Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 2!

Hey Girls! Welcome to our second gathering for Siesta Summer Bible Study! I’m thrilled to be with you today! It feels so good to be back in Scripture together, doesn’t it? OK, before you go any further, remember that all comments to this post come AFTER your group views the video (or questions below) and completes the guided discussion. One representative will sign in on behalf of your entire group and using your group name, city, and number participating in this gathering. If you’re going solo, you will sign in by your name and city. Solo participants will choose several of the questions that resonate with you most and answer them succinctly in your comment. Group representatives will share the most powerful or pertinent part of your discussion. 

One more thing before we get to it! I want you to be able to picture our Bible study community because it’s such a rich mix of women. My beloved coworkers, Nancy and Kmac, went through all your comments to the summer Bible study launch (a daunting task indeed so applause please!) and here is an estimate of what our wonderful, colorful class looks like. (This has been updated since I did the video embedded in this post so the following is newer and more accurate information. The video has to be done around 4 days in advance so that’s the reason for any discrepancies between numbers.)

We are made up of about…

  • 4226 individuals total (whether in groups or going solo)
  • 1129 groups
  • 48 United States (missing Delaware and Vermont; 1 sister said she was originally from Vermont, but is now living in NY. As severely tempted as we are to count that, we won’t. At the time I did the video, we didn’t realize Delaware was missing as well so, if you’re out there, be sure and let us know! It’s all just for fun. We’re not trying to be all that, so don’t anybody go moving or anything. Grin.)
  • 14 countries outside U.S. (Africa, Australia, Bahamas, 4 Canadian provinces – AB, BC, ON, SK-, China, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Italy, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UK)

Woooohooooo! May Jesus be pleased and highly praised!

OK, everybody! It’s time to meet. If possible, watch the video but, if you’re unable to view it, here are written instructions for your gathering. All the following questions or interactives are based on your first 2 weeks (or what they’re calling “Sessions”) of homework.

The first question comes from something Kelly said no further into the study than the second paragraph of the introduction on p.6. Reread the first two paragraphs then answer the following question:

#1. Name people you’ve met and, after getting to know them, realized you’d missed them terribly before they came into your life. In others words, describe a time when you encountered people that supplied something your life was greatly missing.

(In so many ways, Siestas, you have been this to me. I can hardly picture ministry around here at LPM before you got here. You supplied so much community that I lost when I gave up my beloved Sunday School class and you broadened my world immensely through your profound diversity. I am so thankful for you.)

#2.  One of the most important concepts for the study is introduced in Day One of the first week or “Session.” Turn to p.14 and review the portion mid-page. Why is it so vital to have a heart that can break? After answer the question, discuss how you filled in your columns: what breaks your heart and where you could be more tender.

#3.  Turn to the conclusion of Week or Session One on p.31 and share your answers to this “personal response” (mid-page): “What has God put in your heart to do?” Don’t descend into comparison, over analysis and self-condemnation as you discuss your answers. Remember, what God has put in our hearts to do may not be timed for fulfillment until many days or even years from the birth of our passion. After you answer the question, THEN glance ahead to the “Group Discussion” question in the margin on p.40 because it coincides so well with the concept we’re discussing here. “Have you ever forced a plan or dream that, in retrospect, you realized God’s hand wasn’t on?” Boy, I have and many times! Let’s have some community here so we’ll all know that this is a common occurrence.

#4.  Reflect on your answer to the question at the bottom of p.39: “So we will no longer be in disgrace.” (Some of your versions may say “shame.”) That word resonates deeply with me because I have felt disgraced and usually by my own actions or mistakes. Discuss a few ways that disgrace can result from a collapsed wall of some kind. THEN, celebrate the reality that walls can be REBUILT.

#5.  Go to p.56, the opening page of Day Five in Session Two and discuss some of your answers to the question in bold print: “What rubble in your life is presently the most discouraging and exhausting?” We are not just going to share and compare our piles of rubble here but we are going to turn our discussion into intercession as we conclude our gathering. After several people share, return to Nehemiah 4:14 and read it together and let it lead you in how you pray for one another. Close out in BELIEVING-RECEIVING intercession!

Our next gathering will be on Tuesday, July 24th. Have Weeks (Sessions) 3 and 4 of your homework completed. For those who are gathering around a meal, consider making the Romaine Salad on p.88 with the blue cheese and pecans and maple vinaigrette and, since you went so healthy on the main course, how about some Billie’s Banana Pudding on p.89 for dessert??

I love you guys so much!  Stay in the Word!


469 Responses to “Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 2!”

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  1. 151
    AMY says:

    Amy J., Fayetteville, GA (very close to the home of Chick Fil A!!!)I’m going solo on this one but will be playing catch-up.

  2. 152
    Sandy Smith says:

    Solo in Holiday, FL

    I just wanted to make sure you were able to add one more to the official count. I will not have time to post. (It’s a get rid of the rubble wall building season for me:) But I am doing the study every morning and LOVING IT.

