Siesta Summer Bible Study 2014 Gathering 4!

Hi Siestas!

I love you girls and am so thankful for you. I just saw a whole room full of you right after Living Proof Live Lubbock and you are the cutest things I’ve ever seen. What an honor to serve you.

We are sailing through our study! I’m praying that you are able to carve out time for your homework and that whatever you are able to accomplish is speaking clearly and personally to you. His Word does not return to us empty. My biggest hope is that you have a deep sense of walking out these eight weeks side-by-side with Jesus. That is everything. That is the goal.

2014 Siesta Summer Bible Study Session 4 from LPV on Vimeo.

Can you believe that we are already at our fourth gathering? Only one more to go and we’re finished! Here are the bare bones of your instructions in case you are unable to view the video:

 

Today, for our small group discussions and solo responses, get out your workbook with me and turn to pages 120 and page 121 for discussion from Week 5.  At the bottom of page 120, I just love Eugene Peterson’s translation of I Thessalonians 5:4-8 from The Message. You would have read in your homework:

But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

With that in mind, glance at the question in the middle of page 121. Your discussion question from Week 5:

  • What one event in your life shook you to your most awakened state?

If you’re willing and it’s not too painful to share, please tell us about it.  If you feel a little lulled to sleep in this present season, then discuss that.  Talk about a way that you really need the Lord to awaken you with His Spirit to His Word and to His presence and His activity in your proximity.
Our discussion for Week 6 takes place on pages 142-143.  I’m so anxious to hear from you about this week of study because it’s all about mobilized ministry. I am hoping that you have written your name in the blank in the statement on the middle of page 142. You have a God-ordained ministry, Sister!

 

Notice the words on page 143: No one else can fulfill your calling. Other people can do what you’ve been called to do, but they cannot be you doing it. Maybe you know someone with the exact same gift mix. Fabulous! Be great friends with them and rejoice in the camaraderie, but keep in mind that each of you bring something unique to the mix. They cannot be you! And you cannot be them!

  • Did you get any insight in your calling for this season? If so, what? Share that in your comment to this post, and with your small group if you’re taking part in one.
  •  What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? (page 145)  What do you want to do most when you’re filled with that holy fire?

 

I can’t wait to read many of your comments! I love to see women step further into their God-ordained callings.

 

Now for our memory verses!

Memory Verse for Week 7:
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (ESV) – Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

 

Memory Verse for Week 8:
2 Thessalonians 3:3 (ESV)- But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

 

So your homework for this next few weeks is to finish up the final two weeks of study, Weeks 7 & 8!  Our video greeting next time will be our wrap up!  Get after it!

 

I’m nuts about you.

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Comments:

  1. 101
    Beverly says:

    Wk 6 Was very encouraging, but I also feel a bit of
    frustration because I KEEP getting encouragement of a call
    by the Spirit, but no clarity. I see Him changing,
    repairing, and preparing me in so many ways. I see a story
    from my life now that I had no idea was even there all
    these years (I’m guessing He means to use that.)
    One night before bed, I asked God where He wanted to
    speak to me. Felt led to Eph 3 and Ez 3. Next morning,
    I did Day 3… FLASH FORWARD was Ez 3:1-4. I feel foolish
    writing so, but maybe it was significant to my call.?

  2. 102
    Beverly says:

    What do I look Like when I love Him with all of me…Willing
    to stick my heart out into vulnerable places though I
    labored to keep it safe from pain most of my life.
    What do I want to do most when filled with fire Passion…
    journal, dance for and with Him, and tell anyone who will
    listen about what He’s doing and teaching me (Usually that
    would be my family.)

  3. 103
    KIm B. in Az says:

    1. I have been most awake on several occasion when I was struggling with fear in a very intense way, 2 when my youngest was air vaced out do to a medical emergency (she is doing great now), and now. I know You said one but could not decide which one to put down.

    2. Not really sure. I have some idea but nothing clearly spelled out at the moment.

    3. I want to serve and I feel very alive. I am more loving and kind toward others. It drives me to please God more and spend time with Him more.

  4. 104
    Mary in NH says:

    I go into my “most awakened state” when I go through something that totally rocks my control over my own little world. I think of the house fire we lived through three years ago. That God timed it so, we all got out of the house and we were able to get the fire contained before more serious damage occurred. Cleanup took months, my daily routine started with me in God’s Word, asking for strength, patience, peace with whatever was required of me that day. He got us through it!

    I made a career change several years ago, and I now work with immigrant children, teaching them the skills to be successful in school. I felt God had given me a heart for working with kids and teaching so I left my admin job in the business world and got certified to teach. I never dreamed I’d work with an immigrant population – But God had a plan for me and opened doors for me in this area. I know immigration is a sore subject for some right now. Almost always my students are here legally; their families work very hard and are so grateful for a new life here in America. They see a future and hope for their children. We are still one nation, under God.

    What do I look like when I am serving Him with all my heart, mind, and soul? I look happy and the people around me feel uplifted. My mind is challenged to think quickly to solve problems His way. My soul if fed, knowing that I am doing the right thing. It may tire me out but I sleep well at night.

  5. 105
    Kahie Mullins says:

    Beth I want to thank you for the encouraging videos that you put here in your blog. I am going about this study solo and need to hear the words of encouragement. I am trying to come out of a dry time with God and this study along with a mentoring class has brought my passion for women right back up again. (thank you Jesus!)
    The first question is really deep within me and not quite sure how to word this to give God the glory. I was off balance with my mind and emotions and tried to take my life. I was in the motion of it as I talked to my oldest son (17 at the time…he is now 34). What emotional crisis I had he did not need to be brought into it. Not knowing the impact and scare I put on my child, that hurt is still with me. My son has forgiven me but the wound is deep. Right after I came home from this moment of destruction I knew in my head that I needed something more than me trying to clime out of the from the pain in my life. I got medical help and counseling and this one event shook me to the core of how I cannot leave God to just watch but to allow him to rule my life. I may still stumble but I do not leave God anywhere along the path of my life.

