Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 3!

Nehemiah Summer Session 3 from LPV on Vimeo.

Hey, you darling things! Our summer Bible study is flying like the wind! We are four weeks stronger in the Word of God than we were when we started and THAT is a powerful thing. I am so blessed that you are persevering amid about 1000 things vying for your attention. Our culture has infected us with such serious attention deficit disorder that we have to fight harder than ever for focus and reflection. We also have to catch where catch can. I love picturing some of your Nehemiah workbooks with water splotches on them from your neighborhood pool, with mustard on them from catching up on your homework during your lunch, and, goodness knows, with coffee on them from getting up at some unreasonably godly hour to get it all done. God has not missed a single effort you have put into this journey nor will He allow a solitary word to return void.

“For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:47

We, too, have our Jordans. We, too, have lands of promise where we thrive by faith and serve God and our fellowman in the full throttle effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. So, take heart! What you’re doing here is profoundly important.

OK, our gatherings and discussions today will reflect on Weeks (or Sessions) Three and Four of our homework. Remember that all comments to this post come AFTER your group views the video (or questions below) and completes the guided discussion. Always sign in by your group name, city, and number participating each time or, if you’re going solo, 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.

1. In the introduction to Session or Week Three and at the bottom of p.64, Kelly strongly encourages us to open up our worlds and deliberately look straight into the faces of some who are powerless, oppressed and poor. I love the way she ends the challenge: GO LEARN A NAME. Share within the discretion of your group the name of someone you reach out to personally who lives a very different life and falls under one of those headings. Share something about your interaction with the person that God has used in YOUR life and not just hers/his. Those of you going solo: since we have a very public format, use first names only.

2. Look at the shaded personal response section on p.72. Let’s tweak that question a little bit to involve even more of us: Name a time when God has asked you to lay down entitlement in an area where you were justified in holding onto it. As you share this occasion, discuss what you believe to have been the greater purpose.

3. Look in the left-hand margin of p.80 and share your answer to this question: In what area of obedience are you currently fatiguing? Encourage one another to persevere! Talk about the value of what God is calling you to do and any blessing that has already come to you as a direct result of this area of obedience.

4. Review Nehemiah 8:1-8 where Ezra reads from the Book of the Law. Glance back at the bottom of p.103 and the top of p.104. Discuss that kind of awe for the Word of God and talk about current ways people are aided in their understanding of the Scriptures.

5. Lastly, glance at the right hand margin on p.111 and answer the personal reflection question: What about the Christian life gives you the most joy? Try to get specific!

I wish so much I could be in on all your discussions. I love being in the Word with you, Sweet Things! We only have 2 more weeks to go! Let’s finish strong by doing our 5th and 6th weeks of homework and we’ll meet again on Tuesday, August 7th. If you’re participating in the community meal, how about Capri’s Pasta on p.113?

I love you guys like crazy. Stay the course!


237 Responses to “Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 3!”

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  1. 1
    Barbara says:

    Beth Moore James, Mercy Triumphs,
    It’s amazing and I do not know where, how or if this is the right spot to reach out to you. I do not want it to end.
    But, I just need to tell you every video you are speaking directly to me.
    I am so grateful for you and your heart for our God.
    You are reaching me!
    I usually leave in tears, and last night was not different. If the sun comes up my rain is coming!
    The idea of living a life with God, and having this great story to tell , for the joy set before me helps me hang on in a very tight situation.
    That some day I will be able to say THAT COULD ONLY BE GOD! is even possible?
    Roman 8:24
    Earlier in week one, when you had us do the excise of a time line. I could have gone to a psychologist for years and never got such insight to my own deformed desires. I know it is now and I am ready to hear what needs to be said, told.
    But, I still must thank you and tell you I will continue to stand firm.
    I love this series and you.

  2. 2
    Holly says:

    Holly, Monroe, Michigan going solo.

    Someone who has touched our lives that comes from a different culture and background is a boy from my son’s basketball team. He is poor and embarrassed because of it. When we take him home he always makes excuses for the house and the lawn looking the way they do. It breaks my heart and I always assure him we don’t care. He is always so grateful for every little thing anyone does for him. He has taught our family gratitude. Humility. And appreciation.

    An area of disobedience that I keep fatiguing on is gossip. Going to others when I’m upset with someone or about something instead of trusting God to go to Him alone.

    One of things that brings me most joy in my christian walk is when God just dumbfounds (sp?) me and does something so cool like bringing others or a situation into my life, when I least expected it, and it was exactly what I needed.

    • 2.1


      I can so relate to you on so many levels, especially the area of disobedience – I had been prone to gossip until I came under the conviction of the Lord a few years ago when my husband and I went through a horribly difficult time in our marriage. I have his permission to share our story, but I work very hard to tell both sides and not layer my testimony with accusation. I had to learn the difference between honestly dealing with what happened in a safe environment (say counseling or ministry session) or in an honoring way, and just telling the story to be heard. But, that is my story. It is a daily process of allowing the Lord to cut away those things of my flesh and bring more life to my heart and mind through His Spirit. There was a time when I prayed according to a Scripture, “Lord, just put a muzzle over my mouth when I do not need to speak.”

      As for what brings you joy… Mine was much the same. Aha! moments that bring me full circle (and those around me as well). I just love looking back on something, especially a difficult something, and seeing God’s fingerprints all over it. Living close to His heart is the most splendid thing. 🙂


  3. 3

    Lyli, Fort Lauderdale, solo:
    #1. We went to Haiti in 2009 — before the earthquake. There we met several people whose day to day life is quite different from ours. They are filled with joy, yet they have so little. This was a rude awakening for me.
    #3. Exercise is an area I really struggle with and need accountability.

    • 3.1

      I, too, struggle with exercising and keeping myself physically fit. I do well when I have accountability and someone to answer to but seem to fall away when I’ve gone it on my own. Sad, but true. I’ll be praying for you to receive the godly friendship and accountability that you desire in this area of your life.


  4. 4
    Vanessa Hersey says:

    Vanessa from Victoria, TX

    Question 2…the personal response on. 72

    My husband and I have a comfortable combined income (it wasn’t always that way), and in the last several years I have been spending money on make-up and skin are items that are pricier than I used to buy. God has been putting on my heart that the money I spend on those things could really be put to better use for His glory. I dont believe He is asking me to completely give these things up….just buy less expensive items and use the money to help others rather than myself.

  5. 5
    Hannah P. says:

    Hannah P., Port Huron, Michigan

    #3 One are that I’ve been fatiguing in is complaining. Yesterday my husband made arrangements for 2 special things and I complained and whined about not getting to go to something the day after one of these events (something I’d been planning on all summer). I realized that I wasn’t showing gratefulness to him and apologized.

    #5 The thing about the Christian life brings me the most joy is knowing that when I pray, God hears me. I tend to obsess about things and praying and giving God my burdens helps me not to get as stressed out about these things. I still do lean on my own understanding, but continue to ask God to help me lean on Him instead.

  6. 6
    Jane says:

    Jane, Houston, going it solo

    First off I have to say that your door chime is the exact one that I have at my house. So, on the video it has scared me 2 times in a row! I am home alone and wasnt expecting anyone to enter my house and when your chime went off my heart jumped until I figured out the chime was on the video!!