  3. 153
    Nancy S. says:

    We had a wonderful open study.Enjoyed Beth’s thought and had a few of our own!I made the pazta dish on page 113,Yum!love in Christ,Nan

  4. 154
    Jen says:

    The Freedom Sisters had a wonderful meeting last night and welcomed a new member into our group. We each had someone we wished we had known earlier in our lives, but all agreed that it’s all about TIMING. Had these people been put into our lives earlier we may not have been open to them or been able to received their blessings at that time.

    As moms, we all felt our hearts break for children who suffer, orphans in particular, which was a personal topic for some of us. Another personal topic that was a heartbreak for us was that of single moms and women who have gone through divorces. As a result of this, amongst our group we feel the calling to adopt, volunteer time with single, divorced women, and also to read out to mend walls between family members.

    We have various forms of “rubble” in our lives, from rebuilding after a divorce to dealing with the daily stresses of being a stay-at-home mom, to finding our own passion paths in life, to putting ourselves on the line to give our testimony to loved ones who have hurt us in the past.

    We had such an amazing ,open discussion. It’s amazing how open and honest we can be with each other! There was laughter, tears, and delicious soup being shared. Looking forward to the next two weeks!

  5. 155
    Pam in San Diego says:

    Pam in San Diego, (solo) Loved the questions;they all require thoughtful reflection. I appreciate so much my sweet friend for almost 30 years, Johanna; couldn’t do life without her. I would absolutely miss her. Question 3 is in process. I sense God has put on my heart to help women see themselves more accurately through the lens of God’s word, developing a Biblical self-image, instead of the lies that the world gives them. This past spring I was able to teach a Sunday School class to help women begin the journey of taking what God says that we are “His masterpiece” Eph. 2:10. Believing an receiving truth!!! Pam in San Diego

  6. 156
    Karlys says:

    karlys, La Place, LA
    1. my husband introduced me to Jesus; Martha and Suzanne introduced me to in-depth Bible study; women of BSF taught me service
    2. It seems that it is only when I am breakable that HE gently molds me into what HE wants me to be. When I get stubborn, HE seems to get out the jackhammer on me.
    3. I dream of serving in the same church as my stepchildren, in-laws and grandchildren. My husband and I have done all we can, we are waiting on HIM.
    4. Crossing or breaking through boundaries will show what we don’t want exposed. HE has on numberous ocassion taken away the sin, the habit, and the shame. There have been times I have fought HIM to keep the status quo then when HE wins, I am usually surprised at how much better it is!
    5. Two areas with the most rubble: finances & relationships. Every day I claim Psalm 91.

  7. 157
    sandy conway says:

    i am sandy from seattle doing the study on my own will comment later this week thanks i love the study

  8. 158
    Cindi says:

    Delightful Divas of Dallas
    Kessler Community Church, 9 women participating

    The most compelling part of the evening was our discussion about “rubble”–how God wants to clear it out so we can rebuild. Also important for a couple of our ladies who are stricken with chronic illnesses and mostly unable to be a part of the building team was the thought that they play a HUGE role as a part of the protection team. Great study! Great night!!!

  9. 159
    ForeverHis says:

    This is so great. I love this study. As I shared before our group started a few weeks ago. We shared the Romaine salad and banana pudding, following the recipes exactly. All I can say is yum! We are enjoying the study and recipes so much. The fellowship we are having over this food is priceless.


  10. 160
    Melonie,Richards, Denver says:

    Hello sisters~~

    What a joy to share in this study and be with this community. Thank you for all who are making this happen and for those participating. God is soooo good to us!

    #3. Right now the Lord has placed it in my heart to serve my mother-in-law, Velma, who is 94 years old and has Alzheimer’s. The initial placing of this on my heart came out of a family need and a desire to be obedient to the Lord’s calling. The care giving is also developing into a passion because it is His passion.

    My plan of force was to have a marriage ministry with my first husband. I can say this from a place of healing now, but the plan does not work if one ends up divorced by the husband. I see now that the relationship had become my idol and in God’s severe mercy, I was stripped of it. I praise the Lord that He has allowed His plan to prevail and has brought much healing, fruit and redemption from the places I was forcing into my will and not His.

    #4.Disgrace can come from a genuine or perceived failure. Our own flesh will jump on board with a failure, not offering grace to be human. The enemy can also take to our disgrace like a hungry wolf on a piece of raw meat. He brings in the condemnation and accusation. The broken wall or disgrace however, can also give room for our Loving Father to tend our wounds and meet us in the broken down places. Collapse can causes reevaluation and a new start. I am so thankful for reconstruction. I heard a speaker say not too long ago, many Christians will state they are under construction. She said that she believes she is under reconstruction. Her words resonated with me. Often times we grow up thinking we have the knowledge we need and it easily turns to pride. Then we get past our younger ages and realize there is so much we do not know. Funny how the older you get, the less you feel you know.