    Second question is a lot easier. My calling has always been for women. I have felt so much pain and have come out of the other side that I need them to know it does happen. I have a passion particularly in divorce. I can tell anyone that the other side of divorce is harder than any bad marriage. I married prince charming but the conflicts we have stem from my divorce. So that is my calling and passion. I am taken away by God at that moment of helping. Some things that even come out of my mouth I were not mine…my mouth was God’s and His alone. That is where I feel Gods presence the most and I am on a spiritual high.

  6. 106
    Rosalie Castleberry says:

    I think the event that has really shaken me up was the shoulder surgery I had last summer. Even with extensive and painful therapy, the arm did not heal and the other rotator cuff is now torn because of all the extra stress put on it when I could not use the left arm. So now neither arm works well. During this time I had an incredibly close time with the Lord—mostly in the middle of the night when I really felt I was under attack from Satan. I felt so strongly that he was trying to destroy my witness by all the physical things that kept going wrong during this time. I felt him taunting me with a “now are you going to keep praising the Lord?” This was a terrible time but a sweet time and even though I know that without a miracle my physical body will never be the same, I am so thankful for the time and the close times with the Lord. I had the surgery on May 1 and my goal was to be able to lift my arm in praise when I attended Living Proof in West Virginia when Travis would sing VICTORY IN JESUS. When the song started, I began to cry because I knew I could not raise my arm. I raised it as high as I could and then the friend with me raised it the rest of the way. I’m still praying for that miracle and in Fort Wayne I will be raising that arm, either with God’s help or my friend’s help. And sometimes isn’t that the same thing?

    During this study, I have realized that I have been called to “parent” adult women. My friend and I are teaching “Cookies on the Lower Shelf” and the ladies in the class call us Cookie Mamas. We have encouraged all these ladies, had lunch with them corporately and individually, attended events they are involved in, etc—just like you would do with your children. I think we never outgrow wanting someone to “look at me.”

    I think when we have those rare moments when we are serving the Lord with all our hearts and minds and strength that we look like Moses after his encounters with the Lord: our countenance is radiant.

    By the way, Video 6 was terrific.

  7. 107
    Deborah Mott says:

    1. The one event in your life that shook me to my most awakened state? Having my feet washed and experiencing JESUS ministering to me: “You are clean!” Feeling HIS FORGIVENESS and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS…His SPIRIT alive in me in a revelatory and real way. I felt the reality of HIS PRESENCE and HIS showing me I am no longer in darkness or dirty but am in HIS LIGHT and CLEAN and I received HIM in a deeper, closer way than ever before! It matches the relationship of being a “Daughter of the LORD’s….a Daughter of the Day”! I sensed God’s love and the Joy and Hope of my salvation which increased my faith.

    A can get a little lulled to sleep by legalism and sometimes in relationships that feel oppressive…. I can feel the drowsiness of discouragement in relationships that are stuck or with people I am trying to wake up but they end up causing me to feel dull/lulled/ineffective! I need the LORD to show me what HE would have me to do differently and how to stay abiding at all times even when with others that are asleep….Always want a fresh eye, ear, heart opening revelation of Jesus and HIS LOVE and Will and how to love and please HIM each day.

    Did you get any insight in your calling for this season?
    YES! PRAISE JESUS!
    If so, what? The day I did this lesson (2ND TIME THROUGH) I was “commissioned and prayed for” in front of the church to go to Greece for a mission trip! Thought it so amazing that the title matched my life: Mobilized ministry! The trip was phenomenal :SO OF THE LORD!!! We(320 people from 20 nations) gave out over 100 thousand NEW TESTAMENT NEW GREEK BIBLES to many many homes in 3 Providences in Greece. (Operation Joshua 7). PRAYER INTERCESSION was a big part of the trip and I used many BIBLE verses listed in CHILDREN OF THE DAY to pray over Greece…like 2 Thes 3:1 and Acts 12:24 and Isaiah 52:7-8 and many others….THANK YOU BETH! One of my life calls is to live Acts 26:17-18 out: to be sent to open the eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of satan to GOD that by faith in CHRIST they may receive forgiveness of sins. The LORD did this for me and sends me to GIVE HIS MESSAGE and HOPE to others! John 3: HIS SPIRIT and HIS WORD births us anew and we are to go and share HIS WORD! PRAYING and Passing out Bibles through out Greece is part of that call!

    What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? (page 145) Loving people when they are most unlovable. Compassionate/Caring about their eternal souls. Sharing THE WORD and CHRIST in many ways: teaching, praying, evangelizing, serving, listening, loving, giving testimony, writing. Feeling a passion for the lost….crying when they reject Christ or HIS WORD…Persistent: Continuing to serve when I feel like quitting. Believing GOD is GOOD when it looks like He isn’t. Repentant: Confession of my sins and honesty of my failures, disloyalty, pride. Humbled and FORGIVEN, RECEIVING and LIVING THE GOSPEL …Worshipful: Singing in private and in congregations: praise songs, lifting my hands despite man’s disapproval…honoring my parents unconditionally, staying married and loving and forgiving my spouse and myself through the power of THE HOLY SPIRIT!, Secure IN CHRIST and HIS GOSPEL TRUTH! Living Right with GOD through relationship with JESUS: having a comforted heart! Peaceful, content, thankful…GRACE RECEIVING AND GRACE EXTENDING….Joyful!

    What do you want to do most when you’re filled with that holy fire? Thank GOD for His Presence and passion. Relate to JESUS. Then desire others to experience GOD’s LOVE and SALVATION and for them TO KNOW JESUS!!! Share CHRIST and HIS LOVE through teaching, writing, evangelism, prayer, ministry or in any way the LORD directs me.

