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. 251
    Johnnie says:

    Johnnie, Wake Forest, NC — solo

    #2–God cannot use a vessel filled with pride and selfish ambition. If we empty ourselves of our own fleshly desires He can fill us with a taste for spiritual things—our wills are molded into the things God desires for us to do. If we have a breakable heart we become a people God can use for His kingdom work.

    #4–Yes, I have disgraced myself many times in the past due to my own mistakes. Praise God He does rebuild us!!! My actions have resulted in consequences very grievous to me regarding some relationships but I am thankful to God for His forgiveness upon repentance. When prompted to reflect on past mistakes, I try not to get bound up in self-condemnation but use it as a time to give God the glory in His redemption power and how far He has brought me since those times. God can give us beauty for ashes; joy for mourning; and rebuild and repair ruins–Isaiah 61:2-4!!

    #5–Lord, I know You are greater than all my problems and anxieties. Please help me not to be afraid when things seem very dark. I must continue to be faithful in prayer for my family, my health and the stress at work. I have ALREADY seen You at work in some of the areas I am discouraged. I give You praise and thanks for Your gracious goodness in my life. You give me hope and a future. There is nothing You cannot handle…I BELIEVE AND RECEIVE!!! Amen

  2. 252
    Danielle says:

    Cross Country Wives – 1 in Portales, NM, 1 @ Andrews AFB, MD, 1 supposed to be at Cannon AFB, NM – but is spending the summer in Northampton, MA – meeting via Skype or phone

    We were so encouraged by the visual of people working together to build the wall and really challenged to look at what we are putting in our hearts. It was a wake up call to protect our hearts!

    (We all had really crazy weeks/nights – so favorite parts of the study was about all we could do)

  3. 253
    Tracy says:

    SS Mosaics Group (Facebook private group of 4 from NC, GA, AL):

    We discussed question 1 in depth – each of us have had certain people in our lives that we’ve bonded/connected with, and some we’ve never even met in person, yet they’ve touched our hearts and changed our lives.

    On Question 5 – finances are a big issue for some of us. We tithe and give of ourselves and our resources, and yet our financial picture continues to worsen. Lots of questions and prayers.

  4. 254
    Fun, fresh, faithful, friendly gals says:

    We enjoyed such sweet fellowship this week in discussing what breaks our hearts. Our hearts are broken by hurting children, animals, young girls with low self-esteem and we asked God for tenderness towards those in poverty who may not be trying to get out of it. God has placed in us a desire to encourage young girls, teach a trade to women in another country, and have a family. In times when we have forced a plan that was not from God, we’ve experienced him either shutting it down or finding a way to work in us through it. We concluded that if we have to force a plan, it is not from God. Allowing our walls to collapse at times has resulted in a short temper, lack of communication, controlling nature and low self-esteem. However we had some community and prayer time regarding our rubble as we asked for the Lord’s guidance in our steps. The greatest joy of the evening was agreeing that our Bible Study group is what we realize we missed terribly before we met each other. What a blessing God has brought to our lives!

  5. 255
    Sarah Mattingly says:

    1. The people of Ecuador! I went on one mission trip to Ecuador when I was 18 years old (12 years ago). I loved every minute of it. I needed to see that not everyone in the world lives like I do in the US. I needed to see their kindness and their compassion for each other. I needed to see that you can live without some of the things that I put so much treasure in here in the US. God changed my heart forever through that trip. I learned so much about Jesus’ love for people that I think my life would have been completely different otherwise. Although I would love to go back to Ecuador, I have not had another opportunity, but the lessons that I learned will last a lifetime.

    2. We need our hearts to break, because that shows where our passions are. I am a middle school teacher, and I have a heart that breaks for my students to understand more about purity in their lives. I have had students share all kinds of details with me, and every time I think, I wish someone would have taught you some self-control and for you to know how special you are. I have two small children (with a third on the way), and I want them to know how special God made them. I want them to know what purity means, and not to have to play the “what if I just to this” game. Right now, our conversations are very simple, but I pray that God will show me when the right time is to teach my children about how wrong the world is. My heart breaks for this, because no one shared with me how important purity is to your emotional and spiritual health, even years later. Yes, these are hard conversations to have with our children, because the world says everything is okay. My other passion is to teach my children about Jesus. Some days, I feel like I am missing the mark, but it is still a passion in my heart. Are there any other mothers that have a similar passion that could pray for God to teach me how to teach my children?

    • 255.1
      Sarah Mattingly says:

      I already messed this up.

      Sarah Mattingly, Kentucky, solo (Although I found another soloist to do the Bible study with me. She has already signed up through the introduction post two weeks ago.)

    • 255.2
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      Dear Lord, I thank You for placing Sarah in our school system. So many hurting teens that do not have a safe adult to talk to. Thank You for each opportunity Sarah has to listen to them. I pray for wisdom for her as she ministers to them. Lord, we all can call by name our teachers from our own school experience. They played a huge role in our lives. Thank You for Sarah and the impact she is having in her school. I pray that You will lead Sarah to what she needs (people, materials) to teach her own children about You. Amen.

