Summer Bible Study Gathering IV

Hey, You Darlin’ Things! It’s that time again: our Tuesday for Siesta Summer Bible Study and this is Gathering #4! Please take a few minutes to watch my greeting to you via another very professional, highly technical taping (I know LifeWay must be getting nervous). There is much more on the video than what I’m writing here but, as we’ve done before, I just want to make sure you have your discussion questions in print. Please also note that we have yet another contest. You’ll find out far more about it on the video greeting but I thought it might help to have the eligibility requirements here. You’ll find them at the bottom of this post. The prizes are things you simply do not want to miss. Hint: they may be things you cannot live without…but I can.

I love you guys like crazy and I love loving Jesus with you. Hang in there, stay in the Word, and let’s finish strong!!! Here goes:

Three Discussion Questions:

From Week Five:
1. Take a look at the bottom of p.103, starting with the question, “What word in Numbers 11:4 (NIV) is used to describe their desire for meat?” Discuss a number of specific ways craving something is different from wanting it. While you’re at it, continue a discussion Melissa and I started on a walk a few nights ago. We were talking about how you can tell you’re getting out of control with something when you start trying to be secretive about it. What do you think?

2. Take a look at the top of p.108 under “Personal Reflection.” I loved this line of discussion starting with this question: “Have you ever tasted or brought back fruit from a future promise that had not been fully realized?” Discuss that whole first paragraph.

From Week Six:
3. Turn to p.125 and reread (one of you aloud to the group) the excerpt Kelly included by Charles Spurgeon. What are a few things we often try to do rather than refer our doubts straight to God? Then, read John 2:1-5 and note how Mary approached the pressing problem. As you conclude today’s gathering, have a brief time of prayer, letting those that feel comfortable praying out loud simply state their need or problem to God in one statement, something like this: “Lord, there is no more _____________________.” Or, “Lord, I am ____________________________.” Then simply tell Him that you’re trusting Him to do something about it. Try to resist fretting over it this week but keep watching for Him to turn some water into wine.

I pray for Christ to show up in such a profound Presence in your gathering this week that nobody can miss Him!

NOW, about that contest:

THE INCOMPARABLE PRIZES: In keeping with our kitchen theme (please see video), the prize will be a compilation of several kitchen gadgets or serving dishes out of my own kitchen that I have never used, several of which are still in the box. Can you resist these kinds of prizes? I don’t think so.

ELIGIBILITY:
*A group of five or more Siestas who meet face-to-face on our Tuesdays. (We LOVE our groups meeting on-line and totally dig our solo siestas but I needed a way to narrow down the contest.)

*Perfect attendance at all four gatherings. In other words, every woman who met the first time in your group has come for all four gatherings. Way to go!

HOW TO WIN: Be the first group to sign in AFTER your gathering to say that you’ve had perfect attendance. Please identify your group to us (city/location) then watch for us to confirm the winning group in the COMMENT section. We’ll also tell you how to contact us with an address to receive your prizes. Please make sure you tell us how many are in your group because I will GLADLY send something out of my kitchen for each of you. The times on the comments are recorded so the first one will automatically win.

Whew! This contest is so great that I wish I could enter it myself! But I’m afraid I’d have to win it all back.

P.S. Thank you for remembering that your comments are meant to follow your gatherings! You’re the best!

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140 Responses to “Summer Bible Study Gathering IV”

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Comments:

  1. 101
    Anonymous says:

    Going solo-
    Q #3
    We’ve had a situation with our 5 1/2 yr old daughter (who is a believer), and as parents, we don’t know what to do beyond what we have already done to combat this sin (amazing how we were experts about 6 years ago). As we discussed the situation, we knew that we could continue being consistent with the current discipline, but ultimately, the Spirit is going to have to convict. How refreshing to know He can take over that aspect of parenting (and do it perfectly!)!

    T.G.

  2. 102
    Becky says:

    My group of emailers is so enjoying the study. Most of us are within 3 miles of each other and one is in Germany. I am learning things about my best friends I never knew before! Heather in WI we are in Waukesha if you want to join in. Beth love your helpful hints too and you!

  3. 103
    Leigh says:

    We had the most awesome time with each other and the Lord last night during our small group time.

    Our discussion on secrets prompted a few women to reveal some that they have recently overcome through the Lord’s help. It was so cool!

    We wrapped up the whole eveing with a powerful time of prayer.

  4. 104
    Lisa says:

    We did meet on Tuesday here in St. George, Maine. Jackie and Sue went to Lisa’s house for hash brown casserole and chocolate cake (albiet “diet” versions). We were able to finish our study in a record 1 hour, 50 minutes! We really missed Cathy today, who was busy with work.

  5. 105
    sabrina says:

    susan in savanna-

    please email me at sabrinaogreen@hotmail.com
    i have had throid cancer this year and i would like to know what kind of cancer this poor girl has. thanks!
    sabrina in kentucky

  6. 106
    Missy says:

    Hey Beth and all my Siestas!