  8. 108
    Deborah Mott says:

    A P.S. = LOVING GOD: been thinking about this more: Obeying HIS WORD, having my heart right with HIM. Repenting when not right in my heart or motives. Running under HIS WINGS when know I am not forgiving or living 100% Committed/pure in my thoughts/motives….Living pure sexually, emotionally, and in my heart/thoughts, etc. TRUSTING GOD and not being offended with pain and hardships suffered. Living in TRUTH and not by any lies,living and sharing GOSPEL to myself, husband, others, world. Dying to self, flesh, world, and saying no to and devil’s lies and temptations /devil daily. gotta go…wasnt finished…

  9. 109
    J says:

    I forgot to respond to the third part- loving God with my whole being. For me it probably means that I am constantly in his Word, learning, meditating, memorizing, praying (being motivated by love not fear or guilt) and then walking with the Spirit enough to know when I should share what, and with whom. Makes me think of the verse that talks about how a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold on settings of silver. It graces those who hear. This is not something I’m necessarily sucessful with most of the time but when I think of times I have obeyed in studying (which I do enjoy but it is still a discipline) or in sharing and have felt his spirit’s presence in my words, I have been blessed and have experienced great joy and awe of God. It’s me giving him my mind in study and prayer, my will in obedience, and my heart in faith and humility as I see him do things I know I cannot do on my own. It blesses others but no doubt when my mind is saturated with his words not my own depraved, fearful and world-saturated thoughts, it blesses me too!

  10. 110
    Bethany says:

    Bethany
    Modesto, Ca.
    Solo

    1. The life event that brought me to my most awakened state was losing my job in 2010 while simultaneously losing the house that I grew up in and lived in at that time. I was without a career and without shelter. It was the scariest time of my life as an adult. What I learned is that God is so faithful to protect and keep his children. Prior to losing the job and house I had been attending a church 50 miles away from my home. I had developed relationships with some women in that new church and had recently began attending counseling. All factors brewed together to create the perfect storm for me to step out of the boat so to speak.(felt like a tossing out rather than a step out!) I spent six months with dear friends renting a room and then moved my few belongings and my 2 cats Sadie and Zoe to that town 50 miles away. It was all in Gods plan for my life. These four years have been ones of great growth and deepened dependency on Jesus.

    2. I don’t know where I am gifted for ministry. I work with children who have autism. I have always loved working with children but recently have considered that my area of service might be elsewhere. Last week I visited our branch library and spoke with the librarian about volunteering. I LOVE BOOKS and I love to read and write so I am excited to see what Jesus will do with this new adventure!

    3. When my heart is bursting with love for the Lord I am usually surrounded by women or children. Somehow serving them. I love to serve one on one in relationship. My favorite thing is to grab coffee/tea with someone and talk about life, love, and what the Lord is teaching.
    I also am a home/car worshiper! I love love love to sing. However, I don’t belong up front with the worship team!

    I have been so blessed by this study this summer. Thank you Beth for your words filled with wisdom. Thank you LPM staff for working so hard right in step with your fearless leader and sister. You ladies are jewels!

  11. 111
    Beverly says:

    I am so far behind in this study, but since I’m doing it solo I’m pressing on and keeping at it. I just watched video session 3 and cried through much of it. Even though I’m late in the study schedule, the session was right on time. I had recently learned that God can parent and re-parent me. How wonderful to then have a teaching on it! So helpful! But I wanted to particularly thank you for sharing the story about the woman crying with her father in the airport and you stating that you have never felt that safe with anyone. That was so very encouraging to me because I haven’t either – I think I tended to believe that I was the only one and therefore somehow less. Your story and honesty helped free me from that lie and also showed me that life can be good and fruitful even if I never, or rarely, feel safe enough with someone to do that. I can do it with Jesus but am still learning to trust Him. But He’s so wonderful and patient and keeps proving himself trustworthy over and over again. Thank you for this study. God bless you and your ministry.

  12. 112
    Sally says:

    1. The one event in my life that shook me to my most awakened state was the birth of our first baby, our son. I had passed my 30th birthday before I met my husband. Had watched most of my friends fall in love and start their families. Had quite the wrestling match with God over my singleness, but had finally come to a place of utter peace in Him before I met Jim. Just a few months after we got married, I was pregnant! I was the happiest pregnant girl in the US! The deep desire of my heart was being fulfilled. I was so careful with my pregnancy too, followed every direction. Brian was born on April 1, 1991, critically ill. He was born with a condition that required 4 surgeries, 7 weeks in intensive care in our local Children’s hospital, and we nearly lost him twice during that ordeal. The treatments were excruciating for my 7 lb. baby. I held onto God for the first 3 weeks, until a number of prayers weren’t answered as I wanted them to be answered. I found myself believing that God was not good, because what good God would allow a baby to go through all of this, especially after I “followed all the directions”. So began a 6 month spiritual ordeal, where I withdrew from God, accusing Him of not being good. As I began to come out of this, I started wrestling with Him. The end result was that He drove home to me the truth that He is good, no matter what my circumstances may dictate, no matter how many prayers are answered, no matter how well I follow His directions. His goodness transcends everything. I had to let go of my demand to understand why this all happened too. I just had to trust Him that He was good, period.
    By His grace, that was a permanent lesson for me. And, after a rocky 18 months, Brian wound up healthy and strong, and now, as a 23 year old, loves the Lord, and serves at his church.
    2. Nearly 10 years ago, my husband and I decided to try out a local ministry that reaches out to the international students studying at our local Big 10 university. We fell in love with this ministry, and are very thankful to the Lord that He has provided the ways and means for us to continue our ministry there. We have had over 3 dozen students stay with us, and have had the privilege of seeing many of them come to faith in our Savior.
    3. I think loving God for me looks like seeking Him out first thing in the morning to trust Him with my day, seeking to turn over difficult things to Him, and waiting with eager anticipation in how He will work things out. ( not as good with eager anticipation sometimes

  13. 113
    Melissa Messer says:

    I am just starting the Summer Bible Study and would like to know how long the videos, etc. will be made available on the blog?

  14. 114
    Crystal Frank says:

    Livonia, Michigan, Solo

    **My most awakened state is when I am in crisis (how sad!), and I am totally dependent on the Lord. Seeking Him constantly.

    **My first ministry is to my family. Raising 4 kiddos and a wife to an amazing husband. Then, be intentional about my interactions. I can get too involved in “church” and pull away from the lost.

    **I look so different when I love Jesus with all of me. I reflect His love to others. Loving even those that are hard to love. Giving mercy and grace to others more willingly and having a pure hear. Help me Jesus to be that person more and more!

