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. 101
    Katy says:

    Katy in Beaumont

    Thank goodness for this bible study or I would just so disconnected from the Word.

    3. I am currently fatigued in many things, but obedience is my biggest failure. I got a word from this study that I should be praying ALL the time, and yet I still avoid it. I start out strong, then I get stick in a daily routine of avoidance. (this applies to MANY areas of my life unfortunately)

    5. My favorite part of the Chirstian life? Worshipping. Hands down the best thing is that opportunity to humble myself and worship before the Lord.

  2. 102
    Tara Serene says:

    The Living Room Sisters, BC Canada
    We are further seeking out our individual ministries. We are still having worship first, then video and chat (with food- this week a scrumptious mango/strawberry salsa with cinnamon churos), and now we have added a time of prayer. It’s all about the people!! Exploring this concept deeper this week….

  3. 103
    Margaret says:

    The Brunette Club, Kingsport, TN (6)

    Great discussion! We talked about some of the names of the poor and oppressed that we know – Crystal, who has shown that God can change a person, even if it’s a little at a time; Sherry, a regular attender at the Kitchen of Hope (local “soup” kitchen) who has a special needs child, but is grateful for those who help her out and is not bitter about her situation; Sharon, who is struggling financially and has other issues that she’s dealing with (please pray for her son, who overdosed this week). In discussing question #4, we were all struck by how we are not reverent with God’s word, and that we take for granted our freedom to worship so much that we often don’t truly worship.

  4. 104
    Brenda says:

    Brenda, coming solo from beautiful La Palma, Ca.
    Answering #4 Aren’t we just the luckiest people to have all the aides we have available to understand the scriptures? We have the Holy Spirit to interceed. We have Bible studies like this on line! Multiple versions of the Bible, study guides,commentaries, wonderful scholarly pastors, the church, ability to dig into the literal meaning of any one specific word, a country where we can meet for coffee and discuss in open the word of God. Do we have awe for the scriptures? We need to! If we do not, we need to check and see if it isn’t our own fault for not desiring it enough. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit” Heb.4:12

    #5 Joy comes for me in the form of a very active one year old. Joy also comes when an amazing God can answer your deepest hurt with with a miracle, turning a tough situation into awe of Him.

  5. 105
    Mater and Puellae (Mother and Daughters) says:

    1. Precious baby Leah! We realized we don’t know as many of the poor and oppressed as we should and are definitely going to make it a goal to get more involved.
    3. For the youngest daughter, first time obedience when she is busy. For the oldest daughter it was being obedient to getting her ACT studying completed, and for mom it was being obedient to not becoming easily angered.
    5. For both daughters it was fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. For mom it was seeing her daughters respond to the questions of this Bible study.

  6. 106
    Twyla McAmis says:

    Cross Country Crazies our group do our study online. There are three of us so we had our discussion on the telephone today. It was great and we talked two hours. We all discussed the question about knowing the name of someone poor,oppressed or powerless. We shared how that God has been bringing people across our paths and we all now know a name. Through this God has given us much joy. we also discussed an intitlement that God may be asking us to lay down. for some of us it was pride and thinking we have the right to our opinions. For me it was my time. We felt like the greater purpose for laying these down was so we could learn to really listen to others and be able to have discernment to be able to minister to them at whatever level the were at in their lives. This can only be done through love and compassion and without judging or just stating our own opinions.We also talked about the areas of obedience we were getting tired or stressed out in. Of course we all had those but we really encouraged each other just by being honest and sharing with each other. Also what really touched our hearts was Nehemiah Chapter 8 when we talked about what it would have been like for the Jews in exile to have to hide to even speak God’s word in public.We talked about all the ways we have now to be helped in our understanding of the scriptures like all the different translations, commentaries and completed revelations. Oh what joy the jews had just to get to hear God,s word read after all those years without it. Praise God may we never take it for granted.God’s word should be our treasure and joy. Then we talked about what brought us the most joy from our christian life.One answer was answered prayer and I would have to agree that that brings great joy, although it could be many other things too. Along with all the discussions we all had times of so much laughter which I loved and think is important to our group. the whole time we spent together was wonderful and we all were greatly encouraged.I can’t hardly wait for our next discussion in two weeks. I love all of my siesta sisters and enjoy reading your comments.God bless you all and untill next time keep on placing your trust in our precious Saviour and enjoying his word. much joy to you.