    Wow! I feel a little bit unable to fully express what this study has meant to me. Our group consists of my mom, several of my mom’s closest friends, one of their daughter’s who is about my age, and me. The age range has been so fulfilling for me because these women can pour into me the wisdom of God’s truth that they have acquired over the years. Every single time our group has met, there has been one recurring sentiment. At one time or another, each lady has said something along these lines: “This study is exactly what I need RIGHT NOW in my walk with the Lord.” Isn’t it great to have God who speaks to us where we are and not where we should be or where we have been? Here we are, 6 women, all going through totally different struggles, and yet, the Word of the LORD is TRUE for all of us – in every circumstance. I know my thousands of siestas feel the same way, too!

    As for me personally, this study has been a refuge in the storm during a season of sifting. Beth, several years ago I did When Godly People Do Ungodly Things with some women from my church. At that time, God used it to rock my world. I was in a season of defeat, enslaved to the demands of perfectionism and the pursuit of control. God used the study to start the process of healing. It was not until this year that I really began walking in consistent victory – a major triumph of God b/c I just finished my first year of law school. As you well know, our highest highs with the Lord are often followed by our lowest lows – and that is where I have found myself this summer. For several weeks, I have felt such despair. When I read the Word, I felt completely overwhelmed. Unlike some seasons of spiritual trial I have experienced, I didn’t feel dry or distant from God. I felt more like I was drowning. I felt condemned by the Word. (That alone is a lie from the pit of hell because we know there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.)

    Finally, on Tuesday night, during our prayer time, as we were discussing what had “run out” in our lives, I tearfully expressed my sense of inadequacy and oppression. One my mom’s sweet friends (who is also like a second mom to me) wisely said, “Missy, I sense that Satan is attacking your joy.” Immediately, it was like light and truth flooded my soul. All I could think about was Jesus’s words: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.” I don’t know exactly what God is preparing me for, or even what precisely needs sifting (I’m sure there is so much). But, to know that Satan had to get God’s permission before laying a hand on me is all the reassurance I need. I am clinging to the same promise that Jesus gave Peter, that He would pray for me that my faith may not fail.

    My prayer is that all the “other gods” would slip through the cracks of Satan’s sieve and that I would be left in the end with my Jesus and nothing else.

    “In all the world, there is none but Thee, my God there is none but Thee.” – Oswald Chambers

    I love you all, and I am counting down the minutes until the Simulcast tomorrow (where I’ll be tuning in from South Carolina). Sorry this was so long!

  7. 107
    Ashton says:

    Question 1:
    Not only is it secretive but it is like filling a black hole that never is satisfied with just one taste. For me it is a craving that continues to screem and demand to be filled but it never, never gets filled and finished. Maybe it’s like being insane. Keep doing the same thing over and over expecting to be filled but not, so repeat. Secretive is interesting to me because it makes me think when I am secretive I’m in a priviledged place. But that priviledge place is not the truth it is a lie but it “feels” like that in a sense, Make sense?

    Question 2:
    A sense of joy unspeakable and unimaginable. The faith was in that promise I was stirred up to believe. And yet the struggle of the darkness and familiar was pulling on me as well.

    Question 3:
    Oh yea…worry, bring God down to my level forget He even cares and that He really and truly wants to help me. That is the struggle of doubt for me.
    Certainly need my water into wine….”Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not into mine own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct my path.”

  8. 108
    Jenn says:

    This is your siesta who lives and works for God in Nepal. I was soo thrilled that I was mentioned on the video.. now all my siestas know how to pray for my hair.. and now I can say I have been quoted by Beth Moore!! 🙂 My twin sister who also reads this blog was the one to tell me. I had trouble getting the video to load so I had not watched it this week! glory– thanks for thinking of me guys (and especially Beth). I love serving God here in nepal (on year anniversary of being here is next week!) one thing I have learned here is about cravings.. I crave many things from home.. and then it’s so easy to make those things become idols.. cravings from evertying from really wanting a good beef burger (it’s illegal to eat beef in nepal) to a hot shower, to seeing the faces of my family– those cravings can very quickly become idols. People worship Hindu idols all around me in Nepal.. serving dead gods. I serve the living God so would I worship the idols of cravings. Just a thought! one God daily works on me on! What a faithful God we serve! Thanks for letting me apart of this community! It does this 26 year old m*ss*onary good!

  9. 109
    Sheryl says:

    Checking in from the “Siestas for Him” forum. We are having a great time studying God’s Word together. I will just briefly share some things that we have learned.

    Craving is an obsession. You can’t get away from it, it consumes you. Yet when you get it, you are never satisfied.

    Many women have seen the fruit of a future promise. Whether it’s future restoration of a marriage, seeing lives changed by a ministry they are headed into, the promise of heaven and the blesings it holds, or knowing God will complete the good work He began in a child.