    I moved to Houston one year ago this month and God was such a visible part of that move through SO many ways. So it shouldn’t surprise me, that he put our cleaning girl in our lives. Before coming to Houston I always thought that the illegal immigrants shouldn’t be here. Well, God has shown me that some of them are here because their families snuck them across the border when they were just children and now have to live with the consequences of being illegal. Our cleaning girl knows God and has all the faith that He is good. She is an amazing young lady trying to raise her 6 year old daughter. My husband and I bought her a car under the pretense that she would work in our home one day a week for one year. She has never asked for a day off, or switched days, or missed a day of work in the year that we have lived here. This summer I have taught her daughter how to swim, made quilts for both of them, and have taken her to my church on Sunday. I have also taken her to see an Immigration lawyer, so she will know exactly where she stands in the USA. I know there are SO many opinions on all that is involved in her life BUT God put her in my life for some reason and I’m not going to miss a beat.

    I love this study! Thanks, Beth

    • 6.1
      Cari Andreani says:

      That is beautiful! God is so good, isn’t He? I am sure this young girl is as much a blessing to you (or more!) as you are to her. Precious insight! Thank you for sharing how God is working in your life.

  7. 7
    Nita Daniel says:

    Miss Beth I know this may be off the subject but I have to tell you the James study is so amazing just finished the issue with the tongue and I would do a little then have to stop and cry and repent I so love the Lord but I have to get control in this area I don’t want it to mess with my witness. Now to let you know you really have got into our business in this study and my girls have called me and said boy is she tearing up our toes or what and I said yes but that will be how we never forget this study about a man named James. But Beth just keep on getting into our business that is changing me and I never what to do any time in the Word that I don’t leave changed. You are a blessing can’t wait to sit with you in heaven and have us some good deep Bible study and maybe our friend James will sit with us. I will always remember the word harvest you gave me and every time it comes up in the Word I rejoice and praise God that I want me some harvest to lay at His feet. Keep up the good fight sister we need you.

    • 7.1
      Cari Andreani says:

      I love your comment about James- we did James right before this study on Nehemiah and I AM STILL NOT OVER IT! What a powerful study! You are so right- don’t you feel like you know James? I cried during the last session (in front of all of my Bible study ladies)- it just came all full circle to me. Like Beth said in one of her interviews with Kelly. I honestly wasn’t sure about James but Oh- he won me over!
      God bless dear sister! Stay in the Word!

  8. 8
    Candace says:

    Jefferson City, TN
    Jeff City Ladies!

    Our group has had 5-6 ladies each week, we are meeting on Monday nights, so we have already discussed these chapters. We had to start in order to be done by August when school starts here in East TN!! Ugh!!

    1. I have asked my small group and Bible Study ladies to pray for me to be Jesus to some neighbors. I have admitted and confessed that I have prayed over the past few years for God to bring people into my life that I can be Jesus to…then, when it happens, it isn’t easy…and I find myself saying, “no! not them!” I hate that! It isn’t easy…but I’m praying for God’s loving heart towards them!!

    I have also asked the ladies in my group to pray about a mission trip to the ladies in Belize in January. Several in our group are praying about it!! It’s an amazing trip!!

    3. All of us in our small group are moms of children still in our homes…so parenting and day-to-day obedience in mothering is EXHAUSTING!! 🙂 Give us perseverance, Lord!!

    5. We also talked about this in our group. Several of us had the word HOPE written under this question. I think that says it all. the HOPE we have in Jesus we can find NOWHERE else!! Praise Jesus!

    • 8.1

      I will be praying for your Jeff City Group! I remember how exhausting just being a mom could be with a house full of growing kids. The laundry alone left me fatigued just thinking about it. And, I might add was lousy at the process of dying to self in those years. It is a wonderfully rare gift to be able to be there for your kids and watch them grow, shaping their hearts and lives for the future. I am praying you do not grow weary in well doing, for at the appropriate time there will be a full harvest beyond your wildest dreams.


  9. 9
    Sharilyn says:

    Sharilyn, Orcuut, CA – going solo

    Number 3 resonated with me because I am in a difficult relationship where there is not a shred of emotional attachment left. It pains me but I carry on knowing that “the joy of the Lord will come in the mornng.” Obviously there is still work that needs to be done and lessons to tie up and reconcilliations to make. It is just draining me but God assures me that He knows the score and is – and will continue – to take care of me. For that I am truly grateful. His blessings are as simple as a phone call from a friend, a timely e-mail forward, a parking place made available in the front of a busy store, a penny on the ground, somethng wanted turning up…the list is endless. He wants me to notice and acknowledge His blessings so I will cleave to Him more in my times of trial, and not cleave to the pain of my situation.

    • 9.1
      ann says:

      Hi Sharilyn,
      I am also doing this study solo! Number 3 was my aha moment this time also because my difficult relationship is with my sister. I have not one iota of emotional attachment, or the desire for it, left in me. She has completely drained me. Would you like to be prayer partners? We could pray for each other in these circumstances.

      • Sharilyn says:

        Ann, I would like very much if we could pray for one another. I am saying a prayer for you today!
        ~ Sharilyn

  10. 10
    Betty M says:

    Hi Seistas from the parched plains of ND! I am going solo and my name is Betty. We are in a mild drought pattern right now but nothing like others are in but it is dry here as well.
    First of all I must confess I had it as an ambitious goal to have Ps 25 memorized by now and I fell miserably short! I am continuing with it but it will be weeks before I have it mastered.
    It has been such a summer here. With the serious health problems with our disabled son and daily therapy sessions at home with him,and, we needed to get a house ready for the minister who is moving in. also, we had a trip to Mayo and out of state wedding and a state fair going on in which we show horses and that is all this month!!!
    Then there is endless yard work and a huge garden to keep up with as my guys are busy ranchers and grain farmers.
    I am doing question 3. An area of obedience I am fatiguing? It is in the need to help get the house ready for the minister to move in. His wife is not in the best of health and he has issues as well he has just recently been concidered cancer free. The houe needed so much new paint and carpets were newly laid and there was just alot of work there. I could see I am so limited in time this year and with the heat, I was quickly tiring out. One day during my quiet time I just laid it before God and said that I know we are to press on and not tire of doing good and in time we wil be victorious if we do not lose heart. Well I was just plain tired and I knew we needed help. I asked God to please lay it on someone’s heart to give us a hand and guess what??? He did! We had a retired couple who were passing through who once lived here. they put down thier jacks on thier 5th wheeler and stayed around and did alot of the painting and fixing in that old parsonage. There were others too who were the most unlikely people who really did step up to help. Some were not even church members!!!! The house looks wonderful and I am so over joyed that God did answer when some of us had fatigued the obedience!!!!!
    Question 5 about what gives me most joy in my Christian life. Oh,there is so much!!!It was hearing a three year old preschooler in Sunday School say the name of Jesus the first time. It sounds so pretty on the lips of kids! It was seeing the look of amazement on a high school kid’s face who is usually very shy and expressionless when I tried to explain about what coveting means pertianing to the ten commandments. It is the sisterhood of Seistaville when I bowed in prayer last winter when you had a live stream one day Beth and I saw my psychaitrist shortly after that and witnessed boldly to him and I felt chills going down my spine. I realized it was a direct answer to prayer I prayed for those few moments with you and other sisters before striking out for the afternoon. I knew this doctor is not a Christian and he is very interested in my overcoming mood swings and deep depression now with very little drug intervention.
    I love these Bible studies and have kept up farly well in the workbook however I did not get day 5 done in last chapter this time.
    My His Love continue to shine on all of us in this community for the rest of this crazy summer! Love Betty M