    • 106.1
      Monica, NY. says:

      I love you Mama-sita! Thankful for the time we shared over the phone & was strengthened & encouraged! Love you! You worded this beautifully! XOXO

  7. 107
    Sue says:

    Kingsport, Tennessee; Sue, Solo.
    #3 I have the same feelings that Anita posted earlier. As a teacher, I am experiencing fatigue and feel a pull from God. I don’t know what I am to do, so I am staying the course. I feel led to help children in someway, but will need clear direction.
    #5 Most joy in my Christian life- Christian music, studying God’s word with Godly women, worship, watching others demonstrate their Christian witness, and prayerfully demonstrating mine.

  8. 108
    Tamara says:

    Kelowna, BC, Canada – going solo

    Question 1 really challenged me. When I first read it in the introduction to Week 3, I was quite tempted to just put the study down and not come back. It challenged some assumptions I’d made in my life, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and praying about this one. I work at a Gospel Rescue Mission and so I always assumed that was “good enough” when it came to knowing and helping the poor. But, I also have an office job that is mostly away from the frontlines. When I read that question, I realized that I had moved away from getting to know the names of the people we serve each day in our soup kitchen, emergency shelter, and recovery programs. I didn’t feel that I needed to know any of them (even though the opportunity is there and I have gotten more involved in the past), but this question really made me think and challenged me to take some time and get to know a couple of people beyond a simple recognition.

    Question 4 was also one that hit home for me this time. I’ve taken the Word of God for granted in the last while and haven’t given it the importance I should have been. This challenged me to make it important enough in my life that I would have a heart to respond to it like the Israelites did in Nehemiah 8.

  9. 109
    Christine says:

    Women Seeking Wisdom
    Wichita, KS
    Nine of us met to discuss week 5 and watch week 6 video. We shared briefly how God has most touched us so far in the study. It was very neat to hear the different ways we are being challenged. We discussed the honor and respect that was given to God’s Word when it was read in chapter 8. Convicting to us all. Our night was made very special when one member got a call that her adoptive baby was being born. She rushed to the hospital and we were able to pray immediately for her son, her family and the birth mom.

  10. 110
    Allison M. says:

    A & B Girls: one in AZ and one in AR
    1. Share something about your interaction with the person that God has used in YOUR life and not just hers/his.

    A friend of our son who was battling addiction went with us to a celebrate recovery meeting. She wasn’t raised in a Christian home, had never been to church, and was very intimidated by the whole experience. Through some unfortunate circumstances, she recently lost her job. Two days ago she posted a picture with a Bible verse on her FB page about putting her faith in God through life’s endless struggles. Prayers for both our son and this young lady would be greatly appreciated.
    2. Discuss what you believe to have been the greater purpose in laying down an entitlement.
    Choosing our children over career opportunities…the greater purpose: our children and the many lives we have touched along the way as we supported our children by volunteering our time cannot compete with a high paying job.
    3. In what area of obedience are you currently fatiguing?
    Discipline in reading the Bible daily and applying what we learn in Bible Study to our lives. We both realize we need someone to be our accountability partner. We both tend to use a myriad of excuses for keeping people at arms length, choosing to “go it alone” rather than commit to fellowship with other Christians.
    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.
    We discussed how our minds tend to wonder or we become easily distracted not only while listening to others read the Bible, but when we read it to ourselves as well. We both agree there should be more reverence for the Bible. As for aid in understanding…we both use youverse. It is so easy to access the Bible quickly…and google, of course 🙂
    5. What about the Christian life gives you the most joy?
    I’ll just quote my duo partner: “I love that they were reminded that their life should be full of “Joy”. What gives me joy? The knowledge that while I may have battles that do not go my way, God has already won ME and the war!”