    Lives are being changed forever because of this study and the bonds being formed amongst this group of “solos”. Because of the lives of the women being changed, generations will be forever changed as well.

    When we complete No Other Gods, we plan to continue and do another study together. If you would like to join us the address is:
    http://forums.delphiforums.com/siestas/start

    We would love to have anyone join who is interested.

    With love and gratitude from the Siestas for Him.

  10. 110
    Jeanna says:

    I am a solo, and am not exactly sure if this pertains to the questions this week. God has revealed something to me that is so profound I just had to share it somewhere.

    In conjunction with the NOG study I am also doing the Living Beyond Yourself study online. In one of the homework sessions Beth had us read from Isaiah 12. The Word God gave to me was from verse 2 “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song: he has become my salvation.”
    As far back as I can remember I have put my trust in people (people that one “should” be able to trust)and have always been let down. I used person after person and situation after situation as my idols, the objects of my trust. Of course everybody lets you down, and ultimately you become afraid of trusting. Because of years of living in this endless cycle, I didn’t realize I could “trust” God.
    SURELY GOD IS MY SALVATION AND I WILL TRUST HIM AND NOT BE AFRAID. I can now release the people and objects that I have expected to be perfect, and put God in the place He deserves to be.
    So ladies today I sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things. Isaiah 12

    Thanks so much for letting me share. To Beth I just thank you so much for what God has done through you. I thank God for you and pray for all the ladies that share their laughs, tears and struggles.

    Jeanna

  11. 111
    Anonymous says:

    We had to meet a little late this week (Thursday) but still really enjoyed our “Siesta” time today. It was fun hearing about the fruits God has planted in each of our lives, and how we have seen them flourish.

    We have all kept up with the study and are bonding well. We are determined to stay out of the “Pit” this Summer!

    -Mommies in Panama City, Florida

  12. 112
    Melanie says:

    This has been a good couple of weeks of study. Even though there have been times of frustration throughout the study for me over not knowing how to answer a particular question or even to correctly identify my idol, I’m seeing as we near the end of this study that God is truly revealing things to me.

    What spoke to me the most this past week was the list of Psalms. The one that stood out was Psalm 42 relating to Longing for Intimacy with God.

    It starts out “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” After I stopped singing “As the deer”, I read it over a couple of more times. What struck me at first was how much the writer of this Psalm desired time with God and I wished I was like that and I wondered how one gets to that point of true longing for God. Then I started to think, what if it’s not just about how the writer felt? What if what he said is fact? What if it’s a fact that my soul thirsts and pants for God and I never realized it and all these years I’ve been filling it instead with earthly relationships? That idea had never occured to me before and I sat there relatively stunned.

    I believe God is teaching and wanting me to put Him back in His rightful place in my heart – first and foremost.

    Praise His Name.
    Melanie

  13. 113
    Anonymous says:

    I love this study. It was perfect for me since I completed the Daniel study last fall.

    Have you ever noticed how the enemy hides our idols so perfectly well. We walk around wondering why things do not seem quite right, then we do a study and we dig a into the Word and we start to realize what the problem is. However, all the while the enemy keeps lying to us saying… that isn’t one..no that couldn’t be.

    I still do not know all of my idols but I am at least praying for God to reveal them to me.

    Thank you LPM for your love and gracious service.

    I am a changed girl because of the studies God has given you.

    I love you all so much. (tears of course are now in my eyes)

    Amy

  14. 114
    Mary Watkins says:

    Beth,
    Thank you for reading Heather’s post on forgiveness. Her words spoke to my heart. “Pain is not the same as unforgiveness.”

    I have been believing the enemy for too long.

    Congrats on finishing Esther.
    Blessings!
    🙂

  15. 115
    Mary says:

    while I did the study the other night solo, I am just now reading some of the comments. One comment that you made Beth about people dropping out encouraged me to comment. While I have been doing my homework and the answering the questions you ask I haven’t responded on the blog. I am also the person in class that tends to not speak up. I realize that means you don’t know that I and hopefully many others are still going strong. I love Bible study. I learn something every time I dig into the Word even when (maybe especially when) the point being made is personally painful. I am growing and being refined. I need to be in Bible study day in, day out so I have really loved this approach to it as no matter where I am physically located I can participate. So thank you so much for doing this. I hope it isn’t the last of this type of Bible Study. Thank you.

  16. 116
    Anonymous says:

    Hi there,
    This was not one of the questions, which are all soo good and have really made me stop and think, and I have so enjoyed all the comments. But on page 117 when Kelly said, “List in the margin the things you are afraid of giving over to the Lord,” I had listed that “My LACK in so many areas, as a parent, a friend, a sister might cause problems for my loved ones……….”
    After writing that and as I read on she said, “I hope the fact that God is referred to as Jehovah-Jireh–“The Lord Will Provide” brings you a certain amount of relief. Provision is part of His nature.” God really gave me a visual there, my lack/HIS PROVISION. He is so Wonderful.