  15. 115
    Cindy C says:

    1. The event that shook me the most is honestly ongoing. Being married is so much harder than I thought. I am an outgoing positive person who loves Jesus so so much and my husband is often negative, forlorn and questions God all the time. This is so hard for me and becoming increasingly more and more difficult.

    2. My calling I believe is to teach women’s bible study.

    3. I feel most alive when I’m leading a group of women teaching/speaking. One week at our churches large ladies bible study, the head teacher was going to be out so they asked me to fill in for her and when I did I’ve never felt more alive and on fire for God. It just seemed so natural and the perfect fit. I had so many people tell me that is what I should do. We move all the time with the military though so it is so hard to figure out how to make this work when I am constantly changing, cities, states and even now countries – We are moving back to England! Praise God for this though! :)

  16. 116
    Krystal says:

    1- the one event in my life that shook me to my most awakened state I think has been having my son- I was so awakened to my absolute need and dependence on Him and His Word in a way I hadn’t been up to that point, and I have become so much more aware of Him, His Presence in my life and His activity around me through the process of raising him
    2- I was greatly encouraged through week 6 being reminded that God has a purpose for me, I’m still not exactly sure what that God given calling is necessarily and am at a point where I have an opportunity to serve in a different way and am praying through that, I so want to follow Him and obey what He wants me to do
    The person that I am when I am loving Him fully is fully submitted to Him and open to whatever He has for me instead of trying to have complete control or trying to figure out exactly what the future looks like; the ministry that I have served in over the last few years has been teaching a children’s Sunday school class and He has blessed me immensely through it, it is an area where I feel more energized than exhausted like you mentioned on page 157

  17. 117
    Debi says:

    Dearest Beth,

    I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am to Jesus for you. Suffice it to say, the Lord has used you tremendously in my life over the past couple of years, and Jesus is sweeter to me because of the way that He has used you. I tell my friends that I have Bible study in my living room with Jesus and Beth Moore :) What I love about you is that it’s never about you but it’s always about Him. I am praying for you and your sweet family and ministry and that the Lord would continue to sustain you and keep you going full force by His grace. My husband and I have had the privilege to have been in full-time ministry as missionaries for 22 years now, and being a part of such a spiritual battle, I am sure the enemy is not happy about what you’re doing because you are willing to be on the front lines and make such an impact in so many precious lives. Thank you for pouring your life out on behalf of Jesus and others.

    Love from a sister who’s crazy about you in East Texas…

  18. 118
    Deb North says:

    I am doing the “Children of the Day” bible study and organized a group of six of us to study God’s word over the summer. We just completed session six. As a previous BSF leader and called by God to become a middle level math/science teacher in public schools serving underserved kids of color, I often think about how God has a great sense of humor and how on numerous occasions God reminds me I am doing this for him and not for me (darn!). At any rate, during session 6 you discussed legitimate prophecies and their incomplete nature. In working with preteens in public school, I have shared my faith in creative ways. In science teachings even more so. When I make mistakes and the kids catch the mistake, I will share, “you will know when I am 100% perfect because I will no longer be here in the physical form and my body will have become a decaying substance.” Then they get a jolly rancher. That is the only rewards I give in class, so the children learn we need to feel safe in making mistakes. Sisters in faith, Deb.

  19. 119
    Diamna says:

    The event that brought me to my most awakened state was a crisis in my marriage. When I was brought to my knees in surrender. God not only saved my marriage but he opened my eyes to the needs of my husband first and then to others who are hurting. I feel I can minister to women who are going thru tough times in their marriage and raising children. God has given me a heart for those and I pray I will follow where He leads me.

  20. 120
    Jennifer Edwards says:

       1. My father died unexpectedly in 2010 and my world crashed around me. I was lost. Everything hurt for a long time. It still hurts most days. Having family around has been a gift from God. It made me see life in a different way. At the funeral there were so many stories about his love for the Lord. I wondered if I talked to anyone about God and if I made an impact. After being hurt and just lost for a long time, I started again. I served with purpose and grew as I served. We made a family mission statement and a vision for the future that’s centered on God. It hasn’t been easy, but there’s so much that’s been buried that requires healing. He’s giving me the love I need. He’s opening my eyes to see where I need healing and He’s not breaking any of His promises. He’s slowly breaking me and putting me together again.

    2. My gift is mercy. I am called to minister to my family first. I also volunteer in Children’s Ministry. It’s been a pleasure to serve the families and learn more she God as I serve. My heart is for the broken hearts of women. I know I was very young and away from home after accepting Christ as my Savior. I needed guidance and didn’t feel accepted because for so long I was taught to fear God and basically that I wasn’t what He wanted. My parents didn’t teach me this. I learned from others. I went to LPL & YOU Lead in Biloxi, MS this summer & the training session that really hit home for me was mentoring to younger women. I am praying!

    3. There’s nothing like being good to others but in a way that doesn’t hurt me. For so long I put everyone before me & made decisions based on loyalty & really just what made the other person happy. I so wanted to see them happy. But I forgot about me..I can only do this because of God. This heart of mercy just loves people & is filled with compassion that I can’t explain!!

  21. 121
    Kristen Keeling says:

    I have had several awakening moments in my life, from stupid teenage/college choices to tragic loss of loved ones and serious injury. Most currently, both of my children have been diagnosed with dyslexia. I’m SUCH studier and LOVE reading, school, word studies, vocabulary, etc. (I mean, hello- I wouldn’t be a Siesta if I didn’t, right?) I homeschool my children and my oldest is entering the 2nd grade. He’s still struggling with reading and writing and my heart hurts because I want him to be such studier like me. I’ve had to put to death my own dreams for him and realize that God is at work in him to do a new work. My son is SO creative and is brilliant in his own light. My daughter is relational and thinks outside of the box. I know the Lord will use these talents and giftings in them for His glory. I have had to newly release them to His calling and His guidance because they are not wired like me!

    I have had renewed confirmation of my ministry in our church’s preschool ministry. I direct and lead the lesson in what could be called our Children’s Church for all the children ages 5 and under at our church. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t matter but God has reaffirmed the fact that I am doing HIS work. You asked what do we look like when we’re on fire with the Holy Spirit and I can’t help but share what I learn! Children have always been my love and He is using me to speak Truth in their lives. Thank You, Lord for using me!