    • 255.3
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      Sarah: my children are grown now (ages 30,33) but my passion for their spiritual growth remains and my mothering now consists of praying faithfully for them. Let me pray for you: Dear Lord, I know You have placed these children under Sarah’s care. What a privilege it is to be a mother. I pray You will empower Sarah through Your Word to teach her children about Your love, Your Son. Give her the tools she needs to do this. Encourage her heart daily in this task. Amen.

  6. 256
    Kim Safina says:

    Kim Safina
    The Siesta Side-Kick
    Coast of California

    #1. So many sweet siestas( you know who you are) with Beth leading the pack.
    I am closing my eyes and holding each of you in my heart,mind and spirit.

    The blog that Amanda began through LPM brought me loving encounters of women who supplied my life with friendships and love that filled such a need in my life.

    Your daughter, Melissa filled a very deep void for me. She was such an inspiration during a season of change,loss,moving,and emptiness. 🙂 Her words for me were so uplifting and because of them, she challenged me to write again & read some great books + try some great mascara.:) Thank you MELISSA!!!!!!!!!

    During this time, I Watched my baby graduate from high school, sold our family home of 16+ years,moved 3 hours to our beach house, said farewell to our church and ladies bible study (I taught in my home for 15+ years)empty nest ~ both sons were now @ universities,bought a home(remodeled for 2.5 years),my husband traveled 3 days a week, looked for a new church/ladies study,had 3 deaths in the family, my sons best friend had terminal cancer & I was lonely and forlorn.

    Joseph Scriven’s hymn “What a friend We Have in Jesus” carried my heart during that season of loss & discontentment.

    #2. I enjoyed how Kelly mentioned that Nehemiah’s position as cup bearer to the king was an admired position that would have afforded him a life of leisure. Nehemiah encouraged the discouraged. Nehemiah’s example of godly and heartfelt leadership remains as a good model for families to follow today.

    It is vital to have a heart that can break so we can encourage the discouraged just as Nehemiah did.
    My heart breaks for the broken-hearted who don’t see favor in the sight & light of Christ, when life causes them to disconnect priorities, or when they stray from seeking godly counsel.

    I need to listen more & pray for others daily.

    #3. God has put in my heart to be an encourager and prayer warrior for others.
    I had dreams & plans of being a professional singer/actor/writer.
    The desire for acting/singing/writing has been in our family for generations. God’s hand wasn’t!!!!

    Nehemiah divided a big job into small steps. That is what I have found the Lord doing in my life.

    #5. “What rubble in your life is presently the most discouraging and exhausting?”

    When I finally gave up,Psalm 131 became my solace.
    I have had to let go of the visual pictures of what “I thought” would come true while still grasping the hope for reconstruction of a damaged dream, I was reminded of this scripture where Jesus looked longingly over Jerusalem and said,” O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not”
    (Luke 13:34,KJV)

    Going to CLOSE out in BELIEVING-RECEIVING intercession!!!

    I need some Romaine salad with some Billie’s Banana Pudding and a Starbucks to wash it all down. 🙂

    Kelly, Thanks for giving my summer 2012 a purpose for learning and reflecting with this Nehemiah study!!!

  7. 257
    Bev says:

    Going solo from Houston to Brenham —

    1. Been so blessed to have a good number of people who’ve come into my life that have been used by God to supply something that was greatly missing in my life! I pray that I have been used in the same way as well!
    2. My heart breaks for broken family relationships and the walls that have been broken, as well as the ones that have been put up in defense. Based on personal hurts and experiences, I see how much pain is carried through our lives if we don’t allow our hearts to be broken and made whole again. Self-reflection — it’s also in this area of my own life and my adult children that I need to be more tender. I find it easier to counsel others than it is my own.
    5. Rubble … much of this is very personal – between me and my Abba Father. This question really resonated with my heart because of a spiritual battle my family is facing now as one of our own has chosen to allow lies and deceit of Satan to entangle him. I vividly see Satan encamped in the rubble of broken lives.

  8. 258
    Crystal says:

    Crystal from Charlotte, NC going solo….
    This study is pertinent every day that I open the book. Question #2, #3 really struck a chord and play off of each other. I’m going to start with #3
    #3- God has placed my husband in a position to start up a ministry to help homeless (near homeless) families by starting a transitional housing facility. God has blessed us with the right property but now we are in the midst of renovations so we can move there and complete the 9 apartments that need renovated. This leads to question #2
    #2- I am a clear cut person that rarely exhibits emotion openly. I am not one to hug, delve into “emotion talk”, etc. In order to touch the moms that come in and the kids that have had to experience so much, I need to have a broken heart for them and their situation. I see that a broken heart allows a person to feel for that person/ area that you are focusing on. You are emotionally, mentally and physically invested and caring. You have to let “you” go and let God in to work through you as you touch others.

  9. 259
    Brenda says:

    Brenda, La Palma California:
    Kelly Minter you are inspired by God, and Beth Moore you are drawing the answers from me. My answers to your questions all tie together this week, and I didn’t even realize that this was a recurring theme while I was doing the study.
    #2 If our heart does not break, it becomes hard. It leads to a society that is indifferent. It does not care, and that does not describe the Holy Spirit in us. What breaks my heart? Suffering children. Marriages that do not become what they should. What do I need more compassion for? The three extra grace required kind of people that are in my life. I want to cut them out but can’t. I keep being reminded that a person who hurts is a hurting person.
    #5 The most discouraging/exhausting rubble in my life is again one of those extra grace required people. She also was involved with #4’s answer….hmmmm.