    #5. The rubble in my life right now happens to be unfinished projects at home. This may sound funny, but I realize that as a stay at home mom, in the summer I am in my home more. As a result of being home more, I see all that needs to be done and at times, feel powerless to accomplish it. The piles of rubble plant the seeds of discontent and my heart starts focusing on the negative rather than the noble (Phil. 4:8). I could use some prayer regarding my focus being fixed on Christ and not the areas of rubble. I think another area of rubble is the inadequacy I feel as a care giver for my mother-in-law, Velma. I have not had experience caring for the elderly and especially those with dementia/Alzheimer’s. I also have 7 and 11 year children. There are some days this summer where I feel that it is all too much. Today was one of them. I know the Lord has called me to this and my deep dependence on Him is good. I feel I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death~~ death to my flesh and what will eventually end in the death of Velma. On my good days, I know it is a privilege to love her into Heaven. On my bad days, I get sidetracked by my inadequacy and the annoying habits of humans. I am thankful for this study and this community. God is so good even in the midst the circumstances that are hard pressing on our hearts.

    • 160.1
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      Praying for you from the other side of Colorado. Rest in His Word. “You need not fight in this battle; station yourself; stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” II Chronicles 20:17 Lord, I pray that Melonie will run to Your Word again and again for comfort and inspiration. I pray she will station herself close by Your Word. Help her stand tall, confident in Your salvation, in Your provision. Remove any fear and dismay in her heart today. Thank You for the promise that You are with her…by her side…strengthening her in her unselfish devotion to Velma. Amen.

  11. 161
    Penny says:

    1. The person who is now in my life that I’ve been missing is my husband! After 25 years of a lonely marriage to a man who did not “nights and protect” me, God restored my broken heart after 10 years of being single! HE brought a kind, compassionate Christian man into my life who loves me, nutures and protects me as a godly husband should!

    I am enjoying this journey with Nehemiah, and I pray that God will revael to me my passion to pursue in this stage of my life.

  12. 162
    Amiebelle says:

    Google+ Hangout Room, Int’l Siestas, 2
    2. We discussed that we have anger towards certain people and have not dealt with it. So with that we can’t have a tender heart to them if we don’t lose the anger and forgive them.
    3. We still have not heard a specific msg from God as to what He has put in our heart to do, but will continue to pray for that, meanwhile, we talked about what we would like to do!
    Also had the experience of a transfer to another state and everything fell into place so easily, easiest move to make and once we got to new location our lives feel apart. What we had thought was God telling us to go seemed to be wrong as it was the worst year of our lives.
    5. Rubble – one said finances, health, anger. I said not having made friends yet, not having a church home.

  13. 163
    Lynda Harkins says:

    “Mermaids of Carmel”
    I read a few responses before responding for our group. Tears are a theme as I read through my other Siesta Sisters responses. Can I just say, Praise God for wiring us to feel each others’ pain and delight!
    We, too, shed a few tears over one of our dear mermaids who is going through some significant rubble right now. She slipped out of the room to compose herself and we immediately plotted to find ways to bless her and her family!
    We love this study!

  14. 164
    LindsayN84 says:

    Lindsay ~ Bangor, Maine

    The following questions most resonated with me:

    3. Throughout the majority of my 20’s, I have always been in ministry, typically in a leadership role. For the first time in what seems like forever, my life regarding ministry has been completely turned upside down. God has asked me to simply make my husband and what he is doing in ministry a priority. I have had to go back to work full time to support a career change that he is making, and I feel as though I have dropped from the spotlight to a supporting role for him. During this period of time, God has asked me to make supporting my husband my priority ministry . . . and to be thankful and content while doing it. While this may sound silly to some poeple, it has sometimes been difficult and frustrating to step into the background. It has definitely been a humbling experience.

    5. Thinking judgmental thoughts towards people who are different from me, who I don’t understand, or maybe even those who are entrenched in sin. I know I need to love them more, and I have to denounce judgmental thoughts and attitudes. I also struggle to be thankful and content – to not complain or whine about my circumstances (even if it is only in my heart and not spoken out loud).

  15. 165
    Shelly Elston says:

    Shelly, Portland, OR

    In response to question 2, I believe it’s vital to have a heart that can break. Often it’s in our brokenness that we are most motivated and moved to act. Being on our knees is what can be what’s necessary to get us to stand and take those first steps of faith. What breaks my heart the most is having a special needs son and watching him learn how to navigate this world. Where I could be more tender is with myself and the people i love yet take for granted. I’m so hard on me and on them…expecting us all to be so “on” all the time. I’m learning to be mindful of giving grace.

    I will continue to press on through the rubble and debris of my life and keep rebuilding. Some days it seems piled high and my head is barely above it. But I have a God who constantly watches out for me, provides, and sustains me. I’m thankful to be surrounded by people who pray for me. I receive it and am privileged to pray for others as they wade through their rubble.

    Loving this study and time with Siestas! Even if only through cyber space. 😉

  16. 166
    Kathy says:

    Kathy, Austin,Tx. 1

    Two people I met who I “missed” and have blessed and changed my walk with the Lord are: an 84 year old “Big Sister” and Father Thomas Keating.

    Rubble: There is not a wall standing after 63 years. All is rubble and I do not see any way to clean it up in order to rebuild- I’m a warrior at heart, my heart is broken- only Christ’s mercy and direction can give me the strength to bear the painful, disgrace filled process to start clearing out the rubble with or without the help of the one who brought our family to this point-

    And OH YES! My nature has often led me do something that appeared “GOOD” but in reflection was probably ME rather than God directed- ouch and ouch again.