    Clearly, I’m a complete nerd (grin) and I used to teach public school before staying home with my own children. I currently homeschool and the Lord has formed a WONDERFUL group of women who have also recently chosen to homeschool. We each have our own roles within the group (organizer, encourager, planner, comforter, etc.) and my eyes have been opened to the way He has knit our hearts together with the ultimate goal of raising Godly men and women through our children. I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited to see His hand at work this school year!!! Thank You, God, for opening my eyes to what You are doing and for the renewed joy and anticipation as we approach the beginning of the school year. Oh, how I love You.

  22. 122
    Magie says:

    I’m a solo, and am so late checking in this week. But here I am. For my first response , during a time of great stress on my marriage , my career , and having 4 teenage sons living at home, my house literally caught on fire. But that just prepared me for a quiet moment of personal one on one worship sitting on the front porch of that house. I can only describe it as a touch from Jesus where no matter what my circumstances were I realized how much I am loved.
    For the ministry question, funny story, does it surprise you that God has me right now at the beginning of a new work, Fumbling through trying to figure out how this looks? I’m not sure where it’s going, but he has clearly refined the message of a Grace based faith , That is willing to recklessly let go of works doctrine. I am riding the roller coaster, with Jesus at the helm.

  23. 123
    Caroline Krise says:

    How wonderful to hear over again that Jesus keeps us from the evil one. It is a most encouraging Bible Study you are teaching. God Bless and keep you.

    Love, Caroline

  24. 124
    Julie Lohr says:

    Beth, you are so anointed. I am so blessed by this study. The insight you bring to the table is amazing. Thank you for sharing your gift. To God be the Glory. Blessings, sister chosen by God.

  25. 125
    Sarah says:

    Hey Kirsten, I’m just curious, what strengths do your kids have. What natural ability?
    Your kids are lucky to have you because you are able to spend the extra time tudoring him and teaching him the extra things he will need to be able to do things. And you know what the problem is so you don’t have that extra frustration, and understand him. You will be able to encourage him to do the things he’s interested in.

  26. 126
    Kristi says:

    My awakening moment is a story I’ve become more willing to tell over these past few years. I suffered from severe clinical depression over an 18 year period, that last 10 being absolutely horrible. It’s amazing that my man has stayed by my side. (That’s another story on another topic!)
    I’d been abused as a child, but had repressed those memories till I was victimized as a young adult. So when I fell into the pit, I felt there was no other place for me to be, no other place would I be worthy of. On Oct. 1, 2007, I took an overdose of Tylenol, not with the intent to die (that time), but with the intent to just go to sleep. My heart hurt so badly, I just wanted to sleep for awhile. Of course, I was hospitalized (for like the millionth time) and I was allergic to the antidote. The hospital staff were none too kind, my husband tired and low on compassion… I felt so very alone and ashamed.
    Well, my pastor came to see me the next morning. He walked into my room where I was trying to make myself invisible and hoping the bed would swallow me whole. I’m sure I looked so pathetic. But with the most love and compassion I’d ever seen in my whole life, he said, “Oh, Kristi, Jesus loves you so much.”
    I don’t remember anything else from that morning. But it was truly the first time I REALLY heard those words. It was surely the first time my heart heard them. Yes, I was raised in church from the time I was a tiny baby.
    The healing began then. I turned 50 years old in 2010 and I renamed it my “Year of Jubilee!” God has truly freed my heart and my mind. I praise Him every day for freeing me from that prison of darkness. My passion is now to see others freed from their own prisons. Freedom in Christ is REAL… and women need to know this!
    This is also connected to the next question… What do I want to do most when I’m filled with that holy fire? I want to stand on rooftops and shout out “You don’t have to stay where you are! There is freedom, REAL freedom! Yes, it’s hard, yes, it’s painful, but it is SO worth it to be free!! Let me tell you what HE did for me!”

    Beth, you are an inspiration to me. Mostly, how you love God. I can see it in you. I want others to SEE how much I love God and His Word. I want them to SEE the freedom that I now have because of Jesus. Thank you for your ministry and your obedience. I pray for you often.
    love, Kristi

  27. 127
    Linda says:

    Event that shook me to awakened state: entering a conservative church that veered into person-worship. Thank God He came to set the captives free! Without that experience I would not know the importance of reading, studying, memorising, meditating upon and living out the scriptures. Without devoted Christ-followers who aided my recovery I would not have survived that experience.

  28. 128
    Cindy says:

    Cindy, small group St. Louis:
    1. event that woke me up. An employment situation a long time ago that God used to break my will (not my spirit). The situation was beyond horrific but I will never regret what came out of it. I finally got it! I was driven to the Word for the 1st time in my life and I was in my mid 40’s then. Better late than never.
    2. confirmation? – yes, teaching, teaching, teaching!
    3. I look like a student who stops studying long enough to teach what I have learned! I am so ALIVE when I am in teaching mode and I will teach anything – the Word, quilting, how to be trained by cats (mine OWN me lock stock & barrel), anything I have learned. I can’t NOT teach!
    Our small group just rocks and I love them so much – they have been so diligent this summer and I have learned so much from them. Thank you for this study!!