    I think that when I go to Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast, that is a taste of the future promise of Heaven, I love it there!!

    I loved the Spurgeon quote and am watching trustfully for the wine ths week, too.

    Thanks so much for this study. You are too fun.
    karen 🙂 🙂

  17. 117
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for offering this Bible study this summer. It has made me aware of the “gods” that I have set up in both my personal and professional life. My answer is a combination of all three questions:
    * I learned that I “want” (not need) everything on my OWN timeline.
    * I learned how I justify my actions…I can do “this” because “this” happened to me.
    Father God, Help me to let go of the “I”. Help me to remember that “YOU” truly provide all that “I need”. Amen

  18. 118
    Michelle Bentham says:

    Hey Beth,

    I’m reading chapters of the book of Isaiah – I don’t read in any particular order, but I read them according to where the Lord leads me each day – yesterday I read Isaiah 44 and was blown away by the truth of God’s Word…

    Idols are the subject of the early verses and I pulled so much from them. Like confirmation of how Kelly says that idols can be good things that we go wrong with. In Isaiah 44 the point is made that idols can be precious (or good) things but they are precious without profit. They bring us shame –

    Idols provide temporary comfort but no lasting benefit. (Verses 15-16). Idols cannot deliver my soul because idols are based on a lie.

    Then Isaiah makes a transition. I read verses 21-23 substituting my husband’s name for “Jacob” and “the house of Bentham” for “Israel.” I wrote in the margin: If we see ourselves as God sees us, as something all of creation praises God for – we begin to live like we are his treasured possession before we are even saved. A possession He would pay the highest price for.

    Then in the ending verses 24-28… I noticed how God declares His works. I wrote in the margin: God’s work of creation is His complete work. It is His pleasure to lay the foundation and build what He ordains.

    The question becomes: What foundational calling has He laid in my life and what is in the way of Him building on that foundation?

    Last night I was talking to my friend in Tennessee (She is a new Siesta Friend) we met through this here internet trying to find roomies for the hotel. We have seen God be huge in the provision of our hotel room.

    We each had reservations for the Siesta Fest weekend, but space available in our room. She had a Thursday – Sunday reservation and I had a Friday – Sunday Reservation but my rate was about $40 cheaper.

    We later learned we were in hotels with similar names but they were not the same hotel. Our entire group (Four strangers: One from the North, one from the East, One from the South and I from the western most point on the map of our travel) who had been coming in on Friday were now coming in on Thursday and we needed that extra night. We tried to combine reservations and found out we were in different hotels.

    I called two days ago to see if I could extend my reservation to Thursday, something I had done a week earlier and was told there were no rooms available.

    Well on Wednesday I got the Thursday reservation – and the price went up $20 because we had 4 people in the room. I was so excited… I set about letting everyone know and realized I did not get the total amount for the room so we could divide it up. I called back. The agent and I got into a discussion about the number of people in our room. He told me my reservation was for 2 people and if we had 4 people it would be $219/night. That was some $60 over the original price and $40 over the price I had just been quoted over the phone a few minutes before. With tax it took us from around $150 per person for the weekend to nearly $200. We were a bit overwhelmed. I called my (new) Tennessee Siesta friend to tell her the situation.

    I said that if we were to get the cheaper rate it would be for 2 people not 4 and we would have to lie to get the rate for four people. We rationalized a bit about what the hotel told me when I didn’t know who my roommates would be, and about how everyone else was doing something similar – but WE KNEW the facts.

    So, we prayed – no we confessed our errant thoughts and our Flesh rationale behavior and asked God to give us what He wanted us to have and provide the way there.

    We agreed that if the price was $219 it was still a good deal for three nights in a hotel at near $200 each and we would just do the right thing come what may.

    I got ready to send out the email and realized the total price I had was for a two person reservation. I got up to call and correct the information. The new agent – Gilbert – said, “There is a flat room rate on Thursday at $179.00 and that is for 1-4 people. For the conference, the price is $179 double occupancy and that is for 2-4 people in the room. He gave me the same price with tax as I had gotten the call before and said, “I can guarantee you that you will not pay more than $179/night.”

    I had a relief, praise moment. Our Tennessee Siesta had also learned that Marriott has a special summer rewards program that she qualified for when working with her reservation (how she found this out is completely her praise story and illogically God moment so I will let her tell it) and since she is the first one arriving on Thursday evening – we changed the reservation to her name. When she called back we got an additional $25 off the entire bill. Now, get ready because this is the praise the Lord part: Our room rate is $150(+ change) per person again. God is sooo Good and this rate is actually cheaper than our original plan!

    We knew that we would have had all sorts of trouble if we would have “decided” to take the room at the “cheaper” rate by stating (deceptively) that we had 2 instead of 4 people. We just are glorying in the fact that God is concerned with the tiniest details of our trip – including the negotiations of a price for a room! God is gloriously good – is He not.