  10. 260
    Tammy says:

    I have been thinking of question 3 alot. What has God put in my heart to do? I kept picturing big things and thinking I am not doing very much. Then I started thinking about the small things God puts in my heart such as listening to people and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord and other things not very visible to alot of people. Sometimes we think the most important things God asks us to do are very visible to everyone and we can name them off because they were so big. But I think we need to do the little things God puts in our heart each day because God knows what the people we encounter each day needs and they can be big to that person even if they seem unimportant to us.

  11. 261
    Jackie UK says:

    This week has been very deep and searching. I have spent many years getting to the top of my career ladder -and now realise that this has been up against the wrong wall. I can see clearly that God has been working in me for some time and I am now in the midst of the rubble from this wall. Broken relationships, betrayals, trust broken, reputation damaged but relying on God and listening hard for what he is guiding me to do.

    I am changing jobs and I know I have to change my priorities and start building a new wall. Scary but exciting. This blog and this study has brought me closer to the Lord and I feel peace and calm in a situation that only a few years ago would have destroyed me.

    Lord stay close to me and all the siesta’s here and especially Beth and her team.Give us eyes to see and ears to hear what we need this summer to have greater intimacy with you – no matter what the cost. Amen.

  12. 262
    Shirley Platt says:

    Galveston, Texas
    ♥ Question 2 meant so much to me.
    If we don’t have a heart that will break then there is no way that we can have compassion for others. I feel that having compassion for each other is what our main goal in life should be, what God intended. God intended for us to become a “family” here on earth and to take care of each other and grow together. Without a heart that will break we miss the opportunities each and every day to minister to others.

  13. 263
    Joni says:

    Going solo from San Antonio…I just returned from the Ukraine from a mission trip ministering at various orphanages in and around Odessa. The school has been going to the Ukraine for close to 7 yrs. However, this journey for me started 2 years ago when my homeroom was given an opportunity to pray for some of the orphans. My girls (randomly) chose 2 boys that we prayed for every day. As the school was preparing for this year’s trip, I felt God leading me to go on this trip. I was able to meet one of the boys for whom we were praying. When I told him that a group of us had been praying for him for 2 yrs, he could not believe that anyone would pray for him, much less people who did not know him. Prayers for a boy I did not know for 2 years. A trip to an orphanage in the Ukraine where I met him for the 1st time. A boy who loves to learn and desires to go further in his education, but hindered by circumstances beyond his control. Isn’t it amazing how God can orchestrate things beyond our ability to see at the time? And how our passions intersect God’s will for us? How what began 2 years ago was a lighthouse to follow, one I didn’t even know I was following? It was not a random choice. God knew 2 years ago I would meet this young boy. He has 2 more years before he leaves the orphanage. The statistics don’t look good for him. But while I don’t know fully what this will look like, but I know that God has placed in my heart a love for orphans (we adopted our precious girl from Romania) and He does not want Sasha to be a statistic. God has a plan and it’s exciting to see it unfold.

  14. 264
    Loretta says:

    Loretta, Gainesville, GA

    # 2 – It is vital to have a heart that can break, so you can do what God has planned, and placed on your heart to do for Him. You could not do that with a cold heart. It breaks my heart to see cruelty, poverty, hunger, and abuse to all people, but most especially to women and children.

    # 3 – God has put on my heart to offer encouragement to others, and continue to help those less fortunate. James 2:8 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus ~ every day.

  15. 265
    MaryLisa says:

    Minnezona – #5 The rubble in my (Minne) life is church plant rubble. Although I realize that it’s not rubble of a situation that has been destroyed, church planting creates a lot of construction mess. We are three years into it and I am wondering how we are going to get out of the mess and into something beautiful.

  16. 266
    Amy says:

    Plump Ducks from Houston, TX (6 people)

    I think the most impactful part of our discussion was how much we shared in the same struggles with direction. We all had something we feel God has laid on our hearts, and are having a hard time determining a) if it is from God or our own desires, or b) how and when God will show us the next steps to take. Nehemiah is such a great example to remember of someone who prays and consults with Him alone on every decision with rebuilding the wall.

  17. 267
    Rachel in Arizona says:

    Springs in the Desert (3 in our group)
    Tucson, AZ

    We met for breakfast and one strong point of discussion came from question #2… we need to be more broken for people and less judgmental of them or their circumstances. Without brokenness for them, we can easily justify not helping them.

  18. 268
    Maryann says:

    Maryann, Boston,MA,

    #1 – Beth, I cannot imagine my walk without you. When I am feeling drained,sad, emotionless, I go to the LPM blog and always read something that lifts my spirit or renews my passion. Your ministry has been a blessing. I don’t know what I did before the internet!

    #2 – My heart breaks for family members and friends who are not saved. My heart also breaks at how difficult this society has made it for young people to stand up for God’s truths. It is important to have a heart that can break so you can be moved to action. People who are indifferent do not take action.

  19. 269
    Pam says:

    The Texas Bluebonnets-11 ladies across Texas-online group.