  29. 129
    Amanda says:

    Awakening – While sitting at a red light on my way to work one morning, I was excited that after years of struggling to pick a major in college because I had no clue as to what I wanted to do,I had finally figured it out. As I sat at the light I was saying out loud, “I’m so excited, I finally know what I’m going to do with my life.” I remember smiling and feeling so happy. The light turns green, I look left then right several times, pull off and look back to the left again. I see it as plain today as I type this as I did that day, the grill and bumper of an ’87 Buick smashing into my door. I said aloud, “God, save me he’s going to hit me.” I remember seeing the brightest light, feeling the most comforting, warm feeling of silence and peacefulness. I know that sounds weird, feeling silence, but I did. Then I heard the officer introduce himself and tell me that I had been in a wreck and that I was stuck pretty good and they’d have to use the jaws of life to get me out. I never heard the noise of the jaws of life.
    The other driver was drunk and ran the stop light. He was not injured. I was in the hospital about a week. On the third night, I said ‘ “Lord, I know you saved me for a reason my life is yours.” The injuries I received where not operable. I laid in bed and blinked for about a year until my body healed on it’s on. God said to me loud and clear through this recovery, “Be still and know that I am God. I have plans for you.” (There’s more to this story (prior to this, my parents on scene, and how God answers prayers you didn’t realize you’d made.)but I don’t want to overload the comment box)

    Received information on my calling – YES, I HAVE!! ( all in caps because I am so excited.)Not only information but written out word for word in this Bible study! I also received great insight and validation at the LPL Biloxi event. God is speaking to me so loudly and clearly. Thank you, Beth, for allowing God to use your gifts to share with and bless us. You have truly been a messenger from God straight to me. Blessings I pray for you, always.

  30. 130
    Julie says:

    Hi everyone! The J & J girls here. We are running a bit behind but we are still working through the study. Here is our input to this week’s discussion questions:

    1) During premature birth of youngest child. I spent alot of time in prayer which drew me closer to the Lord.

    2) Encouragement and giving with generosity.

    3) It would be perfect (which we are not), full time, full throttle, no holding back, no giving up, no quitting. (Why do we find this so hard to do?)

    Until next time, may God bless you in the studying of His word.

  31. 131
    Suzanne in RI says:

    #1
    Life altering event: 2006 – being diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. Praise God it is taken care of. But for a while, I wondered if I would even wake up from sleep. It really teaches you to count the day.

    #2
    I’ve just retired from 35 years teaching public school music. I know, sisters loved by God, that I’m called to teach.

    #3
    When I’m full of the Holy Spirit, am generous with my time and service. And of course, I teach :)

  32. 132
    Hannah says:

    I struggle with anxiety at times and when I am serving God in my calling to pray for others, I become less focused in my own needs and struggles. I also feel good in my spirit when I pray for others because I can often relate things that God has helped through. I feel touched by the Holy Spirit and my anxiety lessens greatly as I’m doing as I feel led by God.

  33. 133
    mary from jonesborough tn says:

    1. probably the event that most awakened me spiritually was when I was 19yrs old & had to leave Bible college to go home to take care of 7 younger siblings: I had to grow up fast & rely upon the Lord completely!

    2. yes
    3. to love the Lord w/all my heart, soul, mind and strength is to start off the day talking with Him and acknowledging Him & desiring to obey Him and checking in with Him all throughout the day. When I am filled the “holy fire” I am most like the Lord Jesus. I just love Him so much!

  34. 134
    Lacy says:

    1. The one event that shook me to my most awakened state, I believe, was when I had my first baby, having the emotions that came with this event, and needing to go back to work full time. It was a difficult time, as a result, between my husband and me because of the stress. I found the Lord’s breath of strength through it and His leading. His promises held me together. My most awakened state to the Lord came at a time when I needed to trust His plan and His sight the most.
    2. I really appreciated these lessons regarding calling. They allowed me to step back and watch to see where and how the Lord is leading. The insight I received to my calling was that it points more and more to teaching. It is strange because I feel so tongue tied sometimes, but from especially the aspect of other believers’ confirming words, it seems to point in this way. — I liked the verses brought up about doing good work around you and seeing where the Lord seems to energize you.
    3. When I am loving the Lord with all my heart, I do get excited about Him and love to share with others about the things I am learning about Him and what He is showing me.

  35. 135
    Connie says:

    1. I was shaken awaken the most during a recent relocation to a different state. I felt God moved us and everything fell into place except my husband has not been able to find a job. I have faith that God will provide a job for him, but this desert has been painful for our family.

    2. Regarding my calling, I do enjoy women’s ministry and the ability to teach and share my God given talents with other ladies. I also enjoy working with first graders and teaching them about our Lord Jesus Christ.

    3. When I’m loving God with all my heart I’m doing the work God wants me to do and so I can see a smile on His face and hear Him say Well done, good and faithful servant.

  36. 136
    Ginger Hawthorne says:

    Before I get to today’s response – in my last reply I spoke about the clouds and how they represent the hills and God to me. The next day, a great picture was posted on the Internet of a rain storm pouring from the clouds. A motorist driving down the Florida highway captured a parting of the storm just about the width span of the highway. It was an awesome picture and fit right into where I am with clouds! http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/outposts/post/motorist-captures-parting-storm. I hope it is still available if anyone is interested!
    The one event that shook me to my most awakened state, at least the most recent and positive one, was meeting my new husband with an easy spirit and lots of laughter. From the darkness of a divorce and failed engagement, I finally found the man who brought me into enjoyment of life! He is a blessing from God and for the first time I have a man to SHARE God with.
    The insight into my calling is one I’ve had before but still haven’t found the right avenue to put it forth – music. I love music, especially playing the piano and singing along. I’m just a few short years from retirement and hope to find a group of children somewhere who would enjoy having music in their lives on a regular basis . . . perhaps at the preschool at my church.
    When I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength I’m playing my piano, singing joyfully, unstressed and ready to take on the world!

  37. 137
    Denise says:

    The one event that shook me to my most awakened state was a complete falling out with my brother. After years of abuse and manipulation it was finally enough. A few months later I started my first bible study, Believing God. I did this study solo on my lunch hour, and the day I realized that God loved ME, died on the cross for Me, it brought me to my knees, tears pouring down. Then, He told me that His forgiveness was also for my brother, and that forgiving him wasn’t saying the abuse was ok, that was cleansing. From that point I began to heal. I sought to let go of the anger, gave it to God. Worked to heal my relationships in my own family. I have become hungry for God’s word.
    Ministry? I’m still seeking that. For now, I have started sharing my personal experiences of God with my children.
    When I love the Lord with all my heart and soul I am serving others, gentle and kind, praising Him in all I do and say.

  38. 138
    Delores O. says:

    Small group

    We are a 2 week session behind but still studying away.