  17. 167
    Tiffany K. says:

    Loveland, CO; Twisted Sisters from Bent Tree Church, 5, Summary:

    Our group of fine ladies met this morning to dive deep into this study for the second time! We shared a yummy breakfast of fruit, breakfast burritos and coffee! Instantly I felt the connection with these ladies as we discussed God bringing us through our rubble and junk.

    When discussing who has been “missing” from our lives, a lovely gal in the group pointed out that the people we are touched by now in life, had to journey on a different path prior to connecting with where we are today.

    To have a heart that can break, allows for a person to really hear from God. God can pour into one’s heart if they are tender-hearted. Even when we are weak and in despair, God is strong! This is a time to glorify God and feel his comfort!

    Some of the issues that break our hearts include abuse, injustice, orphans and bullies. We discussed mission work and how neat it is to see a person get on fire with God during a mission trip, and return to help his/her community. It is so important to focus on international mission work as well as work that needs to be done in the U.S. God puts different burdens on different people.

    Titus 2: 2-5 was a special scripture that we had great discussion around!

    We all shared “forced plans” and agreed it is so very important to listen to God and petition to our Heavenly Father! He is truly amazing!

    The question involving disgrace and walls collapsing really hit home for many of us. So often today, we are tolerant of the “trash” in our lives. Relationships can be put in ruins, we minimize our sin and we don’t forgive others when they sin. One of our fabulous ladies referred to the quote, “the different between building and rebuilding is rubble,” which brought great discussion amongst our group!

    It was so wonderful to talk, connect and pray with these women today! We are all so thankful for this bible study!

  18. 168

    Jen, Houston Texas (solo!)

    #2. God gives us passion for a reason. He created us to have a special purpose and He has blessed some of us with a zeal for certain areas that should not be ignored. It’s important to be in tune to what the Lord has created you for! What breaks my heart is families losing a loved one, unmet expectations, accidental tragedies, divorce, and sickness, especially in children. I could be more tender towards sin in general, the state of our country, and also people who are “asking for it”.

    #3. I want to help those that are “down on their luck”, but also those who are spiritually struggling and finding it difficult to see the love of Christ in their lives. More specifically, those that KNOW Christ but are not walking with Him currently.

    #5. Selfish motives and desires, as well as laziness or the most discouraging and exhausting for me right now. The enemy uses my deepest places of selfishness and laziness to keep me from hearing the Lord’s call to serve and honor Him with the passions and talents He has given me. The wall may have fallen, and I have the tools to rebuild, but sitting and not doing anything tends to be my first reaction.

  19. 169
    Stacey says:

    1. After 17years as a cardiac care nurse God coaxed me out of my comfort zone into a setting I never imagined. I will be starting my 7th year as an elementary school nurse in August. This is where I met a group of unique children I had no idea were missing from my life. They change my life daily. All of these angels are wheelchair bound and are totally dependent on others to sustain their lives. God uses them to break me of pride and to keep me humble. One of them stopped breathing one day. For 20 minutes I gave her breathe through her trach. I felt God with me assuring me everything would be ok. She was breathing on her own before the ambulance left the parking lot. She has since moved on to Heaven where I am certain she is running, laughing , and playing with Jesus. I will never forget her precious smile .
    3. I feel in my heart that God has called me to take care of special needs children. My oldest child was born with brain damage . He walks and talks but is 4 handfuls to deal with. People often tell me I have the patience of Job,but I don’t feel worthy to share Job’s patience. I can’t imagine what my Father in Heaven has in store for me in the future. I know he is teaching me and getting me ready for something great in the future. I also have a desire to help provide food for the needy. I guess time will tell!

  20. 170
    Sandy says:

    Sandy, Dodge City, KS; solo

    The two questions that have been thinking about the most are:

    #1 I would have to say my small group. They have been in my life now about six years and mean the world to me. I have learned so much from each of them and I have grown up spiritually with their help.

    #2 The more I think about it the more I realize I have hardened my heart. I need to work on letting go of past hurts and allowing my heart to become tender again.

  21. 171
    iambigboo says:

    Jazzy Siesta Summer Club, Lafayette, LA – 4
    Much of our discussion was on dealing with our rubble so we can be free to fulfill the things God has put on our hearts to do. We all recognize that often times, it is our rubble that stands in the way of fulfilling God’s calling for us. We ended our evening with the Priestly Blessing.

  22. 172
    Lisa Younce says:

    “Just the two of us” in Wylie,TX- 2 meeting and really enjoying our discussion times. We are meeting weekly and watching Kelly’s videos, they are great!

    1. We talked about special women in our lives and how much they have touched us. It’s so interesting how quickly we could answer this one.

    3. It is also easy to come up with times we forced a dream! Glad to know we aren’t alone.

    The study is really applying to both of us as we are doing other studies at the same time and keep seeing similar things in both that God is teaching so much this summer!

    Praying blessings over all our Seistas doing life with us on the blog!

