clear with what you wanted and felt good about it, only to have someone say or do something to make you doubt EVERYTHING? In a split second you went from focused to confused. 

Has a change in your daily schedule ever thrown you off?  The back to school session has thrown a monkey wrench in to plenty of folks’ focused plans.   

What steals your focus?  What gets you distracted?

Distraction is the silent but deadly enemy of purpose. Whether it is maintaining our Christian values, getting out of debt,  or exercising, distraction can derail us.

One thing I am planning on doing this weekend is to actually write down my goals and take them to God in prayer.  Now, once I write them and pray about them, I need to keep them in plain sight so that I can stay FOCUSED!

What goals do you need to write down and pray about so that you can stay focused?

Don’t forget to join us for the Unglued bible study!  Go here for more info!

Change–Five Minute Friday

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and then write until the timer goes off.  The word for today is Change.  Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

The back to school season marks a season of change.  A lot of stuff happens when the kiddos go back to school:  schedules change, attitudes change and the traffic changes!  I don’t what it is but my mostly highway commute to work is significantly longer when school is in session. 

Even if you don’t have children, the back to school season marks the change of seasons.  Summer is leaving fall is coming.  Change.  Before we know it, the Holidays will be upon us and there will be more change.

Amidst all of the change that constantly happens, it is easy to put off the things that are really important like: exercise, eating nutritious foods, calling that friend that has been on your mind and spending time with loved ones for the urgent yet not so important things of life.

Change is inevitable but God NEVER CHANGES.    He is never confused or uncertain about what to do.  Resting in his constant sovereignty and love allows us to successfully navigate change.

Malachi 3:6 “For I, the Lord, do not change. So you, O children of Jacob, are not destroyed.

Don’t forget, our new FALL session starts on Wednesday 09/05/2012! Go HERE for more information!

Join-Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday
Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and then write until the timer goes off.  Today’s word is JOIN.  So, happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Thinking about the word join makes me smile.  Our class has been dancing along for almost two years.  It never ceases to amaze me how many women join our class as new participants each week.   As the days and weeks go by, more women join our Meetup Page.  Earlier this summer, we made it to 500 Meetup members!  Even though 538 women are Dance Fit Diva Meetup members, not all of them actually attend class.  It is funny, I have run into ladies at the store who have never been to a class yet they commented on something that our class is doing!

God is doing some amazing work in the hearts of women in our community whether they join us in body, spirit or both.  After visiting the blog, (Rubber Chicken Madness),  I found a perfect summation of what being a part of the Dance Fit Divas means:  “joining, learning, participating as a member of a community with no feelings of guilt or obligation, but true willingness to be a part of something”.

Isn’t that so us?

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow for our regular Soulful Saturday class and then join us at the Honeybee Festival as we show Kernersville that the Divas have started a movement!