  11. 11
    Mimi of Six in Al. says:

    4.Discuss that kind of awe for the Word of God and talk about current ways people are aided in their understanding of the Scriptures. Commentaries, dictionaries, NIV, ASV and many many more, teachers of the word of God,and even the internet you can pull up all kinds of help learning about God. Example the study we are able to do right now.
    5.What about the Christian life gives you the most joy? There is so many..I am so thrilled to know God hears and answers prayer. I just have to give it to him and stop trying to help fix it. So awesome to know he loves me and is always there. God really is who he says he is and I am who he says I am.

  12. 12
    Marie says:

    Marie, going solo in Post Falls, Idaho –

    1. There is an elderly woman in my life – I’ll call her Ceece – who has endured a great deal of oppression. I don’t know all the details of her journey, but it is enough to see how the rough road has impacted her. Ceece has many fears, many doubts. She is rather child-like. I am ashamed to admit it, but there have been times when I’ve been annoyed with her. I assume that she should have it “together” at her age.

    The Lord pressed upon me the need for compassion. He never requires that we have it “together” before we can be in relationship with Him. By getting annoyed, by choosing not to look beyond her idiosyncrasies, I have missed out on hours of companionship that could have enriched and blessed both of us. Friends don’t always come in neat little packages.

    2. There are three people who truly need to apologize to me. Any way you look at the situations, it is clear that they have avoided responsibility and refuse to take part in the process of reconciliation. This is especially difficult for two reasons: they all claim to be Christians and I ate my own humble pie and asked forgiveness of all three for the role I played.

    I have had to let go – for my own sanity. You can’t make someone apologize who doesn’t want to do it. That, for me, has been the continuing lesson. I can’t control anyone’s response or actions but my own. For a type-A perfectionist, this is NOT easy-peasy. I have, however, discovered the beginnings of great freedom in struggling with this.

    3. How I spend my time is definitely an area that I am fatiguing in. Living with CFIDS means I have very limited energy each day and I have to be careful how I use it. I am easily overwhelmed by the constant desire to sleep and the aches and pains throughout my body. Instead of asking Jesus to show me what He wants me to do, I have lately been giving in to the temptation to wallow.

    When I do pray, when I flat-out beg Him to give me His energy to do what He’s called me to, I have a great day! I don’t necessarily feel any healthier, but my focus has shifted. I’ll send the card, answer the email, rustle up some lunch for a friend, make the space for study and meditation. I’m shaking my head right now. Why do I choose to focus on the negative instead of on Him?

    4. I want this kind of intense love for God and Scripture to be the mark of my life. It frustrates me when I fall into a lazy mode, assuming I can skip a day or two of reading and prayer. Of course I can’t!

    I know very few people “in real life” who are excited about Scripture. It’s an intense struggle just to get most of the ladies at my Wednesday night group to even remember what book we are studying, let alone actually do any of the work. “It’s too hard,” they say. “I don’t get it.” There’s no excuse for that attitude. We have the Spirit, first and foremost, to enable our understanding. Then we have access to a plethora of commentaries, translations and studies. If it’s too hard or we don’t understand, then that’s our own fault. Please know that I say that with great love. God’s Word has been my lifeline in the darkness of this last year; we can’t be without it!

    5. This woman who too easily resorts to sarcasm and too often puts herself in the judgment seat desperately wants to be a Barnabas. Encouragement has been HUGE in my life, and I want to be able and willing to offer a word of hope to others. When I see an opportunity to do so (and actually take it), I have such joy! I love that God gives me the honor to love on His people and to remind them that they are more than conquerors!

    • 12.1
      fuzzytop says:

      Marie – I think I truly saw your heart in your comments, and it blessed me. Especially when you said you deperately want to be a Barnabas… That is such a sweet thing to hear!


    • 12.2
      christina says:

      Marie, as a sister in the chronic illness battle, I hear you. May the Lord give you strength to do what He wishes each day and show you where that means to honor the limits He has placed on your body. It is a tightrope sometimes, taking the rest we need yet not wallowing. It sounds like you may be doing better at walking it than you give yourself credit for, but I don’t know you or the details of your medical condition.

      May the Lord comfort you in the darkness, fatigue, and aches, and may He bring you others who need what He’s given to you.

    • 12.3
      Kristina H. says:

      Good evening Marie. I have to say that I am very thankful for you. I’m also located in Post Falls. If you need anything please let me know.
      I’m oblivious to your illness, I do apologize. I’m encouraged by you tonight. But my sweet Siesta I’m also convicted. With what you seem to have to deal with you still find the energy to get the job done. You are very precious and I thank our awesome God for you.
      I went solo tonight also. Everyone had something that took them away. I guess that’s how God wanted it tonight.
      Anyway, I’m rambling. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. Take care sweetie. btw, you’re doing great! -K

    • 12.4
      Cari Andreani says:

      Hello Marie- I saw that you are from Post Falls, Id. and I am originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho! I am now living in Florida and I am a bit embarrassed to say I don’t know where Post Falls is? (Sorry) I do love your comment and I am so proud of you for doing this study. Stay the course! Stay in the Word! It is what changed me and healed me and continues to do so. God is so good! I understand your point on forgiveness. But forgiveness- doesn’t make them right- it sets you free. (Psalm 37 is a good Psalm to read) You may never get a sincere apology, but that is now between them and God. Continue to grow in your relationship with Christ and focus on living for Him. “For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake the faithful ones” (Psalm 37:28) I am praying for you dear sister in Christ! Happy to see a girl from Idaho!! God bless!

    • 12.5
      Lorna says:

      When I read your post I felt like I had just read my own answers to the questions. Even the three friends situation. I have asked many to see if the apology was what was needed after I apologized. I work hard on dealing with that which is fatiguing. I felt such kinship with you from your post and such relief that I am not alone in dealing with those situations. Thanks so much for the support your post gave me. I guess I would also so DITTO to each and every answer you gave. Thanks again.