    Now, I must translate this little lesson to the rest of my life. Thank goodness He is patient, because it has taken me 38 years to get this far… :o)

  19. 119
    GinnyLou says:

    Hi Ms. Beth!
    We had a great time late Tuesday night with our group. The members change a little every week, but we welcome the variety of input! Thanks for the providing the opportunity for growth and fellowship! 3 of our ladies will be joining the simulcast at Tyner United Methodist in Chattanooga (we’ll make sure we have our oven mitts at the ready!). Our prayers are with you!
    Ginny, Becky, Lacey, Mary Beth, and Martha

  20. 120
    kayet says:

    Three of our group met Tuesday night and six of us will meet next Tuesday night due to conflicts in summer schedules.

    Q3 has really been on my mind since Tuesday night. I was fretting today about a issue that WILL NOT go away and God seemed to say — you need to have a “Mary Moment”. So, I simply described the problem to Him and now like Mary will leave it with Him to solve as He sees fit.
    Thanks for having us read John 2:1-5. Oh that my faith would be as Mary’s on that occasion.

  21. 121
    Anonymous says:

    I am an avid reader of the LPM blog. I post sometimes. Taken several of Beth Moore's Bible Studies since fall of 2002. I reread your "STOP IT" post tonight. Beth Moore's 2 Minute a Quick Word spoke volumes to me when she said, "I am a better person HEALED than I would have been WHOLE!" Beth's Words are one of the reasons why I wanted to type the answer to question #3 out in print. I thought if I could see it then I could finally take ownership for the stronghold that these things have had in my life and my relationship with God.

    Question #3:
    Lord, There is no more bitterness over the strongholds in my life this past decade: job loss after 5 years (budget cuts/choices- I had no control over) & parents' divorce/one parent's remarriage-(their only child, after 30+ year marriage, were active in my hometown church). Father God, YOU know my heart on this and I turn to YOU in all things. Amen

  22. 122
    April says:

    Sorry this is late. We had VBS at our church this past week so we met Thursday night. I was concerned we would all be too tired but WOW what a night we had. God was present as we shared are fears and other gods. We stood and hugged as we said are one-line prayers. We needed it so badly. We love Jesus and we love The Word and are so thankful for all you do, Beth, and the whole Living Proof team.

    We have 7 in our group but we haven’t had 100% attendance each week.

    Can’t wait to hear about this weekend!

  23. 123
    tami in la says:

    Solo here.
    Thoroghly enjoyed week 6, especially the “cheesy” guitar analogy. How many treasures are already mine, through Christ, yet are undiscovered because I’m afraid to trust Him? or because of my perfectionism?

    This gives me much food for thought.

    …and i will never look at my oven mitt the same! I’ve chuckled a few times as I’ve been laboring over a hot oven with my oven mitt in hand.

  24. 124
    Nichole's mom says:

    First of all I want to say thank you to all those who prayed for my son. God stepped in. He will be ok, but he is at a crossroads – please pray he hears God calling him.

    Next I want to say I know why southern women have big hair… It’s the water. When I was in Nashville and then in Kentucky my hair was HUGE! Boy did that add some joy to a tough situation. I would look at myself and think about all the hair blogs and laugh and laugh! I love you guys.

    #1. Crave… A craving takes over your thoughts and sometimes your life. Thats probably why they make so many jokes about pregnant women and cravings or how dangerous a PMS/chocolate driven craving is! As for being secretive – that could lead to so many other sins, like lying to hide what your doing. It’s all down hill from there (spoken by a former bottom dweller).

    #2. A glimpse of fruit… Yes! and it’s so exciting. Obedience is a reward in itself, but when God gives you a glimpse of whats to come it leaves me speechless. He does’nt have to do that. He could just say “Cause I said so thats why”! But I’m seeing such fruit in my ministry and in the lives of the people I serve with. It gives me goose bumps.

    #3. Lord I am not able to help Brandon with the situation he is in. You know what is going on. I’m trusting you to heal him, but to save him first! Make him yours Father. I love you so much.

    Judy

  25. 125
    Nichole's mom says:

    I just remembered something, sorry! To the mom with the three year old and potty training trouble… I agree with the other siesta. When My oldest daughter was 2 and a half I was at my wits end with potty training and so one day when she walked up to me and asked for her diaper changed I simply said no. I told her she would have to clean it herself… Of course she was hard headed and figured out immediatley what I was up to so she decided to wait it out. It got later and later, and smellier and smellier… I didn’t know how much longer I could stand it, but finally she had had enough and went into the bathroom and started cleaning herself up. She had a little rash, but we fixed that up and I’m pleased to say she was done with diapers from that day on! She’s 19 now and I love telling that story!