    1. There have been several times when God has “woken me up” but i think the biggest one was when i finally found myself engaged (after struggling with my singleness for longer than i thought i should), i discovered that my fiance was a pathological liar. That was a devastating event for me as this person was not only in my workplace but he started coming to church with me so there wasn’t an area of my life that he had not touched. Through it all, i drew closer to God and experienced really KNOWING that He loved me that i had not realized/accepted before.

    2. I am still in a waiting pattern, wanting to hear from the Lord about my calling. Thankful for the lessons teaching that i do have a God-ordained calling that was determined ahead of tiime and not as an after-thought. I’m the one who coordinated and invited the ladies to participate with my in the small group this summer and they say that doing this kind of thing is my calling. I’m not totally sure i understand what specifically they mean. I need to follow up with them for more clarity.

    3. I am helping people with their needs-talking with them comfortably, thinking more about them than myself, showing them that they are loved and valued.

  39. 139
    Jonni says:

    My most awakened state started about 2 years ago. My oldest daughters turning away from God as a self-professed “secular humanist” was a slap in my face. Since then Ive been through a systematic array of emotions, from guilt, denial, doubt, and anger, all which caused me to question my faith and seek to discover why I believe what I believe. I know we should not be surprised by the various trials we face, but I never dreamed Id be persecuted by my own daughter for my faith. This searching has driven me closer to God than I could have ever imagined. Knowledge of the Holy One has increased my faith and reinforced to me that faith is not blind but strengthened by knowledge. My hope is in the faithfulness of my Lord and the promises He has made real to me. I stand amazed that I have learned to be joyful in the midst of this season and found reason to give thanks in all circumstances.

  40. 140

    1) In my first year of college as a sacred music major at a denominational university, I discovered that the denomination where I had grown up, been converted through the Scriptures, and responded to God’s call to ministry did not believe the Scriptures were true or that Jesus was the only way of salvation. That heartbreak cost me a dream, a straight path through college, a church family, and many, many tears, but it also plunged me into the Scriptures as never before, to learn the whole counsel of God’s Word so I could figure out who was telling me the truth and what I should do about it.

    A different, maybe lesser awakening has come about in the last 4 years battling chronic pain and serious crises in 2 different family relationships, the kind of crises that alter life as we know it forever. (Funny how both awakenings involved heartbreaking trials!)

    2) Second part first: when I love the Lord my God with every fiber of my being, I am most inclined to make music to Him (piano or singing) and to communicate His Word to others, person-to-person or in writing.

    Insight into my calling: I know it involves words. I love teaching, and was reminded just how much this month when I co-taught a Bible story room at my church’s VBS. Health problems greatly constrain my commitments and time, however, and I don’t know how to respond to that but to pray for now. And I can still use words and His Word to encourage people, even if I can’t take on a teaching commitment. (It’s tricky feeling called toward teaching, though, knowing that my own ego may well be driving that more than God’s will. Reviewing who has spoken confirmation into my life and toward what was a helpful exercise.)

  41. 141
    Kristi says:

    My group is a bit behind the blog group so I am posting behind everyone.
    Question 1. The thing that threw my world completely out of orbit was the diagnosis of cancer and quick death of my 36 yr. old husband. I was left alone to raise 4 little children. In 4 months I cried ‘uncle’ and cried out to God to help me. I would do whatever He asked. My friend gave me a bible and it rocked my world in a way I cannot explain. He was so real and so faithful from the first time I cracked open that bible. That was 20 yrs. ago and He has shown Himself ever more real and powerful and faithful. Recently I had been lulled in the area of prayer. In this study just a few weeks ago 2 women came to me and asked if we 3 could meet 1 time each week to pray. We have begun and God is working. He is so very faithful.
    Question 2 was about ministry. For a number of years I had gotten very busy and stopped teaching. I was caring for 2 elderly parents. That time is done now and I have begun opening my home again to bible study. What a blessing. What God has reinforced through the recent pages is to get ready to step out into the area of leading a study on post abortion healing. I worked through Surrendering the Secret last winter with 2 women and I am amazed at what God did with us. To Him be all the Glory.

  42. 142
    Kim says:

    1. My husband and I had been married for 16 years and were unable to have children. We had decided that we needed to minister to the students that my husband taught (he is a high school teacher) – those kids would be our “children”. Several attempts at adoption had fallen through, and we were hesitant to go down that road again. However, we received a phone call one night about a baby that was due in 6 weeks. In my soul, I knew beyond any doubt that this was MY baby. Many things would happen over that 6 week period that would cause anxiety and nervousness and doubt – a literal Lifetime movie’s worth. At the core of my being, I knew that no matter the ups and downs, twists and turns, this was my son. The faith journey during that 6 week period not only impacted my walk with the Lord, but also our family, friends and many in our church family. Our son is now 13 years old, and when I look at him I see the visible love of God.

    2. At this point in my life (“mid-life” as they say), I am in a very internally focused state. What is working in my life and what isn’t? How can whatever time I have left on this earth be the most impactful for Him? It’s too easy to get lulled by everyday life, and I’m refocusing on what life’s purpose is and really seeking God more intimately.

    3. Week 6 and mobilized ministry – let’s just say that God’s timing is simply amazing. Nevermind the fact that I’ve been a couple of weeks behind in the study, MY timing of Week 6 was right where it needed to be in my life. Praise God! I’m definitely in a season of change in terms of my calling. I’ve been in a particular ministry all of my life, but it seems that God is moving me into another area. The transition has not been easy. Letting go is very difficult. Beth’s words were all very timely – I am resolving to do some GOOD while God is still working in my heart. What do I look like when I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? I am worshiping Him through music, loving others with His love and living my faith.

  43. 143
    Melissa says:

    I’m a little bit behind in posting too but finishing up with week 8!

    1. My grandfather’s death 7 years ago really shook me awake. I had been a Christian for a long time but it was at his funeral that I came to the distinct realization that I wanted to have a love for God like he had and the characteristics of Christ that he possessed.
    2. I have been praying about my calling and I’m not really sure what the specifics are but I know that I am where I am supposed to be for this season and that he has called me to LOVE others. I have a LONGING (hello Biloxi LPL) to be able to be home more with my son (he’s 2 and so much fun) so I covet your prayers for God to open the door at my company for me to be able to work part time! Yet not my will but His be done.
    3. When I worship him in music, whether at church or in my car, I feel the closest to Him and feel a great love for Him and appreciation for His love. Many times it brings me to tears. When I am at home serving my family and taking care of my household, I feel the most sense of “this is what I was made to do.”