    • 12.6
      Monica, NY. says:

      I love all the answers God gave you Marie! What an encouragement! You truly seem to have a heart like Nehemiah! Praying you’ll continue to have an intense love for the Lord & scripture.
      Love in Christ,
      A Siesta! 🙂 I’ll also be praying for you..”Lord, strengthen our hands.”..Neh.6:9b

  13. 13
    Yanna Westmoreland says:

    SonShines 6 Bryan, College Station,Texas We are so thankful for the opportunity to be together for this series! Once in the habit of a ladies group study in the fall with our different churches we have so appreciated the Nehemiah study time together. We did not answer Beth’s questions today, instead we shared how God is working in our lives, discussed how wise and good He is to not just give us the Book Of Jesus (that would be all we would read!) but gave us all the books and Nehemiah being one of them. Then we watched one of Kelly’s video’s and decided after the 6 weeks are finished we are going to continue meeting and watch them all. As a spokesperson for our group I want to ask forgiveness for all of us…we spend a lot of time discussing today how delicious the Southwest Chicken Soup, our sister’s adaption of the Romanine Salad, and the Banana Pudding were! We decided Kelly’s an awesome cook to select these for us to enjoy and she really really likes spicey. Next time we will try to spend more time in the Word, less time in the food! Maybe. 🙂

  14. 14
    Beth says:

    Beth, Dyersburg,TN
    I’ m doing this study alone, but don’t feel lonely cause I know all of you are out there too.
    1. Go learn a name….you are holding my feet to the fire…earlier in the month when studying session 3, a name and face came to me. I have yet to act on this, but because of your reminder will do so before the end of this week. So many single moms out there trying to get their kids ready for back to school. Surely I could give up some of my frivolous spending too.
    4&5. These two questions worked together for me. It was refreshing and convicting at the same time to read about how the people reacted to Ezra reading the Book of the Law. We are getting excited in our church with a new freshness in Bible study. I get joy when what I am studying in Nehemiah ties in with my daily reading and what the Pastor is preaching! Only Holy Spirit can work that together.
    So enjoying this study and have made several of the recipes….banana pudding the best so far!!

    • 14.1
      christina says:

      Hi, Beth~
      As another solo student, I loved your first comment. As to #1, may the Lord give you courage and opportunity to act on the person He brought to mind.

      How wonderful for your church to find fresh joy in Bible study together! I have experienced the same Spirit-orchestrated convergence you describe. Thanks for bringing that out to remind me.

      Just wanted to confirm that someone is out there and read your comment.

      Grace to you in Jesus,

      • Beth says:

        Wow! Christina! Sorry to be so slow to reply to your
        reply! I never had anyone respond before. At first I just thought you
        were responding to Beth, our Siesta Mama.
        Just to be accountable to someone, I did act in behalf of the person God showed me.
        And as God would have it, she had just told Him she was trusting Him to send help by noon that day. I called her at 10:30. What an awesome God we serve!!!
        Blessings friend,

  15. 15
    Karlys says:

    Karlys, La Place, solo
    A truly mountain top experience for me is when I can know in the middle of the situation that HE is giving me words to speak, telling me how to love the person(s) before me. It happened Sunday night. I had so much patience that only HE could have done that. Sometimes HE gives me words to speak that I did not think, wisdom that I don’t have.

  16. 16

    Our HOW_Marietta team has not been able to get together for a couple of weeks, so I am going solo this time. We will have to catch up as a group later. For now, I will answer a couple of the questions.

    1. The person who came to my mind is Monica, a very special child that my family and I are sponsoring through Compassion International. Monica is 9 years old, and she lives in Ghana. Her life is very different from that of the average American child. Monica was thrilled to use some of her gift money to buy a box of soap and a pair of sandals. When it comes to material things she is poor, but spiritually she is rich. Her recent prayer request was the following: “I need more prayers to gain more knowledge to get strength to preach God’s Word.” Wow!

    5. What about the Christian life gives me the most joy? I would have to say that it is receiving fresh revelation from God from His Word. What I mean by that is that I love it when God opens my eyes to a specific truth from Scripture and shows me practical applications. I love to receive fresh insight from Him. That’s one of the things I appreciate about His Word more than anything! I can read the same verse a hundred times, but suddenly it has fresh meaning and application. God is so near during these times, as He makes His Word so personal. I also love to see the “light bulb” go on when other people see something fresh too. God’s Word is living and breathing. There is no book like it! Scripture reflects God’s heart, and that just makes me even hungrier to sit at His feet and learn from Him.

  17. 17
    Sandy Bowers says:

    Afternoon Delights, 5 ladies in my family room in Bryan, Ohio! Well, since we meet every week, and we discussed Session 3 last week, we sort of focused on Session 4 this week. As far as your questions, Beth, most of our discussion centered around #5. All of us in the group who shared, had written “community” or some form of that as a part of Christian life that gives us joy! Community in the sense of studying together, worshipping together, fellowshipping together and serving together with other Christians! We also spent some time discussing the paragraph on page 104, about “the simple opening of the Word that drew such a gathering…..and wondering how many of us would show up for only the reading of the Bible. Is God’s Word no longer enough?” Our consensus is a big YES, but wondering how our fellow church members would feel about that. We also had some good discussion about some of our young adult children who have felt called to some sort of ministry and how they are finding it necessary to point out to their mothers (us)things that maybe we should be doing or not doing. It’s hard to respond to that….not wanting to squelch their enthusiasm but wanting to send them in the right direction. Some tough situations. Beth, we are loving this study and loving Kelly Minter! Thanks so much for sending her our way. Blessings sweet Siesta Mama!

  18. 18
    Jana says:

    Question 4 touched me but in a different way then Beth asked us to respond. I hope you’ll bear with me as I share a story that changed me in a profound way. When I was in college I had the opportunity to travel through several countries in Europe with our college chorale and sing in many churches. Many songs in our program were from the Mass celebrated in the Catholic Church. We were traveling shortly after the Berlin Wall was torn down and Eastern Europe had just opened up their borders. We were given the opportunity to sing in what is now the Czech Republic. We were one of the first choirs that was allowed to sing there. We sang in a little Catholic church in Prague that was full to overflowing. As we sang songs from the Mass people were openly weeping. Later we were told that this was the FIRST TIME they were allowed to worship in public. Afterwords, we were surrounded by the people who were hugging us and kissing our cheeks in thanks. I have never taken my freedom to workship and study the word as I choose for granted again.
    For question 5 what blesses me the most in being a Christian is the fellowship with other Christians both those we know and those we don’t. Recently, a dear friend that I work with shared with me that she and her husband were splitting. She is a believer, but doesn’t go to a church where she feels very connected. I shared with my SS class her situation. When I shared with this friend that my SS was praying for her, she got tears in her eyes. She told me, “They don’t even know me. I didn’t know people who don’t know me would take the time to pray for me.”
    Continued blessings to all as we conclude this wonderful study of the book of Nehemiah. God is truely speaking a word to me through this book!

  19. 19
    Shelly Elston says:

    Shelly, Portland, OR

    2) Often, in my pride, I’ve felt entitled to hold on to my opinion on this or that and many times I may very well have been in the right. But as I mature, I’m doing more and more of stepping aside and letting someone else have their say or speak their opinion without the need to state mine. I’m learning to listen and to wait to discern the best way/time to verbalize an opinion or position.I think the greater purpose in this lesson is for others to see more of God and less of me. I’ve in no way mastered this but am determined to try to make this my way of life.

    3) I am fatiguing in the areas of being obedient to eating the right foods and, maybe because it’s summer, preparing meals for the family. Please don’t judge me. 🙂 I have become lazy. I also don’t want my memorization of scripture verses to slide but I’m not being as diligent in that area as I could be. Writing them in my spiral doesn’t help me if I never look at it!