  26. 126
    linnievilla says:

    This has been such an awesome time of discovery for our group. To think I almost went solo, But God…had other plans. I know God would have done a work in me either way, but the women I am doing the study with are amazing.
    Our group went from 4 ladies, to 5, and now to 6!! Praise God! i had planned an activity for us to release balloons representing 1.)our fears and 2.) our dreams. When I went to buy the balloons instead of 10 I bought 12 thinking we would have extra if necessary. But God knew that He would be sending another one of His precioous daughters to join us this week. We had exactly enough balloons for her.
    This group is growing by leaps and bounds and it is awesome to witness. It doesn’t come without pain but the fruit is soul satisfying.
    Once we finish with “No Other Gods” we will be diving in to “Believing God”. I know that God holds beautiful personal revelation of Himself for each of us, and it excites me to no end.
    Thank you Beth for suggesting this study. It’s proved to be more than I imagined.

  27. 127
    BecKiev says:

    The kitchen stuff works from men too, you know. We have a garage full of screwdrivers…but what man wants to walk all the way to the garage, when he can grab a handy butter knife right out of the kitchen drawer?!

    I even tried to put a couple of screwdrivers in our china cabinet drawer (seriously), but my husband stills goes for the butter knives!

    I was a missionary in Kiev, Ukraine for over 8 years and TRUST ME, you DO NOT heat up that oven when it’s over 90 degrees with no air conditioning!!!! Of course, in the winter, the oven is used as a heater…just manually light the pilot light to the oven and leave the door cracked a bit to let out heat. Not real safe, but who cares about safety when it’s so cold inside that icicles are forming on the INSIDE of the windows of your flat?! Lot of uses for things, you just have to be creative (or to be without; which was usually the case in Ukraine!)

    Becky

  28. 128
    pinkboots says:

    Sorry, late Seistas again! These questions are amazing for my mom and sister and I to stay close even though living so far apart. We’ve learned how protective we are of each other when having to read each other’s answers about our hurts and challenges. Our answers were all very long, but here’s the short version 🙂

    Cravings: Wanting something doesn’t necessarily mean taking steps to obtain it; craving means spending a lot of time thinking about it (preoccupation) and plotting how to get it. All reason goes out the window. A craving is something you have to have no matter what, disregarding the cost or consequences. A craving is something you can’t be happy without and are miserable until you have it…but then you don’t find happiness.

    Secrets: Yes, definitely, you don’t want to be challenged or talked out of it. You cant keep a secret from God, before long he will let you see who you are and then you will want to give it up.

    Fruit from a future promise: each of ours had to do with salvation with others and family members. We’ve all seen seeds we’ve planted in others and also seeds in children that began to do their own Bible study time. When one child made a reference, “He told me…” it was an amazing discovery of fruit for the future relationship that child was developing with God.

  29. 129
    Shelly says:

    We just had our fourth gathering last night. What a sweet time of fellowship! Our group is really jelling together. We don’t qualify for the contest, but we do have 14 consistently coming and 8 with perfect attendance!

    Personally, I loved the last question. I really need to practice that. It reminded me of a lady I once heard speak who was having challenges with a teenage son. She would pass by his room and pray, “God, You have a problem in there.”

  30. 130
    Lora says:

    1. As we discussed craving, my dear fifteen year old gave a great definition – “insistant on getting it”. I could connect her definition with getting out of control when you start being secretive about something. Having coped with my past hurts by spreading peanut butter on them, I guess this is where putting a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the oven to hide them from my dear family would fit. And then forgetting they were in the oven when I turned it on to make dinner. God obviously provided a way of escape for me(I Cor 10:13); but *secretive sin* was a mess for me to clean up! And the smell was not pleasant either.

    2. Once again the oldest teen added that it was an issue of trust and faith. Which she is dealing with in regards to a book the Lord told her to write. She has now finished it and is working with a dear person, the Lord allowed our paths to cross with, who has much expertise in this area. However, she’s 15, and feels like she is blazing a new trail, and did I say she’s 15? And I’m no help in this area to her because, well, believe me, I have never written a book before. But I keep telling her “Anything the Lord lays on your heart to do, Baby Girl, He will accomplish.” Amen. He will. So it is an issue of trust and faith. Increase trust and faith in our lives Lord.

    3. OK, obviously tonight was the oldest teens night to talk. Well I guess because that is how teens seemed to be wired, some weeks they talk a lot and then others they are more introspective. Tonight was a talking night. And she had a lot on her dear heart. After reading Spurgeon’s words, she responded that God would give her the “how to answer e-mails from certain people that are confusing” regarding her book. We prayed again about her concern using the simple prayer format given. Almost 24 hours later, the Lord gave her directions for her response! Praise His Name! He is still in the business of doing miracles today! And I just love experiencing them with my children.

    Thank you for hosting this study!