  44. 144
    Twila says:

    1. What shook me awake was when I almost lost my marriage 12 years ago. I had started Breaking Free a few months before but hadn’t finished it. I went back to it and it was like God has awakened me to his world. I had truly been sleepwalking as a christian.

    Ministry calling to be in bible study and to facilitate it at our church. I have learned that some of the other ministries that I thought I was supposed to do were just for me to help financially.

    When I am truly on fire for God and walking in the Holy Spirit I am telling people that’s it’s all about the personal relationship with God that ultimately matters. If we don’t have that it’s really hard to please him.

  45. 145
    Lindsey says:

    I am a few weeks behind in posting due to being on vacation and not having access to the internet. I am slowly getting caught up.

    1. A few events have shook me awake. The first being a continual struggle with feeling lonely and friendless. After graduating University my group of friends went in different directions due to work, etc. and I lost my sense of community. God constantly reminds me of His promises of never leaving me or forsaking me as well as His sacrificial love. The second event would be my struggle with sin in the sense of how I phrase things and the tone of voice I use when I’m upset or frustrated as this is damaging to relationships, especially with my husband. Knowing that the enemy is out to destroy marriages, I am very aware of needing to seek God’s help in his and diligently working or thinking before I speak and becoming more aware of my tone of voice.

    2. I have been having a hard time for the last year discerning how to use my gifting’s in ministry and how to use my time wisely as I am currently a supply teacher. I feel I am doing the things God has called me to do (ex: mentoring younger women, practicing gratefulness) but not feeling fulfilled or satisfied. And so I don’t know what I look like when I am loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I have been working on utilizing other resources to try and assist me in this, I’ve read Jennie Allen’s Restless novel and participated in her online book club, which was helpful in brainstorming my passions and gifts but not necessarily ways to use them. I found week six to be inspirational and encouraging that clarity will come and so I continue to pray for direction.

    3. What I would like most when filled with the Holy Spirit is to be bold in my faith, especially with my unsaved family. I find it hard a times to be diligent in praying for their salvation and sharing God’s truth with them when they are constantly hurting me as I just want to ignore them to keep my self from further hurt. I know that God has a plan for them and I am a part of that, but I need to lean more on God’s strength to reach them.

  46. 146
    Christen says:

    So I know I’m behind, but God saved week 6 for me especially for this week!!! It is just so special that week six for me fell on the week that as a teacher I am back at school preparing for my students to arrive next week. God is amazing isn’t he!!!

    I know that teaching is my calling and this week has just refreshed, encouraged, and inspired me. In the past I have tried to do the school year to much on my own. Holding 18 (now 22 as of yesterday) education in my hands can be very difficult because it is so important. I always want to make sure I’m doing everything just right, but this year I’m going to trust that God is going to handle this and equip me with everything I need. I have faith he is going allow me to see more clearly what these kids need and exactly how to reach them. I loved the statement that only you can do your calling. In the past I’ve always looked at other teachers and said I wished I was like them for this or that, but now I know God made me a certain way. I am going to be the best me I can be. Thanks Beth for the amazing study!!

  47. 147
    Kathleen says:

    1. Felt very awakened by God after my baby son Andrew died 4 hrs after he was born. It was the most painful experience of my life. Spent hours/days/months reading the Bible and crying out to God.

    2. I feel I am in a lull now as I’m in the season of mothering young children. I feel like I go through the motions and am looking for small worldly comforts to get me through each day.

    3. The week of ministry spoke directly to me. I’ve been co-leading a Bible study and was praying about continuing because I’m starting a part-time job. God spoke directly and confirmed that it is my calling and my desire. I love studying the Word and sharing that with others. I know now that He wants me to continue and He will give me the grace to be able to get everything done.

  48. 148
    Vivian says:

    1. I was 28 and had gone through some tough years wearing a scarlet “D”. I worked for a Christian organization and had contact with ministers. I had a sweet experience in church while listening to a piano offertory. I silently breathed a desire to my Father to play for Him like that. The very next day after sharing this experience with a friend she had left my office but returned almost immediately. As she had entered the main foyer there was a pastor asking if anyone knew someone who could play the piano for a small church! I went and talked with him and my Father God gave me this place of service and used my desire to play for Him! I was so overwhelmed that He would work that way in my life! This place of service came with the best Bible teaching I’d had in a long while. I finally began to grow and mature as a Christian. I truly was awakened to what my walk as a believer could be like. It was a pivotal time in my life. I will never forget the great joy and overwhelming love I received from Him in that moment I knew He really did know and love me!

    2, My calling includes great opportunities to be an encourager and share the Gospel through books and music and other Christian literature. Also a card/letter writing ministry blesses me with opportunities to represent my Lord. I no longer play as pianist for the small church, but I have been asked to play for a small gathering each week and the hymns of our faith that are played and sung have blessed me and others have shared it means a lot to hear the “old” songs. I am waiting and hoping to one day do something like this for a nursing home group.

    3. Looking like I love the Lord with all of my heart, soul…. Being a part of missions! I get excited about the work our missionaries do. I pray for them and read their stories. I would look better if I shared more; became more bold, so I seek to grow in this area. Also studying His Words! How dear they are to me! I want to know them more!

  49. 149
    JoJo Sutis says:

    Beth….I just have to say that by far Week 6 has been the most powerful week of this study for me personally. Day 5 I completed the lesson at the park while my son played a few feet away from me and I just wept over this powerful lesson. You see, God is calling me to a new chapter in my life, literally- writing! I’ve just submitted a manuscript to Harlequin for their Christian line and it’s looking like God may be opening the door for publication! This is such an exciting/scary time in my life. Week 6 helped me see so many things in this journey and I just LOVED it….exactly what I needed at this point. Galatians 3:3! WOW! I so needed that! Thank you! I just want to say Thank you!

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