  23. 173
    Beverly says:

    WNC (Sylva) solo: Summers for me have been times of reflection and renewal along with pain and isolation – for most of my married life my husband is gone about 2 months (and even more when our children were younger each summer as a commercial fisherman). I always thought it would get easier as our children grew and left the nest but actually the opposite is true. It has gotten much harder as we have become even closer friends in recent years. This year has been different it seems – I did get into my feeling of isolation again but after a major meltdown I realized that I was tired of the “me” that is overly sensitive and so incredibly insecure!

    I started reading So Long Insecurity, continuing our churches yearly Journey through the Bible and found this study. And, wow, isn’t it amazing the path that God puts us on?

    I have this new lense and when that ol’ record starts up in my head I have found myself stopping and looking at the situation in a new light – a light of hope not a “spotlight” on a crumbling wall (person) but rocks and stones being placed back piece by piece. It’s refreshing and humbling at the same time.

    There has been a lot of rubble in my life and I am grateful to our Father for how his mercies are new every single day.

    God has placed me in a profession where I reach out to people on a daily basis – I can’t share my faith unless asked but kindness and a loving spirit can go a long way. And, prayer. Where He wants to use me, I keep asking and seeking an answer but as of now I am still not sure.

  24. 174
    Nicolie says:

    The Bible Chat Chicas met in Michigan tonight and had an honest talk and prayer session about our rubble. One of us is rejoicing in her rebuilt wall while the others are sorting through our dirt and dust that is present for us and our families. It is so nice to have a support system with the faith of Nehemiah. We are all praying for God to reveal what he has put in our hearts and while none of us are quite sure what that is yet, we are very aware of what breaks God’s heart and what we need to be more tender about. We love Beth and Kelly!! And all of our siestas!

  25. 175
    Beth says:

    The 31 Women, 2 of us from London, ON

    Last night didn’t work out so well for us; we couldn’t connect to the blog. We enjoyed the enchiladas and ginger snaps which were delicious but I did have to modify the recipe a bit – no idea where I am supposed to buy a fresh ancho pepper in Ontario – I was lucky enough to find corn tortillas though!! We enjoyed a good night of conversation and games and have emailed our answers to each other today when the blog was working for us again. Question #3 sparked the longest and most striking answers as we shared the current passions of our hearts and also the past ones that we thought were God’s plan but didn’t work out to be.

  26. 176
    Mirra says:

    Sandy Feet,2,mother/ daughter,Clearwater, FL
    #2 As we discussed our answers to what breaks our heart, we were surprised to discover that the very first two things we had written were exactly the same thing. Children suffering, and the lonely, or helpless elderly break our heart. We decided that we needed to be more tender toward unmotivated people and complainers.
    If a heart is not breakable it will become cold and unyielding to the will of the Holy Spirit.
    # 5 How encouraging to read Nehemiah 4:14. That our great and awesome God fights for our families and relationships.

  27. 177
    Gerrie says:

    Gerrie – Roeland Park, KS – going solo.

    I love this study. A little over two years ago during a time when a family who means a lot to me was experiencing a difficult time I was touched by the book of Nehemiah and the sense of community and especially the rebuilding. I used this scripture to pray for rebuilding and restoration for this family. God has not answered my prayer in the way I thought but He has taught me so much and I believe it is still a work in progress.

    Question 3 and 5 resonate with me the most today.

    3) I believe God has laid prayer as a ministry on my heart. I am still waiting for His direction and fervently seeking Him through prayer.

    I tend to want to do it all so have many times taken off after things I thought God laid on my heart only to realize I was looking over my shoulder to receive reassurance I was on the right path. One day it became very clear to me that if I am following, I only need to keep my eyes forward and not look behind me.

    5) Finances and contentment with my body are rubble that are most discouraging and exhausting for me. I have battled weight issues the better part of my life from about the age of 12. Our current financial crisis due to job loss, illness and the loss of our home has me in circumstances I have never known and it has left me feeling very alone. However God is teaching me that He never leaves nor forsakes and to cling to his promises.

    This verse is continuously on my lips in addition to praise for God’s great provision.
    James 1:2 Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

    • 177.1
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you. My covenant of peace will not be shaken, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Dear Lord, I pray that Gerrie will feel Your lovingkindness in new ways today. I pray that Your arms around her will protect her from any mountains that are being removed and any hills that are shaking in her life. You are our Protection, our Strength, our Place of Safety in the storm. You are our Song. Amen.

  28. 178
    Merissa says:

    Canada: I would like to share my thoughts on Question 3.
    I have been reflecting on something God placed in my heart 4 years ago. I am burdened for the “disgrace” (Neh.2:17) we find ourselves in in regard to the pain and broken relationships that exist between First Nations and Non-First Nations people of Canada.
    there are many many ‘broken walls’ so to speak, that need rebuilding.
    I will not go into much detail here, but I am blessed to be in a place where God is showing me one more step toward what He has planned for me to do, in the part of this much larger Kingdom plan of reconciliation.
    The verse I wrote down on P. 31 was 2 Cor.5:14-21.
    The ministry of reconciliation, and how Christ’s love COMPELS us.
    I feel so blessed that God shares His love for others with us, this way.
    also, when He had laid this on my heart, I was drawn to NEhemiah even then–4 years ago.
    Reading and studying Nehemiah with all of you now, is helping me revisit all of those glimpses He shared with me of His heart for the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