  31. 131
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    Well, we were supposed to meet tonight. In case you couldn’t tell I am having a horrible time and my house was not clean and I had no food ready. I was not caring and figured the ladies would just have to see me the way I actually am, a slob. But then Damara called and was leaving town, so she couldn’t come, so I called Mendi, who was already in town at that point and asked if we could cancel. I told her if she wanted to meet I was fine with that even though my house is a mess and I had no food to offer her. A terrible thing for a Christian woman to say. Is it possible to have fellowship without food? I used to think it was a southern Baptist, but since going to churches of other denominations occasionally since then, I’ve found they all have the same practices. It was one of my first lessons once I became a Christian. If you leave hungry you did not have Christian fellowship. I don’t care how wonderful it was. It just wasn’t Christian. And I’m kidding, of course. (I think?) Anyway, she said she was at the point that she could either go home with her husband or send him on his way and come on over to my house and it wouldn’t matter either way. She forced me to make a decision, so we cancelled. I told her we have to close it up next week, cause I can’t do it after next week, so we’re going to discuss 4 weeks next week. It’ll be crazy. And we may be still going at midnight but we’re finishing next week. i have to focus on getting everyone ready for school after that. i don’t want to go past that. There’s no way my house will ever be clean after that until I get these children out the door for a few hours, so i can clean without them following along behind messing everything up I just did. Anyway, this was a loooooong post so I’ll shut up.

  32. 132
    Chris says:

    “BEING COOL IN CALIFORNIA”

    Dear Beth and Siestas,

    Chris, here, going solo in L.A.

    Do you ever have the feeling that Jesus is just BRILLIANT? When you see how He answers a particular prayer, and you think, I could never have thought to ask for that, because it’s just…brilliant! Beyond the capacity of my blonde brain. Only God. This is how I feel about how He orchestrated Beth to choose THIS study, THIS summer to do with all of you. In fact, as a blessing to all of us, but with an extra special message to me, He wove in the spotlight on “Cool, California”. As a tribute to our talented and now famous Siestas just north of me, I entitled this post, “Being Cool in California”. You’ll see…it fits.

    The very week we were all starting Session 1 of No Other Gods, my husband and I and our children moved to L.A., where, from a friendship/community standpoint, we are all starting over. At a luncheon before we moved, one friend said, “You’ll make friends fast,” then added, “And don’t worry if all the moms in L.A. have perfect bodies.” Don’t worry? It’s part of our DNA to worry about that! This comment and L.A.’s reputation for being an image-conscious culture were front and center in my mind as explored our new community. Wherever we went–to Starbucks, the post office, the park, the grocery store–everyone looked more beautiful, more fashionable, more fit than me. The nicest and most gracious moms reached out to me (and have continued to), but through MY DISTORTED LENS, all I could see is that they were more interesting, talented, darling, and competent than me. Speaking of lies (Session 3), here’s what I heard: “You’re not thin enough,” “Your clothes are all wrong,” “You’re not interesting,” “They all have enough friends already,” and the prevailing thought, “You have nothing to offer.”

    My head was spinning. I kept thinking of all the changes I would need to make to fit in, be accepted, “be chosen”. And quickly, I became overwhelmed because these changes were impossible. I could feel hopelessness setting in. Then I dove into No Other Gods. I had no idea what “confronting our modern-day idols” meant or how it could be relevant to me. My motivation for the study was to not be left out this summer with you Siestas, in my overall search to feel included somewhere. Little did I know, this study was an act of love straight from Our Savior to me! He was meeting me right where I was, in this lonely and unsettling place, to give me His hand and (drum roll please)… HIS VALIDATION.

    In Session 1, I quickly and decisively identified my “pharaoh”: insecurity. What holds power over me? Insecurity. What takes me away from the wellspring of life God can give me? Insecurity. This pharaoh has had a life long dance with me, but was in its finest hour after this move to a new city. Still, in God’s perfect timing, one week after moving and having my identity completely pulled out from under me, He said loud and clear through our study, “I already chose you. Your identity is in me.” (p. 37-38). In a frenzy, I was trying to be cool in California, and He said, “Be still. You already belong.” See what I mean? He’s brilliant! He swooped in with His perfect word, His perfect plan, at the perfect time.

    I’ll be honest, many times this summer, I’ve struggled with those lies. When everything and everyone is new, you are constantly building a framework about where you fit. The lies naturally creep in. But, through this study, I am constantly reminded of what is true and what isn’t, and I can more easily turn to Jesus for validation. It’s funny, because as soon as I do this and feel His love, I relax, which, in turn, makes it easier to connect with new people. How cool is that? Through God’s graciousness, Kelly’s amazing study, Beth’s delightful leadership, and the insights and support of you, Siestas, I have been given an amazing gift: I actually feel cool in California, in God’s eyes. And that’s more than enough for me.