    This week seemed to cut straight to our hearts. Although we can’t meet in person, members share their thoughts via email and community is born! The Bluebonnets agree that overcommitment and saying “yes” have brought issues like frustration, exhaustion and discouragement to our lives. Possibly examples of “forced plans”? One of our group has made the commitment to end certain obligations by the end of August. Searching out what God has placed in our hearts is certainly on our hearts. Things that break our hearts include hunger, human trafficking, child abuse, disaster. Going to God first resonates with us. We can’t forget this example from Nehemiah. Our own personal rubble includes finances and relationships.
    Thanks to Kelly for such a great study and to Beth for such leadership and perspective. We are truly enjoying and are being blessed by you both. Praise God for his timeless Word.

  20. 270
    Peggy Fletcher says:

    Peggy/ Berwyn,AB solo
    Well I’m super late getting my comments in this time. I have had a great week of serving and cooking dinners for 225 teenagers for Serve 2012 Peace River, AB. It was a great outreach to our Northern Community.
    Anyways onto Nehemiah, I would have to say that the members my church care group are people that the Lord has brought into my life in a big way. We just discussed a couple weeks ago how we have all recently come from a time of complete brockenness before the Lord and how we are now at a place where he can really use us. The lord has put a passion in my heart for his church( the Bride ofChrist) and he is revealing to me through this group what his church really looks like. Living Stones, I finally understand that concept. I have prayed for 3 years for this type of community and it is only of Christ that this has come about. I am so Blessed!!!

  21. 271
    Heather says:

    heather from lancaster, Pa going solo.

    Hope it’s not too late to post.
    #1 One day in Bible study I was sitting there with tears running down my face all by myself and this older”motherly” like women leaned up from behind me and started speaking words of encouragement all over me! It was amazing. We didn’t even know each other but she was speaking right into my heart. Words I have never heard from my own mother. I love her to pieces-and i think the feeling is mutual.
    #2 My heart breaks for children of divorced families. My family was broken at the young age of 4 and it was a personal journey for me all the way through to my 30’s. So difficult. I know first-hand what it can do to a child and I don’t wish that upon anyone.
    #5 My rubble is financial. It seems like my husband and I have been plagued by financial difficulty since the day we married. It has been a roller coaster ride of incomes and emotions. But the Lord has never left us or been unfaithful to us. I know He will use it as a testimony for His glory some day.

  22. 272
    fuzzytop says:

    Tennessee Misfits – Jasper, TN – 3 of us (Linda, Sarah, and Adrienne) in our group.

    We are enjoying this study! Most of discussion was spent on what has been placed on our hearts. For all of us, this centered mostly on family – kids, grandchild, and husbands. We also talked about how important it seems to simply be the hands and feet of Jesus to people who need help, and to shake of some deeply entrenched “legalistic” obligations that we feel compelled to perform.

    We also talked about the rubble in our lives, and how we need to own our rubble and take responsibility for dealing with it, but at the same time, not let it own us.


  23. 273
    Cindy Tooley says:

    Cindy, Monte 4, Montesano, Wa.
    So sorry I’m late getting this in to you. I am the visiting mother (from Az.) who is one of the 4 working here in this new upstart business of an adult family home. I believe the Lord brought me here for the summer, to not onlly help with all the work that needs to be done, but to facilitate this Bible Study. The two young moms who are nurses and starting this business plus myself and the other mom are loving your study. They have never done a Bible Study. It is so awesome to see these girls get into the word. We have had times to discuss what we’ve learned, working together. Tomorrow we’re having a lunch with the romaine salad and the chicken soup, from Kelly’s book. Thank you so much for making this available for us.

  24. 274
    Cari Andreani says:

    The “Little Debbies” from Jacksonville met for session 2 and LOVED every moment! We made the enchiladas and well-the ginger snaps didn’t quite come out so we bought some 🙂
    Loving the study and discussion and will post more after next week. Sorry this week was so late, but we are with you in spirit!!
    Love and Blessings!!

  25. 275
    Kristi says:

    Council Bluffs, IA; Word Searchers, 6. We got a little hung up on the “rubble” this week. We talked about how we often dig ditches instead of rebuilding walls. A couple of our ladies are going through tough marriage issues right now and a couple of us just feel “dry.” Not a lot of kingdom-work is being accomplished when we focus on self. Do the walls closest to home need rebuilt first? Yes and no. Serving others can be a big step in the healing process.

  26. 276
    Ashley Dinwiddie says:

    Bolivar Beloved, Bolivar, MO
    4 in our group, 3 tonight (one is at DisneyWorld, I guess we’ll let that slide)
    – We forgot to post after the study last Wednesday night!
    We had a great time of fellowship, after some chicken veggie pasta. We especially enjoyed sharing what God has laid on our hearts to do for Him, while also dealing with some rubble. We are so enjoying Kelly’s study!

  27. 277
    Loanna says:

    Loanna, Cumberland, MD

    #2- If my heart can be broken, then it can be taught, molded and shaped to hear and to do God’s will. Some things that break my heart are human trafficking, abuse of children and women, and people who have gone to church all their lives but don’t seem to know God is for them. I could be more tender towards those right around me who might need a meal, encouragement or financial help.
    #3- There are a couple of areas I’ve been praying about – ministering to the widow’s at my church and mentoring or discipling teen girls. I do sense God telling me to take my time with this; I have jumped into things before and then realized God was not in it. I really appreciate Kelly encouraging us to commit to a “season of prayer regarding what God is laying on your heart.”
    I think we sometimes jump into something because we think if we are burdened about something then God must be telling us to do something, and if we don’t do something right now we feel guilty.