  29. 179
    Margaret says:

    Kingsport, TN, The Brunette Club, 8

    I think we have all been a little surprised at how relevant the message of Nehemiah is to us in this time and place. It’s not just a history lesson or a cool story! The imagery of the collapsed wall and clearing away the rubble resonated with many in our group – and boy, do we have the rubble! Since we’re Tennessee gals, Kelly’s story about the flood in Nashville was close to our hearts, since almost all of us have ties there. I remember looking at pictures of the beautiful Opryland Hotel after the flood, all of the gardens and spectacular decorations ruined, mud and mess everywhere, and thinking, “How on earth will they ever begin to clean that up and rebuild?”. Many of us have similar rubble in our lives, from worry that steals our joy to codependency, where you have tried so hard to keep the walls from crumbling, to keep a marriage together, to keep a family member from drug addiction, but then it falls, and you are left with feelings of failure and helplessness. We agreed that the feeling is the same: How will we ever be able to clean this up and move on? But you have to deal with that rubble before you can move on. Otherwise, you’re just having to “step over” it.

    Loving this study and looking forward to next time. By the way, the Southwest Chicken Soup is awesome!!

  30. 180
    Cyndi says:

    Happy Summer from the Grace Girls of Skaneateles, NY.
    We are a bible study group from Grace Chapel in a little community wrapped around a beautiful lake. We are 16 ladies strong and have prospects for more ladies- how exciting! We are pumped to do another Kelly Minter study with all the Siestas! We just started last night so we are just a little behind. Pam’s making ginger snaps for next week and we can’t wait!

  31. 181
    Linda says:

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Having a heart that can break allows GOD to mold us into what He wants us to be. For years, I felt numb to everything around me and was even scared to allow myself to feel anything. After going through a major upheaval, God used this event to break my heart. What a blessing this was. What was hurt, He has healed and made so much stronger. I am praying for God to show me what He has put in my heart and am encouraged by Beth saying it may be years before this desire/passion is identified and brought to fruition.

  32. 182
    Dawn says:

    Dubuque, IA

    Three years ago my church received a new pastor and I realized that he was someone I missed terribly before he came into my life. He brought to me and my church renewed life. Teaching me about God’s word and holding me accountable for learning more of God’s word, loving others and serving. Through him we have started small groups that meet each week to pray and learn God’s word. I have come to depend on this small group for so much more than just a bible study. They are my inspiration and my strength as I go through my rubble.

  33. 183
    Bree says:

    Bible Birdies, 8 in this meeting (1 via Skype – thank you technology!), Groves, Tx.

    We finally decided on a group name and are very excited. We met at my friend’s new house, she was happy to host and provided the chicken soup in session 2. It was delicious.

    The dinner, study, and discussions each week have brought all of us closer and more open to growing in Christ together. Thank you so much for encouraging the Summer Study, I can see how we are each receiving something we have longed for as you decribe in question 1. We didn’t know we needed this study, but it is turning out to benefit all of us in various ways.

    One member of the group, Sarah, shared last week that she has wanted to do service for God in the past but didn’t know where to turn. She had thought about Habitat For Humanity and how cool it would be to help someone build their home. Well, this week Sarah invited all of our group to join her in a HFH project this Saturday. She collected all the information and is going to be able to volunteer her heart just 10 minutes down the road. I think it is truly amazing how God put it in her heart and is leading her path.

    We all thank you and Kelly for putting the Nehemiah study in each of our hearts and bringing us together.

    Thanks, 🙂 Bree.

  34. 184
    Tammy says:

    Loganville,Ga. Coffee Crew 4

    #3 God has layed on our hearts the following…. Go into missions; looking for opportunity to serve the poor in the community; visiting sponsored child “identify with the poor”.

    P.S. Ate watermelon salsa w/ chips and drank coffee while watching Kelly’s video:))

  35. 185
    Michele Green says:

    going solo-
    Only a few more weeks and then back to school for my 28th year. Really need this study-especially since I take on the problems of my grown children and their lack of relationship with each other. It breaks my heart and I am so in the middle-and my relationship with my daughter in law is so tense and very difficult due to areas that she is suffering in-This is the rubble in my life right now and I really covet your prayers.

    • 185.1
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Father, we choose today to trust You with all we’ve got in regard to our children. Help us not to lean on our own understanding that we think we possess about the situation they are in. Rather, help us lean on You because the truth is: You have full understanding of our children. Your vision of them is 20/20. Our vision? Not so much. Not at all, really. Lord, we appreciate the vantage point You have as You look upon our kids. We defer to You–oh, help us defer–as You work in their lives today…and every day. You ARE at work in their lives. Thank You for that. Direct our paths as we, as moms, pray for our children. We want to pray right. We want to pray consistently. We pray our children will begin today to trust You more today than they did yesterday. Help them see that a walk with You is a journey made of small steps. Thank You for loving them even more than we do. Amen.

  36. 186
    Billsgirl says:

    Woodbury, MN, God’s G.A.L.S, @ King of Kings Lutheran Church, 17

    We had 11 of our 17 ladies make it last night. We are meeting weekly and watching the study videos.