    4) I love this so much because it makes me want to do the ugly cry as I read these verses in Nehemiah. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like when they heard the Word after such a long time of NOT hearing it. Their response makes me emotional. I love that we have THIS community to delve deeper into the Bible and discuss what we’re learning. I love social media where we can be in constant contact with fellow believers to talk about God’s promises and life one another up. I love having “Bible talks” with my son and seeing him grasp concepts for the first time. I feel so blessed.

    5) My joy comes from being able to freely proclaim my love for my God and to enjoy bonding with fellow believers as we discuss our faith and how we can build the kingdom. Sharing the love and mercy of Christ with those who don’t know Him or feel disconnected is JOY to me.

    Beth, I just had to share that I was so touched by what you shared aabout the Sunday you taught at that church and watched those young people “get it” for the first time as you were showing them how things tied together from the Old Testament to the New. I got a lump in my throat because I felt that exact same way the first time I did one of your studies 13 years ago. I had been raised in a Christian home and been in church all my life but had never done a study that took me back and forth in the Bible. It changed me forever. Thank you so much.

    • 19.1
      Monica, NY. says:

      I can so relate to feeling entitled to hold onto that too. Thx. for this encouraging reminder to listen & wait to discern. I also want people to see less of me & more of Him.

  20. 20

    Gail, Fort Worth, never alone but on my own

    Go learn a name: The week before I began this study, God placed Anita before me. She’s a mother a two youngest with boundless energy who’s survived a difficult divorce and now is trying to sustain her family of three emotionally and financially. She doesn’t complain, she just keeps truckin’. She’s been on my heart but I’ve been praying about HOW I can help her without unwanted intrusion. This study is confirmation to me to just DO it. This week going for a well-known gift card and sending it anonymously. And, although she lives 30 minutes away, I’m planning a nighttime run to drop bulk paper goods on her doorstep and dash away quietly. I’m praying during phone conversations she will start feeling comfortable enough to say yes to offered help.

    A joyful thing for me: I am joyful to know that God is available 24/7 for my smallest prayer, for my moments of angst, for conversation. As a single woman, He is my constant companion and my life is joyous because He is willing, loving and able.

    May God bless YOU as we dig into the Word this week. My blessing this week? Kelly Minter is appearing at a Turning Point church in Burleson, TX this Friday and Saturday, 20 miles from my home. Can’t wait! Anyone and everyone invited.

  21. 21
    christina says:

    Christina in Plano, Texas-

    3. Honestly, I’m fatiguing in intercessory prayer right now. There are a number of big, long-term afflictions among my family and friends, and they seem only to grow worse the harder I pray. I have begun to lose heart in the asking.

    Intercession is true, real, loving activity in service of others, and it is a great joy to behold the answers to those prayers. Perhaps this is a stripping away of reliance on self so that it will be more fully the Spirit who prays in me. Or perhaps it’s just 100% temptation. I have heard more than one teacher say the temptation to quit is strongest right before the breakthrough. Thank you, any Siestas reading this, for your prayers for encouragement to persevere.

    5. Participating in God’s work through intercession is a joy for me, especially when long-sought answers come. Making music to the Lord, singing or at the piano, and spending time with Him in His Word (and/or His people around His Word) are even more joyous perhaps.

  22. 22
    Debbie says:

    Debbie, (a.k.a burdzybunch) Calgary

    Oh MY!!!! How I am loving this study!!!! Nehemiah is probably my husband’s favorite book of the Bible. Although I do love all of God’s Word, this is probably one of the books that held the least “come on get in here and study” appeal. When I told my husband this, just last week, (because I was expressing how wonderful I was finding it) he was so surprised at my previous “disinterest” in it. I have no idea why the ‘disinterest’. Perhaps I viewed it as to “manly” or something. (I laughed at Kelly’s comment — which I read after my comment to my husband — on walking this book out “in heels”) Anyway, when I began the study and was “tempted” to maybe not do it….I kept hearing God “say” “Keep going…I have a surprise for you!” I’m not sure if the whole “surprise” has been unpacked yet but boy-o-boy am I having a blast and boy-o-boy, did The LORD ever have a surprise for me. Yay God!!!

    QUESTION 5…What about the Christian Life gives you the most joy?

    GOD’S WORD and getting to study it, learn from it, rely on it and learn to live it because IT IS FROM GOD AND IT IS LIFE!!!!


    Getting to share the wonder of God and His truth with others. I LOVE GOD so much, I am so honored and humbled by the fact that He loves me and has chosen to entrust me with such a deep love of Him and His word and the urge to just talk about Him to whoever needs or wants to hear. (This woman, here does NOT deserve this gift of God — Paul and I may need to arm wrestle for the “least deserving” title)

    I just want to do a happy dance!!!

    Question 3…where might I be fatiguing? Well, in Guarding that truth with which He has entrusted me (John 6:20). God has very clearly called me to walk by faith in the fact that He is God…He is Sovereign…He has a plan and a purpose and it is good…His word is true and freedom is found in hanging all my hope and my very life on that and Choosing to BELIEVE it with all my heart and mind. We have been through some very tough times here where it “looks like” God has “forgotten” his word and His Name and His honor…and I’ve wondered just how in the world I can keep bringing the joy of His Name and His Word to others “even though….” We are still facing these difficulties and they come like the enemy threatened to in Nehemiah and there are all sorts of creative and diverse forms.

    Dear Beth, this study (although God’s message to me through you 🙂 when you were in Calgary began the “renewing” and “recharging” and prepared me to go even deeper through Nehemiah) has been a supernatural Word of God to me and has renewed me in amazing and wonderful ways…equipping me and enabling me to live again in the Truth of His Word and live it out…lost ground is being recovered…”lost” words are being regained…I am coming home and I am thinking perhaps I should grab a trumpet and sound it and simply shout with delight and joy!!!!! Dear Mama with me!!!
    We are, I sense, perhaps entering another twist on the “oppression” but by God’s grace I will rest in the fact that HE AND HE ALONE IS GOD!!! What a wonder that is.

    I have to stop now…but I cannot tell you how grateful to God I am for the work of HIs Spirit and for you and Kelly, this Study and your obedience to Him. Glory to His Name.
    Love ya, Prayin’ for ya!

  23. 23
    Marney says:

    Marney, Aurora,Colorado I am going solo. question 5. In the pain and sadness here in Aurora from the Century 16 shootings, I have also seen God working through our community, in reaching out to each other, the heroes, the gun jamming, the way the plot to draw the police away from the theater. A young lady, holding the artery of her best friend, refusing to get to safety, the young men protecting the ladies with them. I see God in them all.

  24. 24
    Kelli E says:

    Mom and Me, 2, Sidney OH

    We absolutely loved chapter 8. It is so encouraging to know that there are so many ways for us to dive deeper into the word. To read about how there were teachers walking amongst the crowd to make sure people’s questions were answered is so amazing! Today we can find that same help through many modern outlets such as books, bible studies, and the internet as a whole.
    Christian life brings so many joys into our lives. We discussed how feeling and understanding the length of love that God has for us is of the utmost joy. Going to retreats and conferences and feeling that reminder of God’s love brings us both so much joy and reminds us that we have a heavenly Father who will never leave us.