    I enjoy reading other people’s comments. It really is like doing a group Bible study!

  28. 278
    Hickory girls says:

    9 in our group in Hickory NC! We are amazed at how touched we are with this study. It has moved is to the point of reaching out together in our community through this summer. One of our group members researched several ministries that serve women and we are going to decide next week which one we will work with : volunteering time, giving to the needs of the women there, etc. It has caused us to want to help others with their “rubble “.

  29. 279
    Shae says:

    Question 2. Why is it vital to have a heart that can break? God doesn’t need anything that we “have.” He doesn’t NEED our money, possessions, time or talents, because He’s the one who gave them to us anyway. He wants for us to be willing to give back to Him the things He’s given to us to be used in the way He wants. Our willingness to be broken and open to what He desires for us is what He can use, to help us and others be closer to Him.
    Question 5. The rubble presently in my life are the negative habits and neglect formed in my marriage that keeps it stagnant and the area that I am fervently spending time in prayer this summer.

  30. 280
    jenny hud says:

    tired-moms-who-lack-a-creative-name; white hall AR; 2

    the ones that sparked the most conversation this week were #1 and #2:

    1. We loved the way she put this: meeting people that we missed terribly. Amanda works with the Chinese church that meets in our church, and they are definitely defined as ones she missed and didn’t know it until she met them. Even the new people that come into the ministry: she feels like she has known each one just as soon as she meets them. I work with teenagers and at first (because of past hurts) I steered clear of youth ministry, but I can’t imagine life without them now.
    2. You don’t realize how snobby, judgemental, or arrogant you are until faced with questions like these. I think we justify far too easily. The things that don’t break our hearts were (in our minds) justifiable, but we are wrongwrong. We discussed how we view God and Jesus where we compartmentalize the things in our list that don’t break our heart as things that wouldn’t break Jesus’ either. I mean, he did fashion that whip and turn those tables over. How wrong we are. I’ve been on the other side of a broken heart where NOTHING broke my heart. It is a terrible place to be…and so completely opposite of the Lord. There are definitely places where we need Christ-compassion. The things that don’t break our hearts: where do we start? How do we make them start breaking our hearts? Maybe with prayer. maybe in praying for these things/people that don’t break our heart, there will start to be compassion & concern that replaces rolling eyes, ignoring completely and frustrated grunts. Prayer. how simple.

    We are loving Nehemiah, but were really keeping it at surface bible study only. We made a commitment to go deeper with the personal questions and we really desire not to just have knowledge as that only puffs up. we want to look different when we get to the end of this! God help us.

  31. 281
    Tamara says:

    We Three Weavers- in Alabama, New Jersey & The Bahamas: You have to seriously love technology in times like these. Here we are women all across the globe in all seasons of life and we can share in these studies and scriptures and times together. I just love it! My mom, sister and I are going through this study together through email, and it has been wonderful. I have really enjoyed getting to know Nehemiah. To be quite honest I had never really studied him before, and he is leaving quite an impression.

    It is so easy to get distracted from the calling the Lord has placed on our hearts or to miss it altogether. I’m encouraged with our study and by our group ‘e-discussions’ on the study. Looking forward to our next session!!

  32. 282
    Stephanie says:

    Stephanie Parker, Colo. solo
    How much I wish I was doing this with someone. However I am loving spending so much time with the Lord one on one.I think number 4 and 5 hit home for me the most.

    #4 I never looked at a broken wall as a bad thing. I really had to turn this around in my mind.I saw this as if my wall was down how my weakness would show.Sometimes it is when we are weak that we find are biggest strength.I tend to build my walls so that know one will ever see the true me and I will be protected and not vulnerable.

    #5 All I can say is rubble leave my life and fill it with the spirit of God!

    • 282.1
      Cynthia says:

      You are not truly alone…read the comments on this blog, and you will discover how much we all have in common!

  33. 283
    Peggy says:

    Peggy, Mexico (Sinaloa)from MN, solo

    #1 Endless, Ms. Beth, SIESTAS and special bloggers; Karen, Denise, Sharon, Church family; Pastor Irene R., Lisa E.,Connie M. and on and on…
    #2 Why is it so vital to have a heart that can break? What breaks your heart and where you could be more tender.
    … Mexico; *human trafficking, poverty, hunger, abuse, natural disasters, social injustices… women and children issues. Without a heart that can break, we’d be hardened and insensitive to God and the many needs of so many in need, even our own issues that need change.

    #3 What has God put in your heart to do?
    some I’m doing (praise God, right now in MX, but not enough)Stop human trafficking and develop a sense of worth and purpose in women and children to avoid this trap

    Have you ever forced a plan or dream that, in retrospect, you realized God’s hand wasn’t on? Many times, especially since leaving home and coming to MX over 16 yrs. ago

    #4 Discuss how disgrace can result from a collapsed wall of some kind. THEN, celebrate the reality that walls can be REBUILT!!!