  11. 111
    Emily says:

    Planethopping Praisers, 2

    This week — LA & Houston, next week, Abu Dhabi & Houston. Focused on Beth’s questions because both our planet-hopping made keeping up with the workbook difficult. We also chewed in some previous answers.

    Ultimately, we both agreed that our joy comes from being with the Lord, worshipping him, talking about Him and getting into his Word. We encouraged each other to persevere in our battles, whether dealing with banks or giving up our entitlement to draw a boundary line with family un order to cover offenses with love.

  12. 112
    Bridgett Junkin says:

    Silly Soul Sisters from Pell City, AL – Tried to post earlier in the week but it all disappeared and I am just now getting back to it. We are 12 in all but only 4 there on Tuesday night.
    What a great discussion we had. Only 4 of us and we still couldn’t finish our discussion on Beth’s questions in time to watch Video 5! We had a great time of sharing, confessing, commiserating and encouraging. Oh, how we love and need our sisters.
    1-We have already been doing this but still feel we need to search out more.
    2 & 3 – sort of got combined in our discussion. We discussed tithing, not just of our money but our time and thoughts as well. We seem to get one area under control and then lose out on another. We need more consistency.
    4-Commentaries, history of the time that explains the practices (as Beth often gives us), different versions of the Bible, other people and, most importantly, The Holy Spirit. Rhonda pointed out the importance of prayer before study and showed us where she always initials her book when she does that (Got that from Mary Kassian).
    5-Joy comes from KNOWING God. We have everything because of His love. Stability in Him. God’s creation brings us joy. Peace and ease about things that would previously have had us in a snit.

  13. 113
    Barb says:

    Barb, Evansville, IN, going solo

    3. I’m taken by the word “fatiguing” it perfectly describes my feelings about my son. I know I need to be an encouragement to him in his adult life but my patience has grown thin, and I’m having difficulty walking a fine line between speaking the truth and supporting him. This study has spoken to me and helped me to re-engage daily.
    4. I was blessed also by the vision of the people standing to hear God’s word and those who helped them understand. As I prepare to lead a group this fall studying this book, I imagine myself as one of those walking through the crowds and helping them understand…God use me!
    5. I have a friend who has been with me through thick and thin and we meet at a coffee shop every Friday morning to share life and pray. This simple time together gives me such joy, I’m so lucky to have her!

    • 113.1
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      Barb: may I suggest a study Prayers Worth Repeating put out by Stonecroft Ministries. it transformed my outlook, my prayer life and my attitude towards my adult children.

  14. 114
    fuzzytop says:

    Tennessee Misfits, meeting in Jasper, TN, with three (Linda, Sarah, and Adrienne)in our group.

    This week we had a visitor, Sarah’s sister-in-law, who is visiting.

    We covered all 5 questions, and had a lot of lively discussion. Some of key points were:

    #3. Loved the point about encouraging one another to persevere, as we had a laundry list of areas where we are fatiguing, including our prayer time, the difficulty of godly submission, and simply taking care of ourselves.

    #4. We spent a lot of time comparing the awe for God’s Word as described in Nehemiah 8:1-8 to the much more casual attitudes we see today. The accessibility of scripture has increased so much from the time of Nehemiah, with numerous translations and smart phone apps, and study materials available. But with so much stuff out there, we need to be very discerning and solidly grounded in God’s Word as there is a lot of material out there that is just misleading.

    #5. We had quite a list of things about the Christian life that bring us deep joy! Fellowship, leading someone to accept Christ, heart-felt worship, and the hope we find in God’s mercy and grace.

    I am so thankful for this study of Nehemiah, and for Linda and Sarah. 😀


  15. 115
    Memphis Belles says:

    4 out of 5 were able to meet.