    What tenders are hearts: anything that hurts/harms children, women who experience infertility, widow(ers) and the homeless. We discussed where we could be more tender. Many of us agreed we could tender our hearts towards those who use government benefits long term (e.g. years and over generations). We talked about reasons such as hopelessness, lack of skills, etc.

    We shared our rubble briefly. Each week we write on a Post-it(r) note our prayer request and place it in a basket, then we pass the basket around and take a prayer (not our own) and pray it for the week. This week we wrote down our rubble on the note and lifted them up in prayer as a group too.

    Since we watch the study video, we had a great discussion about the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20) and where we as a group might be pulled to rebuild our walls. We are all praying about it this next week.

    We are all lovin’ the study and praise God for bringing us together this summer.

    Blessings to all our sisters in Christ,
    God’s G.A.L.S.

  37. 187
    Esperanza says:

    Our group name is “Sister in the Spirit”,from Land o’Lakes,Fl. We are 13 women from young,middle and old age. Our hearts brake easily for children in need of love and attention. We all had in common a dear friend missing from our lives. To us the vital part of a heart that can break is to feel the need of others and to help them. We all are choosing different paths to help others feeling the love of God in our hearts. At the same time we are rebuilding our collapsed walls little by little and rejoicing in the process. We all have different “rub
    bles” in our lifes and talked about them. We believe and hope for Divine intercession and our own efforts to keep forward. Beth thanks for all you do. Thanks for being you, so honest and loving. God bless.

  38. 188
    Heidi says:

    Lindale, Texas ~ 4= Cheryl, Heidi, Ann, Melita

    We are so blessed that you take the initiative to inspire us to get into a Bible study over the summer. Our little group is being challenged and each admitted that the title, “A Heart That Can Break” was a bit daunting at first. After our second meeting, we all agreed that God was probably messing with our “rubble” in the attempt to bring some healing to some of our misconceptions and open us up to new possibilities or perhaps even peace while we WAIT for God to show us where He wants us to interact. We had a precious time of prayer for one another and look forward to forging on in Sessions 3 and 4.

  39. 189
    Karen E says:

    Susan and Karen from Rochester, Mn

    We both have rubble that is needing to be cleared away so that rebuilding work can continue to proceed. We discussed what happens when someone’s heart is hardened, so that they are unable to give or receive God’s love and grace — that situation breaks our hearts, because we realize how deeply hurt that person is so they need to protect themselves.

  40. 190
    Rachel Landolt says:

    The CFCS group from College Station, TX. We had 9 ladies meet in our group Tuesday evening and one baby. We have two ladies joining our group for the summer because they are here for an internship over the summer. What a blessing to get to know these ladies and see them seaching out fellowship and bible study despite being in a new city.

    The last question was the most significatnt to us. The one about what rubble in our life was the most discouraging. We had several ladies discussing issues they were struggling with: finances, work, anger. One of our sweet sisters shared how she felt she was not feeling God’s presence and was extremely discouraged. The enemy was speaking some big lies into this sisters ear. We were able to speak some truth into the situation and prayed with her. Already, our study has been a blessing and an opportunity to draw close to each other in fellowship.

  41. 191
    Debi says:

    Just now remembering to let U know I am “signing on the dotted line”. I even have my new to the family (both physically & faith wise) niece doing it with me; so excited! Such a great idea Beth!! NIV

  42. 192
    joann, huntingburg, in says:

    The first question instantly made me think of my friend, Era. Our daughters have been in a ballet class together for a few years. I started having conversations with her several years ago about God, and she asked me to teach some Bible studies for a group of middle school and high school kids. I have been doing this now for a little over a year and have been blessed to use a gift of teaching. Also, I am doing some women’s Bible studies with her. This ties in with question 3. God has given me such a love for sharing whatever I learn so spending time with my friend and these young people has really strengthened my passion to share the love of Christ with others.

  43. 193
    Dawn says:

    My daughter & I again met at Panera in Beavercreek, OH…loving our time together! Both of us were impressed with Nehemiah’s rebuilding team – so diverse, yet committed and effective in spite of opposition and unexpected challenges that could have been dream breakers. We love how he prayed FIRST, put an action plan in place and put himself right in the middle of it! It challenged us to follow that biblical pattern with some things we are involved with.

    As a recent graduate with her MA in TESOL (teaching English Language Learners), God is breaking Christen’s heart for the international students she is working with, most of whom are devout Muslims. They are wonderful people with many needs (though very rich materially!) and she’s praying about ways to help and then putting herself in the middle of an ‘action plan’ to befriend them and ultimately share the hope of Jesus with them. I have always found myself passionate about 2 things: genuinely partnering with our missionary team members serving around the world and discipling children in a way that helps them find their relationship with Jesus & the church community exciting and meaningful rather than ‘routine’ and ‘boring’:) Both of us want to be doing the things GOD wants us to do in those areas, not just the latest ‘great idea’ that comes up.