  25. 25
    Southern Sistahs says:

    These two weeks were convicting and revealing. We were convicted that we need to reach out to the oppressed, to actually get to know a person by name. We rejoiced in the fact that our joy comes from seeing our youth hunger and thirst for the WORD and to truly have unhindered worship. God is faithful and we love that He has brought us together as a group.

  26. 26
    Kim says:

    Kim; going solo, Kansas City, MO.
    1. Know a name really struck a cord with me…I do not know a name, yet. I feel that The Lord is putting on my heart to serve more my community through my church letting Him guide me down this path and my ears and heart are open! I am excited to see what He will do.
    5. There are so many things that bring me joy…but if I could narrow it down it would have to be my family, my two boys that I get the privilege to care for everyday brings me so much joy I can’t contain it! My church and the body of believers that I worship alongside with each week brings me joy. I look forward to it every week!

  27. 27
    Sarah Marion says:

    The Marion Family 5 Wenatchee, WA
    My book is seriously bent, getting lots of use while I sit in the bleachers at kids soccer camp. Summer Fun!

    We ate while we discussed reaching out to disenfranchised family members this week at our family reunion as well as those in our own neighborhood.

    Having the freedom to join this blog and discuss Jesus freely gives us joy. We have some dear friends in China that can’t even type HIS name in emails to our family.

  28. 28

    The Shining Siestas of Powell, Knoxville and Powell, tn; normally around eight but just two of us were able to meet tonite, we had romaine salad w maple vinagrette and pizza and my mother in laws banana pudding:) Yum. we met at my house again. We talked over all the questions and how the Lord is using the study in our lives. One of the girls is taken w it and cant get enough of the scriptures right now. May that become all of us! For ques number five we talked about how we can rejoice because of the fact that our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life!:)We definitely want to stay the course loving Him with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength. Lots of blessings to you tonite Beth:)

  29. 29
    Kristen says:

    Son Seekers here, meeting in Omaha, NE. Tonight we had a great decision lead by Beth’s questions. Coming from the same church but not really knowing one another before this Bible study it is just truly great to hear what God is doing to in each other’s lives. It is also encouraging to have others to discuss the word of God.

  30. 30
    Beth says:

    Beth – Wynnewood, OK.
    I really love the last question, especially after tonight. We had our Women’s Ministry get together for a planning meeting for your simulcast in September, and while it is very time consuming, dividing out the duties, trying to make sure all of the bases are covered, the JOY of the LORD was there, and everyone always has such a good time together. We are not charging for tickets this year, just believing that so many women would come, but sometimes, even $10 is a struggle. So, basically, our whole budget is going to this event, and we KNOW GOD is going to show up BIG! We have came into agreement on a number that we believe will show up, spoke it out loud, prayed it out loud, now let’s just wait and see what God will deliver! We set a pretty high goal, but we have a might Big God! Can’t wait til the simulcast, and I’ve enjoying this study so!

  31. 31
    Saralyn says:

    Sista Chica’s Holly Springs NC. 8 of us tonight

    We r looking for first and last names of the poor! Trying to get involved where people need some JESUS! Finding our place in THE WALL. And not gonna get deterred or distracted from the plan by any of Satans tricks. ( we hate him by the way)

    Loving this study and loving each other studying together!

    Can somebody say……….JESUS!

  32. 32
    Karen says:

    Going solo in Greer, SC:

    Wishing I could put into words what these last two weeks of study in Nehemiah has meant to me…so very thankful!

    4. Although, I am very thankful for the easy access we have to God’s Word, I wonder if we, especially as a culture, haven’t lost the kind of awe and respect for the holiness of God’s Word as described in these verses because of the familiarity this access can bring.

    At the same time, there are so many avenues for understanding the scriptures. The internet offers many programs/sites. One that I am currently using is YouVersion. This site allows you access to many, many different translations of the Bible without the cost of buying a variety of different ones. It offers many different reading plans to follow in order to read the Bible through in one year. It also offers devotional reading plans for different lengths of time on many different topics. This is but one site on-line that someone could use to help understand the scriptures.

    5. Knowing that God loves me no matter what brings me peaceful joy. Teaching children to learn and make discoveries in God’s word is awesome. And, sharing (and listening to them share, also) my love, faith, struggles, questions, concerns, and insights about our Christian walk with my sisters in Christ brings me great joy!!

  33. 33

    Hey Sweet Siesta Friends!

    Our group, Expecting Miracles, checking in from Watauga, TX tonight. If you are ever in the neighborhood please do look me up and we will talk God over some of my new favorite recipe – Michelle’s Chicken Pasta based on the Capri’s Pasta but different – yes indeed (contact me for the recipe). One Word: Yummy! We made the pasta with the Romaine Salad tonight and enjoyed some delicious cookies furnished by our three members who attended tonight. We were half ourselves, if you know what I mean. One friend down with a headache and two out of town left myself, Mary and Rosie on the couch for Nehemiah recapping tonight.

    When Rosie arrived she asked if we would pray for her to be delivered of a stronghold and so we broke with our usual follow the outline discussion and ministered right there over pasta, salad, cookies and iced tea. The ministry and prayer she required took up most of our time, but we did cover one question from the discussion points:

    5. What about the Christian life gives you the most joy?

    Rosie answered Seeing God answer prayer. (She is a real intercessor. In conversation she will be taking prayer points as she listens to you talk) Mary said Fellowshipping with others and sharing the testimonies of what God has done in her life. My answer was Having “Aha!” moments both in my personal relationship with God and in helping other relate to God where He brings me and/or them full circle in a revelation. It delights my heart so to connect to God’s heart and see His hand at work in the lives of others.

    This has been a fun night. I appreciate the shout outs about my version of the Capri Pasta tonight on Twitter! It was even better than I anticipated. We are having such a grand time in our Siesta Summer Bible Study! I am so glad we have come along.


  34. 34
    Vancouver (Not Canada) says:

    Okay, so we are just going to be transparently honest. We all had different things in the last two weeks come up that created obstacles that prevented Bible study from being our priority. We all appreciate the conviction and are committed to not having the same issue in 2 weeks. We were blessed by Beth’s video and the questions as we ALL agree our GREATEST blessings from our walk with Christ is meeting/knowing/loving people we wouldn’t have otherwise. ((hugs to all siestas))

  35. 35
    Natalie says:

    Natalie, BCF Champions, Spring, TX
    We are on a different meeting timetable and we discussed Session 4 last week before these questions. However, we wanted to share the response from one of our younger women. She said that she realized from the Kelly’s teaching that she “hates fish”. She related this to the realization that she has been so far away from the relationship that she used to have with God. That an unhealthy relationship with a guy had kept her from seeking God and after a breakup the anger she had been holding on to was keeping her from God. She realized that she used to have so much more joy when she was closer to God and that even if things weren’t going well she had joy because she had God. So in her words, even if she hates fish, she would rather have fish and God than steak and no God! We all rejoiced with her 🙂

  36. 36
    Betty M says:

    Betty M soloing in ND!
    I need to add like we sometimnes see at the end of a book or movie TO BE CONTINUED!!! Boy that is irritating!!!!! Most of the time I do not see the continued end of the story.
    Well, I rewatched Beth today and decided to add to my already too long entry for this 2 week period.
    In reference to the question involving how the people stood spell bound to hear the Word of God read. I wonder today how many would stand in the noon day heat to hear the Word read!!! Most can not sit in a padded pew in AC comfort on a Sunday AM any more. I am afraid we have grown so complacent. We have endless versions of the Bible in our homes. I have started to give away some of my older Bibles I no longer use to others who are younger in the faith. I know to whom much is given much will be expected and I wonder if I have taken full advantage of our great freedoms in this country and I have to admit I have not. Do I always meet God in the morning before I start my day. I know He waits and watches for me but some days I do not meet with Him and I really miss it when I do not.
    I know how those people could stand there spell bound though becuz I have really noticed a deep hunger for the Word. I love to steal away most days for a glimpse of the Word. If it was taken away I would miss it more than life itself I know. I know it is true like the scriptures say in reference to Christ “taste and see that he is good”. Nothing makes me feel more sated than a great devotional time with Him.
    we have such geat study aids. I think of this ministry and how it has awakened the love of the Word in my life like never before. I oculd go for months before I would miss being in the Word on a daily basis and now I miss it when a day comes when I rush off and do not spend that time.
    There are endless study aids out there and usually we have a minister as well who is tickled to death when we ask him questions of the scriptures.
    Yes I can see how the crowd stood spell bound all day to hear the Word, I know I would too these days, but it is sad how many would not and I need to have a burden of heart for those who do not have this great hunger.
    I need to stop now as this again is too long but when I get going—-! Love ya all

  37. 37
    Katie says:

    Sinatra’s Siestas, Houston, TX, 9 people

    Well our name sake-my beagle Sinatra-decided to participate in the study by putting his paw on people when he thought they should stop sharing and pet him instead! But in between our laughter about our small beagle prophet and indulging in chips and salsa, veggies and hummus, and some Key Lime truffles that were amazing, we had a fantastic discussion of Weeks 3 and 4.

    For the past two meetings I have asked the ladies to consider the personal reflection and group discussion questions and be willing to share their responses to a few with the group. As a result, we have spent a solid 2.5 hours sharing our hearts and reactions to the study! I am so blessed to be in a diverse group of women who have the courage to share with one another.

    This section of the study caused many of us to remember Hurricane Ike. We could identify with the community and joy that came from the Jews living in “booths” during the Feast of Tabernacles as many of us found the same joy when we were without electricity and our creature comforts, but able to share in fellowship and community with our neighbors. We also thought about the church service many of us attended with no A/C and only enough power for the preacher’s mike after Ike hit and how we felt a similar reverence for the Word that the Jews did when Ezra brought the Book of the Law into the city and read it to them.

    We are all beginning to see more clearly where God wants our hearts to break and have resolved to approach the weeks before we meet together remembering that “to love God and love people is the center of the mark” (song lyrics from 4Him).

  38. 38
    Kristin A. says:

    Kristin here on behalf of the six of us making up Women of the Word in Renton, WA
    We enjoyed our yummy dinner (both the salad and pudding were super tasty) and great fellowship before diving into the questions. The one we camped on the most was question four. We couldn’t possibly imagine what it was like for the Israelites to hear the Word after it being kept from them for so long. The way they seemed to hungrily receive it and praise God and thank Him for His Word is something my group wants for ourselves. Like Kelly said in the study, we have such easy access to our Bible that perhaps we take it for granted and can even get a bit jaded. A big way that our understanding of the Word is enhanced is through reading passages in multiple translations. Sometimes reading it phrased just a little bit differently helps something to click or sometimes reading it several ways helps our understand to grow.

  39. 39

    We are 6 in Post Falls. However tonight I flew solo.

    1. I still haven’t learned a name but it’s on the top of my list this week!

    2. I have felt entitled to my anger & unforgiveness the majority of my life. Now my Father has shown me another way. Healing begins when I lay down my life and trust He knows what He’s doing. He has given me the strength to forgive & my life has begun to show the fruit of that (I hope) I’m not all together sure what the greater purpose is other than my past will glorify God. And that’s all I need to know.

    3. I get fatigued when it comes to one of my children. He is so precious & tender hearted. At the same time he takes on the weight of the world & it makes him miserable, just like it would anyone. I have hope, but can always use encouragement here. Because some days I really want to just crawl into a hole & hide for a little while.

    4. Oh how I was so convicted by this. Neh. 8. My eyes were so open. I was filled w/ such joy when I got the magnitude of their awe of God & His word. I pray I will never lose my awe of Him. Because seriously!!! There are so many ways to get to know God through His word. I’ve taken it all for granted. Help me Lord to never take for granted what has been given to me so freely in this country.

    5. I am overjoyed when I see a new believer! To know how much this must bring such joy to God almighty… oh man I love that! It’s exciting to see them hunger for God. It’s exciting to see them being fed. It’s exciting to watch them continue on in their journey and see them growing in Christ, amazing. But what brings me the most joy is witnessing my children get excited about Jesus. When they are in the word and can tell me what they’ve read and they are enthusiastic about what God has shown them, this lifts my heart so high it feels like it may just burst out of my body! I love it! Yes, thank You, Jesus for your joy in my life.

  40. 40
    Paula says:

    Paula, O’Fallon, MO

    4. Never in my life have I had to stand from first light until mid-day and listen to the Word being read without even a book to follow along in. I was able to hear stories and see them illustrated on a flannel board when I was a child, participated in VBS and church camp when I was older, sat on a padded pew in an air conditioned building and had my own personal Bible for most of my life so that I could turn to a particular page and follow along with the reading in church. I could have opened it up at any time and read on my own but back then I didn’t.
    Now I have scores of books including a concordance, dictionaries and commentaries. I have access to online tools. I can listen to worship music while I study, bypass my concordance and quickly look up verses by googling a key phrase, listen to my favorite teachers online while I sit at my desk at work and walk into Christian bookstores so big I could spend all day there window shopping.
    I was wondering, if the people were freshly back from captivity, had they been speaking a foreign language? Was their Hebrew rusty? Was the Word read aloud in Hebrew or was it also interpreted for them? Also, isn’t it a beautiful picture of the Body when Ezra gets up to read and several leaders stand by his side?
    Final thought, I go to small group and everyone is able to just bring their phone rather than a Bible because they can just grab any version/translation of the Bible from online at the touch of a finger. In all of history, what an amazing gift of accessibility we have been given because of our freedom and technological advances. How will we utilize this marvelous gift?

  41. 41
    Mary in NH says:

    1. A few times in the past several years, I’ve been asked to help with needy families in my church. This calling never came at the most convenient time in my life. I’ve been the “back up baby sitter” willing to sit for free, helped an adult learn to read, and given a teen in crisis a home til problems are resolved. All these moments gave me that joy unspeakable.
    2. I know I’m entitled to seek jobs with more money and benefits. I’m qualified, and have experience. However. right now I feel I’m called to stay at the job I’m in, and trust God to provide the rest.
    3. I’m trying to quit drinking. In my church, there are some strict Baptists who do not drink – and other more contemporary Christians who are more lax in this area. I feel at this point, I need to obey a rule I’ve come to believe is truly scriptural.
    4. I love small group bible study. My churches’ small groups always take a break for the summer, so I’m going this alone. Putting many heads together to discuss scripture, using a great bible study is awesome!
    5. I’m learning not to worry or be anxious. I pray about things, I ask others to pray with me, then believe and give it to God. I was a very anxious worry-wart before I came to Christ, and had even considered anxiety meds. I’m happier in all circumstances – and I believe that’s joy.
    Beef Enchiladas and Southwest Chicken Soup are new favorites in my house!