    Three hours is not enough time to reflect on all these two sessions had to offer! =D

    #1 Strongest realization was seeing how God uses the oppressed and poor to show us truly that He is all we need. We all could name names of those the Lord has brought into our lives and in every instance it rang so true that the Joy of the Lord was their strength. When they had/have nothing else they remind us that our comfort should be in Christ alone.

    #3 We all feel fatigued. In this day and age, if you don’t feel fatigued by something, you are not engaged. Parenting and it’s dailyness fatigued two out of four, while the cares of the world and extended family issues and the overwhelmed feeling of a recent move to a new city and new job and new environment fatigued another.

    So grateful for what this study has done for us and for what Beth’s insights have brought to the study as well. Thank you again and again. We feel blessed.

  16. 116
    iambigboo says:

    Jazzy Siesta Summer Club, Lafayette, LA, 4
    I believe we all were moved by Kelly’s statement to “Go learn a name”. It’s one thing to give the poor, quite another to have a relationship.

    We spent sometime talking about our entitlement. We are blessed to live in a country of plenty and feel that often times our abilities to have give us our sense of entitlement. God often uses the times mentioned in the question to humble us.

    We glory in our ability to read, study, hold the word whenever in a multitude of ways. Each of us said we could not imagine going years or decades without the word. We also acknowledged the availability of the Word can make us take it for granted at times. We do not want this to happen. We want to appreciate it always. We also want to not just read or hear the Word but respond to it as these people did.

  17. 117

    Dynamic Duo (Columbia, South Carolina)

    The entitlement question really struck me. At age 18 I found out my dad wasn’t my biological father but that he had adopted me when I was 3 months old. I was told this at age 18 because my biological father had found me and wanted to meet me. After meeting my biological father it was immediately apparent that he only wanted to meet me to fill a void in his life, but not to have a relationship with me. It’s like he needed to meet me to take away the guilt he had been feeling. Shortly after finding this out my mom and adopted father divorced. When they divorced my adopted dad said to me that because I now knew the truth and as he began his new life, not being married to my mom, that I was no longer a part of his life. However, the daughter that him and my mom had together 3 years after I was born is still allowed daily access to his life. It’s been 7 years and my adopted father still won’t allow me into his life. He doesn’t even know my husband and I have adopted our own son in this time frame and that I would gratefully welcome him back in my life if only he would accept.

    I remember going through a thought process of, “WOW, two dads and neither want me.” I felt so worthless and that somehow I must not be lovable. It would have been so easy to fall in the trap of this thinking. I’m not perfect and I did go through (and still struggle at times) feelings of self pity, depression, feeling worthless, not loved, not wanted, etc. etc. etc. Did I feel entitled to these feelings? Most definitely. But, in God’s grace, He showed me that I could rise above the nastiness of what had been done to me. In his strength He raised me up and put a level head on my shoulders where I could confidently proclaim I am lovable, I am wanted, and I am worthy to receive love.

    To think of what my life would have been like had I fallen into the entitlement of all these negative feelings scares me half to death. I am so thankful that the grace of God picked me up and gave me the direction and truth I so needed and still need to get through this situation in my life.

  18. 118
    Debbi H says:

    The Summer Hot TOPS had 9 in attendance last night. We discussed several of Beth’s questions and I also included more questions from the study. We choose to watch one of the series videos. I watch them both and choose the one that I think they would get the most out of it. It is hard to choose! Because of vacation schedules, we will not meet for 3 weeks to end our study.

  19. 119
    Monica says:

    This week we watched Week 2 video(sort of behind on that) and discussed the statement she made about “If Jesus died on the cross for it, it’s not funny…..” How we tend to forget that in light of entertainment and other manner of living; but it was convicting.
    We also realized on Pg 75, the personal response question–Is the Lord asking you to say no to something so you can focus on what He’s asked you to say yes to? 3 of us really couldn’t answer or felt that we haven’t found “the thing” that He wants us to do. One member realized that although her passion is missions overseas, she has a mission right at home to love her family and her children. She knows that someday, she will work towards that again. Maybe our focus was on “what are we supposed to say “yes” to? What is the Lord leading each one of us to do. I struggle with how big it is or important it seems. My “girls” reminded me that the smallest work for the Lord is huge to Him. The focus is the glory of God not self. Just remembering this in our daily lives..that is the important part.