    I’m so thankful for this!!! Disgrace/shame be gone… time for God to help me with some much needed REBUILDING! Dealt with so many WALLS collapsing around me and ones being built.

    This question resonates the MOST for me (but without the book, it’s hard to know what p.39 says) but Beth’s response and knowing the burden of “shame”, I too must confess my own actions, unhealthy choices, mistakes, messes… well, SIN… have caused many collapsed walls and need to rebuild (still in process)

    #5 What rubble in your life is presently the most discouraging and exhausting? …marriage 30+ yrs. to an unbeliever (separated for more than a decade);
    …moving ahead or back, rebuilding, getting beyond the past mistakes/choices
    …mission work and hardened hearts
    …denying my flesh and doing God’s will, seeking God’s direction and plan
    …knowing which bricks to throw or leave unturned; which ones I need to pray thru and ACT on now…

    LORD, You are great and glorious! Thank You for laying the true foundation we have in Jesus Christ and fighting for us! I will stand strong against the enemy as long as You are standing with me. Be with
    all my sisters in Christ, rebuilding and tearing down strongholds so You can move powerfully and victoriously in us in Jesus precious name…

  34. 284
    Annette Baal says:

    Annette, Toronto ON Canada
    I am entranced with how often Nehemiah went to the Lord in prayer. I have begun underlining in my Bible whenever I see the word “pray,” “prayer,” etc. Even when he says he is praying to “the God of heaven.” Indeed, we serve and love a great God Who is enthroned in heaven and isn’t it delightful that we can come to Him at any time with any request and He hears us. He delights in fellowshipping with us in prayer. I am learning to listen to Him while I speak with Him. And to go to Him first with anything that comes up. He is tearing down the walls that need to go in my life and building up the ones that need to be strong and steadfast. Oh, how I love Him!

  35. 285
    Lindsay Daughtery says:

    The Southern Bell Society, Chattanooga, TN, 6. We met at Panera again on Thursday, as we are hopping from different Panera locations in town for each get together. All 6 of us were able to make it despite heavy rain all day! We had an amazing get together and are all really enjoying our summer siesta and growing so close in Christ! When we got to the discussion question about being disgraced, one of our ladies started telling us about her time with this study and how this question just really brought it all together for her. I wish I was able to remember exactly the words she used because it was so beautiful but essentially she has been estranged from God for quite some time and He spoke to her when she got to the question about being disgraced and she has found her way back to the Lord! We are all so overjoyed for her and I am still in awe of how this whole bible study group even got together and that she even decided to be a part of it in the first place. She concluded with the fact that she had lots of rubble and it was going to definitely be harder to rebuild than to build from new. Powerful stuff!!! Thank you all so much for organizing this bible study which reaches so many people that would normally not end up in bible study. Praise the Lord!! =)

  36. 286
    Paula says:


    I’m late, but what spoke to me throughout these lessons and in answering the questions is that my heart has broken so many times because I have not forgiven those who have hurt me. I think I need to pray and to ask my sweet Siestas to pray for me that God will teach me forgiveness. I have to be persistent like Nehemiah and keep going to the Lord in prayer so that I can let go of old hurts that I wasn’t really aware of until I really began to probe these questions.

  37. 287
    Gals who love God and coffee says:

    As we discussed and fellowshipped together we talked about how important prayer is in our relationship with God. We all agreed that our relationship with God needs to be very intimate so we can discern his purpose in our lives. Prayer is the key to communicating intimately with our Lord.
    After these two weeks of studying Nemehiah, if we were left wondering what God has put on our hearts to be doing then it was a wakeup call to start praying for God to clarify or wake up our hearts to his vision. If we were in the midst of a Godly vision then prayer was essential to having God lead the way and be our rock as we were pressed on every side. If we were told to wait on a passion in our hearts then prayer was our sanity as we wait on God’s timing and hope to be utelized how he wants to use us at the present time.
    Drawing near to God and becoming more sensitive to God’s voice on our hearts was a univeral goal of our time today.

  38. 288
    Lisa Worthington says:

    Girls in all Seasons from Knoxville, Tennessee. This week we added two more ladies to our group bringing our total up to 8. We met on Thursday night. What a wonderful and special week. When we began discussing what breaks our hearts, we were struck by a repeated irony that what broke our hearts was very often related to what we needed to be more tender toward. For instance one of our women shared that broken marriages weighed heavily on her heart, but then she realized that she had responded that her heart needed to be more tender in her marriage. Another shared that her heart broke for nonbelievers and she needed to be more tender hearted in her workplace where she is surrounded by nonbelievers. We were struck by how a big picture broken heartedness often needs to begin in the smaller picture of our own lives with the very people with are in contact with every day. And then our time of intercessory prayer!!! Wow! God was so close to us. Thank you for offering this study. Only two sessions in and God is moving in our little group. He is right in the midst of the laughter, the food, the tears, and the stories, and the lives we are all bringing to the table. He is wiping our tears, holding us close and tendering our hearts towards one another.