  42. 42
    Kati W. says:

    Kati, Ocracoke Island NC

    Questions 4 and 5 resonated with me.

    4 – Here in America, we have so many resources to assist us in understanding God’s Word: different translations, commentaries, study Bibles with extensive footnotes/graphs/maps/etc., churches of many different denominations and styles, even teaching on radio and TV. And yet, our culture treats God’s Word as “just another book”. We have such abundance and easy access to the Bible that we can fall into a trap of taking it for granted and missing its amazing power to transform our lives. I am so thankful for teachers like Beth and Kelly who embody the opposite of that by really digging in to the word to mine (and then share with others!) the valuable gold that is in it.

    5 – The thing about the Christian life that brings me the most joy is HOPE. I am blessed on a daily basis to know that, no matter what happens, my hope is secure in Christ alone. Amen and thank You, Lord!

  43. 43
    Renee says:

    Renee: Texas
    First of all, I’m a little envious over Fuzzytop’s gravitar! 😉 It is sooooo cute!
    #3 Maybe I’m twisting this question a bit. When you are in church, when you are in the Word, when you are blessed with a LM Live event, you are so connected to the Spirit. Then you hit the real world. I have been surrounded by people who have not only been gossiping, but doing so hatefully.
    I try to be supportive of their feelings, but it is fatiguing ME. Yesterday I finally said, you know I just don’t want to hear it. I’m not sure what my response is supposed to be.
    #5 I wrote the word “connection”. I love being connected to Christ. About a year ago I said to God – let’s disconnect for a weekend, let’s see how it goes. Maybe I’m TOO overboard for Christ.
    Here is how it went: it was empty. It was alone. It was cut off.
    I stay connected and I LOVE it. I AM overboard and love it.

    • 43.1
      Renee says:

      I meant Living Proof live event. 🙂 Maybe we should come up with a norm: there will be typos. Just let it go … 😉

    • 43.2
      fuzzytop says:

      Renee – That was a sweet thing to say… I’m fond of my kitty Gravatar too!


  44. 44

    Women of the Woods (aka the God Quad), Tallahassee, 4
    We discussed entitlement with our children and coming to the realization that they are God’s and not ours and we must be obedient to Him concerning them. We have issues fatiguing in our relationships with our husbands . We are a group of strong-willed women with sensitive husbands. We must learn to put their interests above our own and adopt the attitude of Christ in our marriage relationships. The things about the Christian life that give us the most joy is small group fellowship and serving others in the church.

  45. 45
    JJ says:

    #5 The presence of the Holy Spirit that ushers in peace in the midst of struggles as well the healing and cleansing that I need as I wait in His presence. The Lord has taught me to wait on Him so profoundly this past year. In return, I have experienced unspeakable joy!!!
    I love your transparency as well as your zeal for the Lord, Beth!

  46. 46
    Heather says:

    Motown Ladies Only
    Morristown, TN

    4. We all agreed that the reverence toward the Word isn’t like it was in Nehemiah’s day. The Word is so accessible; we just pull up our app, choose the translation of our choice and read it as any other manuscript. But how is differs! I loved the reminder from Kelly: The Word is LIFE! We also discussed the power of the memorized word in our lives. Whether we are the ones memorizing and reciting throughout our day or if it’s hearing someone quote the Word, it takes on a whole new light. It suddenly has voice, tone and inflection. How we were challenged to be more diligent in hiding the Word in our hearts!

    5. The part in life that gives us the most joy revolves around people and service. We all gave testimony of times where we had served selflessly and sacrificially and left feeling such overwhelming joy! We want to be about serving others, sharing hope and enriching every life we touch with the love of Jesus.

    Praise His Holy Name!

  47. 47
    Amy Dickeson says:

    Scattered, Smothered, and Covered checking in! There are so many things we love about this study that we cannot possibly share them all! God is stretching us, challenging us, reprimanding us, loving on us, and teaching us to more fully walk with Him. We talk by phone nearly every day and can’t help but share what God is showing us in Nehemiah, so much of what we were to discuss this week had already been covered. However, we spent some time talking about the difference between being fatigued and just needing to recharge our batteries. We also confessed that sometimes we don’t even allow ourselves to put forth enough effort to get fatigued. We encouraged one another, and I personally spent the day walking in joy, enthusiasm, and energy as I did those things that I had just confessed had been wearing me out. Love to our Siestas from Chattanooga, TN and Meridian, MS.

    • 47.1
      Monica, NY. says:

      Love also to the Chattanooga Siesta’s!! I’m flying in to be w/ fam. & we’re going to LPL in Knoxville in a few weeks! Praying & CANT WAIT!!!!

      • Monica, NY. says:

        & not for nothing but, I know exactly what a scattered, smothered, covered! I love it!!

      • Monica says:

        I will be at Knoxville as well with a group of 6….I am so thrilled to see her again. The worship team is amazing!

  48. 48
    Susan says:

    Solo in Lawrenceville, Georgia
    5. God gives me such joy when I spend time with Him whether it is in prayer, worship or Bible study. It amazes me that He hears my prayer, accepts my praise offerings and He speaks to me through His Word. As the verse we studied in this section says that the joy of the Lord is our strength and Kelly commented that strength means refuge, stronghold, place of protection. That the Lord is my safehaven is my joy knowing that He’s got me covered. Another great joy in my Christian walk is teaching children in Sunday School…what a privilege to share God’s Word with them and see them accept Him as Savior and watch them grow in knowledge and spirit. Thank you Jesus for Your gift of joy!

  49. 49
    Lynn, Pecos, NM says:

    Going Solo: #1. I have learned the name of a homeless woman and her three children. They had been in our local shelter long enough that they were being kicked out. She became a part of a program to help her get back on her feet and I have been blessed to provide Christmas, back to school help and lots of prayer for this precious family. She is a reminder of God’s love and many second chances we are all given.
    #3.I have felt called for some time to develop a women’s ministry at my church. We had our first women’s retreat last fall and are doing Beth’s Stepping Up study this summer. It has been a struggle because of lack of support from the pastor. Going ahead and doing in spite of that has brought me in contact with so many wonderful women I would not have met otherwise and has deepened relationships with the ones I do know. God is so faithful

  50. 50
    Sarah says:

    Funny, fresh, faithful, friendly gals
    Cincinnati, OH
    9 ladies

    This week, our group spent a lot of time talking about the question regarding entitlements. Different ladies shared about parenting, work, marriage, sexual purity, and relationships! I think it’s easy to see that as human beings we tend to feel entitled to a LOT! I believe as Americans we are much more prone to this as well. Thanks for giving us the chance to look deep in our hearts to find where these kinds of feelings can be lurking and stealing our joy!

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