    We also talked about ‘rubble’ that may be slowing us down and realized that we can be very thankful that neither of us have significant ‘piles’ shackling us. Mine are mostly relational things – deep disappointments, some people I am close to who are in dysfunctional situations. As I worked through the study this week, God reminded me of what a valuable tool THANKFULNESS is for getting rid of ‘rubbish’. When I choose to focus on a good quality in someone else (and even if there is disappointment or dysfunction, there IS still good!)and verbally thank God for that, the discouragement and exhaustion are lifted. It reminds me again that God IS at work (HIS timetable and method, not mine:) and allows me to roll the weight of the situation back on Him, freeing me to continue loving, encouraging, rebuilding 🙂

    Looking forward to this next week … blessings to all in Siestaville!

  44. 194
    Debra says:

    We 3 in south Arkansas met and viewed Beth until the feed froze 🙁 and then watched session 4. We are ahead of the group but so thrilled that we are apart of such a LARGE siesta group! Delving into Neimiah has been so eye opening for all 3 of us! At the conclussion of session 4 we could not speak for being so deeply moved!! I mean 3 talkative women were speechless, while being so filled! What a joy to dig into God’s word together!
    Love you Kelly, Beth and siestas!
    Debra in Arkansas

  45. 195
    Linda says:

    Walking On With God, Johnstown, PA, 2. We met at my house on Wednesday afternoon this week. We enjoyed a meal of Lauri’s Beef Enchiladas, salad, and Mom’s Ginger Snaps before watching Beth’s video and discussing the questions. We both agreed that our hearts are broken by children who are being abused, sick or hungry, or suffering in any way, and also for unsaved loved ones and some of their issues. As to what God has put on our hearts to do: my friend, Dee, is going on a mission trip to Peru this month with a group from our church, to minister at a feeding center our church has built. This is her 4th year going and her heart is very much for the people there, as she considers them family. So far the Lord has not called me to go but I am supporting the team financially and in other ways from home, as well as sponsoring two children there. Also I feel He is calling me to minister to my extended family in many different ways. Some of the rubble in our lives is centered around lack of self discipline, finances, health issues, and dealing with adult children and other family members. We are so blessed to be doing this study and looking forward to the next weeks. We hope to add another member next week to view Kelly’s videos.

  46. 196
    Kelly Minter says:

    Jumping on here just to tell you how excited and encouraged I am by all of your comments. The book of Nehemiah is grabbing you all like it did me, which is a relief because half the time I wonder if I’m the only one who thinks something is relevant or interesting. Also, I love the way Beth is directing the conversation and the pieces she chose to highlight. They are like mile markers on the journey. Lastly, I was moved by the specifics of what break your hearts – I noticed that no matter what you wrote, people of some stage, sort or kind are what your hearts break over. People whom God has called us to. So thankful for all of you getting in there and asking what God has put on your heart to do, even if the vision is not immediately revealed. He will do it. Thanks for the encouragement. (PS – Just ate my 2nd tomato from my garden. Someone please be proud.)

    • 196.1
      Paula says:

      Definitely proud for you but a little jealous. Wish I had some decent tomatoes!

    • 196.2
      Cynthia says:

      Thank you for a wonderful study! I’m enjoying it with my daughters, and the experience will benefit our lives, our family and our ministry… God bless you :0)

  47. 197
    Debbie in Tennessee says:

    Sevierly Sassy Siestas – Seymour, Tennessee – 13, Jamie, Cheri, Barbara, Suzi, Karen, Peggy, Sandy, Janice, Margaret, Anne, Gleneva, Debbie, Joyce

    We are really enjoying our time together! A major theme in our discussion was Nehemiah always praying before he spoke, how we need to emulate that.

    A lot of the same things broke our hearts. One lady feels led to be in full time missionary service. One lady was not sure what broke her heart just now.

    We were all thankful that God can take rubble and rebuild a beautiful, strong wall and even put gold overlay on top!
    Praise His Holy Name!

    We had Beef Enchiladas and Chicken ones, salad, and homemade salsa and ginger snap cookies!

    Love and Blessings, Debbie in Tennessee

  48. 198
    Fran says:

    My group is named the “simple siestas” as we are walking a road of simplifying our lives! There are 3 of us from Jackson, TN!

    We spent a great deal of time talking about knowing exactly what our rubble is and how Nehemiah has taught us to pray before we act. We are all loving learning about him as a person and how he handled conflict and what God placed in his heart to do. We are also all feeling lead to pour into some people that we are not currently investing in…the “unblessed.” Asking God to show us the way.

    We absolutely LOVE this study and our conversation together.

    Fran, Christy, and Robyn

  49. 199
    Gina Ireland says:

    Happy Hens, Meridian, ID-2. Rubble includes spiritual and physical. Sometimes there’s so much rubble in our homes, our closets, our car, our drawers, etc., that it creates stress and keeps us tied to our “to do” lists. This time is wasted time and becomes, “Poor me!” leading to spiritual rubble. The more rubble we can remove from our lives-spiritual & physical-gives peace and profitable time. It becomes “Yay, Lord!”

  50. 200
    Vickie says:

    Neh 4:14 reminds me to not be afraid and to believe and fight the good fight of faith.
    Also, when you said that our walls of disgrace can be rebuilt – I’m living proof – God is very faithful and very gracious!!

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