  39. 289
    Jeanie Roberson says:

    Jeanie Roberson, Nashville,TN
    1. I figured everyone would think I was hokey if I put Beth. But I bet there are thousands of women that would answer Beth Moore here. She is just the type of person that you feel you’ve known your entire life even though you’ve never met her. And you wonder what in the world did you do without her before she came into your life. But past the hokey, God allowed a brief and very special time with a older Christian lady at a very difficult time in my life. We studied scripture together, once a week for about 2 years. When I first met her I felt I had known her all my life and I do think God had prepared our hearts prior to our meeting.

    3. God has given me a passion for His Word. I love studying God’s Word and helping others understand it and apply it to their lives. I fully believe in the transformational power of God’s Word. I believe it will not return void and I believe it has the same creative force that it did when God said, “Let there be…” in the beginning. God desires to transform us into the image of His Son. That is becoming my hearts desire too!

    Yes I have forced a plan or dream and discovered pretty quickly that it wasn’t what from God. It didn’t produce lasting fruit, it left me frustrated and disappointed, but it was also an opportunity to learn to not jump ahead or lag behind the moving of the Holy Spirit. I am still learning that lesson.

    4. To me it represents failure of some kind. Failure to keep the wall from collapsing in the first place. There is so much that could be said here. But moving on to the beautiful promise that Jesus literally was a carpenter and is the master rebuilder. I love the promise that God will restore what the locusts have eaten. He redeems, reconciles and renews! Praise His Holy Name!!!

  40. 290
    Paula Jones says:

    Knoxville, TN
    15 ladies — Sevier Heights Baptist Church
    Searching New Heights

    We shared about times when being obedient meant doing something that made us afraid. We prayed that God would help us see our sin the way He sees it so that we will never fail to appreciate the great cost of forgiveness.

  41. 291
    Sue says:

    Kingsport, TN; Sue- Solo.
    Question 2- Children who aren’t cared for and children who are terminally ill break my heart. I need to be more tender in making rash judgments. If God wants me to do something other than what I do for children, I need to see the writing on the wall.
    Question 5 – Rubble in my life- My daughter graduated from college in May and will have her first job interview this Thursday morning. I pray for God’s will for her life. I also pray for her to feel good about her interview so she will be encouraged if this job isn’t the one for her. I find myself feeling discouraged and exhausted from this, even though I know God will take care of her.
    I also have physical rubble that is weighing me down. I must give away and throw away.

  42. 292
    Michelle Irwin says:

    Michelle, Clinton, TN, going solo
    #1. Name people I’ve met who I realized I’d been greatly missing: This does not involve a personal relationship, at least not yet. After desiring to serve meals at the local homeless shelter for years I finally have gone a couple of times, the last being last week. I cannot explain the compassion (not condescension) that literally overflowed out of my heart. I actually felt joy oozing out and couldn’t keep from smiling. What took me so long?! I was humbled every single time someone said thank you, and there were many, many who did. I have an easy life compared to these folks yet I felt like I had something filled in me which I sensed was empty but now I know. I want to keep going back again and again.
    #2. Why is it so vital to have a heart that can break? What breaks your heart and where could you be more tender: I think if our heart can’t break then we will look at others with judgement and condemnation and not be willing to step out of our own lives and comfort zones to reach out. There is a lot of addiction in my family so I feel like I look at those suffering with addictions with compassion. My heart is tender to the consequences they suffer due to the stranglehold their addictions get on them. And my heart hurts for the suffering that a lot, if not all, have endured that led to the choices that placed them on that path. I know their souls are aching! Also, the thought of young girls and women trapped in sex slavery and human trafficking. I have two daughters and the thought of it makes me furious and makes me want to cry at the same time.
    I feel like one area I could be more tender even though I try is for those who grieve loss. I haven’t walked that road and feel so helpless as to what to say or do and I feel inept. I have no real frame of reference to rely on to help me. I fear it causes me to unwittingly seem less compassionate and fail to reach out as I should.

  43. 293
    Shawna Benedict says:

    The Boise Heartbreakers – Boise, Idaho
    We met again in my home, seven of us. We are four adult women and three high school seniors. We had such sweet fellowship and are enjoying the intimacy of this study. Most important issue for us: asking forgiveness, accepting forgiveness, leaving the memory of the sin behind and living without shame. We talked about how difficult living without shame of our past is and that it is something we each desire to live more fully. A truly blessed morning! Thank you!

  44. 294
    Kristy Bartlett says:

    I realize now, looking back, that I really missed my husband and daughters before God gave them to me. They have been instrumental in cementing me in the Lord!

    But also Kay P. My mentor in Bible study.

    And Kathy – my mentor in prayer and relationship with Jesus. I still call her when God does something mighty or I am trying to figure it out.

    • 294.1
      Kristy Bartlett says:

      Eep – I forgot!

      Kristy, Seattle Area, Washington, solo (and behind because God has done a mighty thing in my husband’s life! Such answered prayer!)

  45. 295
    Krystal Porter says:

    VICTORIOUS WOMEN of Grand Haven, MI. 16 ladies! How awesome! To know that over this summer, thousands of women are doing this very Nehemiah study all over the country! Unity!!! At our group this week, we talked about how every time Nehemiah had something going on, his first response-PRAYER! What an amazing concept! God is the planner and Creator, He knows all and sees all… He is just waiting (like a gentleman) for us to go to Him! We also asked God to break our hearts for the things that break His heart. We had some great prayer time at the end of the meeting too. And we had Ginger Snaps (and other yummies:) ).