    Thanks for a great study and summer, Siestas. I look forward to meeting some of you in San Antonio later this month!

    xo Chris

  33. 133
    Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to the conclusion of this Bible study on Tuesday. I have taken so much away from this Bible study to be able to apply in my life. I have discovered so much about myself and how I apply God's Word in my life. I have learned that the false "gods" I have set up in my life are to fill the void of the losses in my life that I experienced unexpectantly (job, relationships, physical death of friends & family). For many years after these losses, I have used isolation as a false god. My thinking: I isolate myself then I won't have to feel the loss of anyone or anything. Without this study, I never would have discovered that about myself. I have started listening to Rascal Flatts song "I'm Moving On" each morning before heading out the door because I feel I am trying to move on and truly apply God's Word in my life instead of isolating myself because of the pain I have felt in my life.

  34. 134
    lori says:

    Hi siestas and mama Beth

    For number 1 I agree about the secret thing and also when you only tell the good part. You want people to side with you so you omit information that would sway them to the other side (the real side).

    number two: I know I have examples from the past, but I think I am in a season now of seeing some things to come. Things that require obedience and some hard sacrifices. so check back in a few years and I should have lots to tell

    number 3
    for my doubts I run straight to a certain friend. I think too often we call on our cheerleaders before we call on God (well i do anyway)

  35. 135
    Anonymous says:

    Okay, Beth…we are behind because our books were late, but you know you have to do a contest for those of us with groups smaller than 5 and solos…….we are a group of 3

    Our meeting was absolutely wonderful on Tues in Headland, Alabama at Koinonia Kaffe……..Beth, I loved your kitchen suggestions…I am a single mom with two children and I absolutely hate to cook…the other two ladies in my group are cooking women and I am not sure they appreciated the oven mitt thing quite as much as i did……

    Love,
    Janet

  36. 136
    Julie says:

    Hi, sorry if this post is a little late, but I am doing the study solo with another solo sister named Marcia. We havent’ gotten together to do the study questions for this gathering due to Marcia losing a very dear friend last week. Siesta’s will you please pray for Marcia? She needs comfort and encouragement in a mighty way right now as only our God can do. I don’t know why I waited until today to ask but God woke me up this morning telling me to make sure and ask so: “Could ya, Would ya? Thanks

  37. 137
    bethany says:

    Ok…I’ve finally caught up enough to post a comment about the summer siesta bible study.
    Ladies….I must say that I’ve thourghly (sp???) enjoyed this study! I feel like I can completley identify with Kelly being single and struggling with the fear of being alone. The study has been amazing.
    1. I do agree that when we hold something secret that it is a sign that our behavior is getting out of control. I have a question though, do you think that when we talk too much about any one particular thing we’ve maybe entered into an area of idolatry with it?
    2. Like Cheri, I also could not come up with an answer to this question…frustrating! I struggle with feeling that I have to fill every blank on the page!
    3. Instead of referring my doubts to the Lord, I find myself telling my friends more than God. Convicting.
    I have to say that I loved that Kelly had us physically bow down and pray. Humbling and very necessary for me right now. I need to take this posture every morning….Thank you also Beth for having me do this in Stepping Up. That was the first time that I’ve ever done so.

  38. 138
    bethany says:

    Oh….forgot to ask you a question. Is an area of idolatry in our lives the same thing as a stronghold? Thinking so, but just wanted to ask.

  39. 139
    Lora says:

    I’ve just got to stand up and give Him some more praise regarding my fifteen year old’s prayer request because He who hears and answers is soo deserving! The Lord was so gracious to lead her how to respond to the “confusing” e-mails; but the LORD blew us away by the response of the people she sent replies to! My dear child called me (from Grandma’s house) to let me know she had checked her e-mail and was so excited she said she was “bouncing off the walls” because of the responses she received back! She said that they answered her heart concerns, as well as mine, even though she had not asked or even mentioned them in her e-mailed responses. While on the phone, I jumped up and down and we praised Jesus together! It was awesome to know that the LORD “searches all the hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts” I Chronicles 28:9

    So we are praising Him! Me by jumping up and down in praise and in a teen’s vocabulary “bouncing off the walls” with praise to Him who is so worthy, our Ancient of Days! Delight us again LORD! Turn some more water into wine
    And we will jump up and down every time!

  40. 140
    Vicki Sandifer says:

    In our class last week we had a discussion about how we as Baptist – maybe in other religions too??- use God as an “easy-button”. You know how we tell folks to come to God and all will be well.Well it is well, but it is not easy! One of the things 2 in our group struggle with is the “hiding” our sins. Our youngest member is having a stuggle with eating habits. She says it is not easy. She is sure that this Christianity thing is not as easy as the “Easy Button” we push. Please join us as we pray for this dear one to listen to God and then do what He says. It seems like she is over eating and looking into His face and saying to Him, “What are you going to do about it?” I am asking all of you to help us pray for her. This study is bringing things to the surface with her. This is great and we are helping her the best we know how. We need lots of wisdom to help her – lift us up ladies!

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