  20. 120
    Sarah says:

    Sarah, Dallas, TX – going solo.

    Before I answer the question I’m going to, I’ll just add that I was very convicted this week about my lack of awe of God’s Word. I am struggling right now with carving out time to spend in the Word and that’s something I want to improve on.

    Question 5 – I think what brings me the most joy in the Christian life is the body of Christ, family of God – brothers and sisters in Christ. I am dear friends with people from church and seminary where I have zero else in common with other, than we both know and love Jesus and that alone is enough. I know more about these friends than I do about some of my own biological family members and my bond with them is deeper than biological family. I think too the reassurance that I will see my passed loved ones in Heaven is such a comfort – I don’t know how people get through the loss of loved ones if they aren’t believers. In the body of Christ that I am a part of, we rejoice when a sister rejoices, and we cry when she cries. That support is irreplaceable and so needed. It’s a lifeline in today’s cruel world. Jesus is enough – enough to bring us together and enough to keep us together (praise Him!) 🙂

  21. 121
    victoria says:

    An area I am currently “fatiguing” in…I am in recovery (5yrs)from a 15yr cocaine addiction and the area I am struggling in, is with my daughters one is 20 one is 16 and its seems they refuse to see the work and miracles God has performed in my life. I created a Christ centered recovery ministry and work all week long with others who struggle with past abuse, anger, bitterness and also addictions of all kinds, I do my best to be the mother I never was in the past for them. But it seems they are stuck in the past. Every discussion we have every time we are out at dinner or just driving in the car the start to point out what a lousy mother I was and how addicts never change, and how I ruined their lives and was never there for them. This week was my oldest daughters birthday I saw a card my youngest daughter wrote to her sister just basically trashing me. I know that in the past , I was NOT the motherI needed to be and I know they have every right to be angry with me but it just seems I have been put into a box (addict bad mother) and had a label attached and thats all she wrote thats is al I will ever be to them. It seems I will never ever get my girls back we all go to chruch my oldest is avctive in the youth ministry and they are so kind and compassionate to others.It breaks my heart I am crying as I am typing write now. I have been patient I have been loving I have gently suggested therapy and now I am just fatigued and weary and wondering what’s the point if it will ever change

    • 121.1
      colleen says:

      Dear Victoria

      I really feel for you. I have a similar issue with someone very close to me who won’t forgive me for something that happened long ago and also doesn’t give me credit for how I’ve grown. Its as if I am defined by my worst moment and I want to know why I can’t be defined by my best moment. I have no advice just wanted to let you know that I understand and I know its difficult. I just tell myself that God sees and God is proud of me and His opinion is the one that counts. But it still hurts. Keep up your wonderful work, precious child of God.

    • 121.2
      Bobbie says:

      Victoria, i can relate to your grief in this area. My grown daugher has 4 girls (18,16,12,&10). She not only will not talk to me but she will not let me see or talk to the girls. She is hung up on how I was in the past and will not give me a chance to show her that I’ve grown in my relationship with the Lord. I have not had a relationship with her for 4 years. She too is so kind and loving to others but she is very angry with me. I’ve asked her for forgivness for the things done in the past but whe refuses to discuss this. I try to stay focused on my Bible studies but deep down, I am broken. All I want is to see them, not dwell on the past and have my family back but she has split us all up. She controls the whole family and it’s not right.

    • 121.3
      Natalie says:

      Dearest Victoria, Your comment moved me immensely! We just had a sermon last week and the hard things the Lord asks us to do. One of the hardest we could think of was forgiving. IT can only come from the holy spirit moving in your heart. KEEP PRAYING for your girls! Continue showing them through your faith and love that you have changed. I pray they come around! Praise God you have found forgiveness from your Savior Jesus Christ in whom there in no condemnation!