  46. 296
    Becky says:

    Becky from Tennessee. Questions 1 asks about people we didn’t know we missed until we met them…… Six years ago I went on an unexpected mission trip to Japan for 10 weeks. I was not toally eager to go but knew the Lord led me to do that. It was a wonderful time for me in many ways, but one wonderful thing was the women who I met in the English classes and Bible studies that I taught. Most spoke some English but communication was sometimes interesting, but in a short time I grew to love those women and develop friendships. I never imagined having friends in another country, culture, and language so different from my own. I miss seeing them now. That opened my mind and heart to take the time to get to know others that don’t speak perfect English and through another class became good friends with a Korean pastor’s wife here in my town. They recently moved to Atlanta, and I miss them, too. What is interesting is the idea that I missed them before I knew them, and because of the way they have enriched my life and deepened my faith and increased my idea of God’s kingdom, I know that is true.

  47. 297
    candifer says:

    SanCan – SD & THAILAND!!!

    Oh gosh, we are both struggling quite a bit, not because of the material at all, just both in transition and having a hard time making time for Bible study because of it. also, our Skype time has been cut short because of storms in Thailand (it’s the rainy season), but we will persevere! we can do all things through Christ because he is the source of our strength (:

    the time we had, we camped on #2 & #3 (they have quite a bit of overlap). my mom would not be living where she is living and doing what she is doing if she did not have a heart that could break/be molded and shaped. God called her to thailand where she works with marginalized people–many of whom are illegal immigrants from neighboring countries brought in to work at factories. she especially has a heart for young women and will always be used by God to fill in as a mom for whomever crosses her path. (it’s kind of cool for me–an only child–to think of the countless ‘sisters’ i have around the world!).

    right now she’s having a bit of a tough time. she’s been in thailand for 4 years and has yet to find a home. the first 3 years she been helped different missionaries around the country, hopping here and there every 6 months or so as she was needed. the last year, she has been in the same place, living at the Hope Center. living in an apartment above public space has been draining, and she’s ready to have something a little more permanent and ‘hers’.

    she has wonderful ideas of how God could use her home for ministry–house church, English lessons, baking classes, a guest home for other missionaries that need a rest–but is in this season having to really petition God for direction because things just are not working out. is this something HE wants, or something SHE wants and hopes He’ll bless? I’m defs joining her in prayer.

    oh, i love these questions and having the chance to discuss them with my mama. thanks so much, ladies at living proof. tonight i am so very, very thankful for you all (:

  48. 298
    Allison says:

    A & B Girls: Duo – one in AZ, one in AR – Our answers were similar in that having a breakable heart is important because it allows God to work through us, teach us, and be an example to others regarding showing and modelling compassion for others. Both of our hearts are open to an opportunity for God to use us in a way to improve the lives of at-risk children who are being impacted by the neglectful actions of the adults in their lives. We both agreed that we have similar “rubble” ranging from our feelings of inadequacies as wives and mothers as well as underlying feelings that we are a disappointment to God for not doing what the Lord is leading us to do. Being afforded redemption and second chances because Christ died for us gave us a feeling that our mistakes or failures were not in vain because of our personal growth. We learned we needed to step out in faith as God provided the stamina and put the right people in our lives to “rebuild” the rubble and end the disgrace. Most importantly, the A & B girls realized that God put us together for a reason. We realized we were each “the person we missed terribly but had not met yet” for the other one. We want to intercede for each other through prayer as we share our challenges while celebrating our triumphs. Additionally, we feel led to support each other from a distance through prayer for each other’s husbands, children, jobs, “rubble”, etc. Here’s to BELIEVING-RECEiVING intercession.

  49. 299
    Tangila says:

    Pearland, TX- solo

    Question 3: Although I currently teach in a co-ed, Bible study class in my local church, I have a specific desire to encourage women, particularly young women, in the Word. I am thankful for this question because it forced me to actually verbalize what has been on my heart and I know that this is going to be the start of something more.

    Question 5: I am still trying to dig out from under the rubble of a painful divorce. As a single parent of two boys, not a day goes by that I don’t find some area of our lives that needs clearing out. Sometimes it’s particles as small as dust that can be handled with minimal exertion but many times, I run smack dab into a boulder of pity and/ or anger that requires all that I have to remove it. But even in all this, I can honestly say that God IS faithful!

  50. 300
    Tami says:

    I really appreciated the lessons in Session 2 on days 4 & 5. I know what it’s like to rebuild from emotional rubble, and that’s such an encouraging account of how to stand firm and keep on working–not getting paralyzed by fear and doubt. I loved how Nehemiah encouraged the workers, and reminded them to be strong in the Lord–remembering His awesomeness. I kept thinking of Ezekial 22:30, and Isaiah 61. I’m currently fighting for my family and standing in the gap. I was reminded that as the Lord leads me, I’m responsible to say the hard things no one wants to hear(Ez 3:17-20), and to pray for God’s mercy!

    I also realized that a past defeat doesn’t predict a future defeat in the same area! (The king ordered them to stop building before, but this time they would have his protection and blessing to rebuild. Being stopped before did not mean the wall would NEVER be rebuilt.)

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