  22. 122
    Michele says:

    Michele (going solo) ~ Kenosha, WI

    1. Name of a person ~ My Sudanese Sister, Ayan and her family. I met her almost 15 years ago. She came to stay with our church family from Sudan and God INSTANTLY made us sisters (without her speaking hardly any English and without me speaking any Dinca or Arabic!). Her life has been so different from mine ~ growing up a little in Sudan and then living in Egypt with some of her extended family. Even living here, in the states, is so different for her. God has definitely used her in my life and me in her’s and her children’s lives.

    3. I think I am currently fatiguing in trusting God with our future and being loving to my husband.

    5. Wat gives me the most JOY…Well, Siesta Mama, you kinda stole my answer :0)…but I love seeing God speak to children, I love seeing people ‘getting it’ when it comes to who God is and His Word, and I LOVE when God speaks directly to me!
    Being able to ‘sit’ in my Father’s lap and listen to Him and tell Him things. I also love being with my Heavenly Father outside and soak up time with Him, in His creation! I love being commanded to help others! Ok. I better stop. :0)

  23. 123
    Stacey says:

    Stacey from Pleasant View, Tennessee – solo
    3. Obedience as a whole is a struggle for me. I often let my carnal thinking convince me that it is not God. Currently I am failing at hitting my knees to pray. I know God is telling me to kneel to talk with him. I have done that more often this past past week but I feel he wants more.

    5.I get the most joy out of my Christian life when the Holy Spirit fills me to overflowing. I honestly know the meaning of being jealous for others. I want so desperately for my family to feel that powerful feeling. There is nothing like it in the world. I have been filled during very stressful moments and there have been times that joy has just come on me out of nowhere at work. What an Awesome God!

  24. 124
    LindsayN84 says:

    Lindsay ~ Bangor, Maine

    The following questions most resonated with me:

    1. My husband and I sponsor two Compassion children. Their lives are very different from ours, but our relationship with them (through letters and pictures) is so rewarding. Seeing how such a “small” monthly donation can truly impact and change their lives is amazing. I think they encourage us just as much as we do them, if not more so.

    5. I gain a lot of joy from watching how God works in my day-to-day life and immensely blesses me. I have walked through some very difficult times in the past two years, and God has been SO faithful. He has worked in ways that I could have never imagined. I also love watching God change hearts . . . seeing people fall in love with Christ and begin to truly live for Him. Watching believers grow in their relationships with Christ is exciting for me!

  25. 125
    Michelle says:

    Michelle Beijing, China

    Question 3 stood out the most to me. I am just getting ready to dive into training for 200 teachers and have been struggling to find time to Sabbath. I find myself working all day long and then collapsing in utter exhaustion at night. The time to rest doesn’t really happen nor does personal reflection. While training will only last a month, I don’t think I can survive without figuring out how to Sabbath and take a look at how I am personally doing.

    #4 I am reminded daily of the privilege it is to be able to read the scriptures and commentaries. While you can purchase a bible in China it is hard to find commentaries which means you have to figure out the scriptures with the Lords help. We are so blessed to be able to have scholars help us understand.

  26. 126

    Jennifer – Houston, Texas

    3. I’ve always needed help when it comes to intentional, purposeful prayer time. I get so distracted and can think of “more important” things I could be doing that praying. Since the birth of my first child, this has increased significantly as I seek the Lord’s guidance as I learn to be a mother and so desperately want my daughter to know Him.

    4. There is a Holy reverence we should have when it comes to scripture. It is the WORD OF GOD and the only truth we have in this world. I seek to become more in awe of His Holy Word and treat it with the respect it deserves.

    5. I so enjoy “doing life” with fellow believers. Serving others and walking through this life together is such a blessing that the Lord gives us. The body of believers working together for the kingdom gives me great joy!

  27. 127
    Brenda says:

    The Three Amigos, Lexington, SC; The question that we most related to was question 5 about joy. We learned that each person’s joy is revealed in a different way. On way was in true fellowship with other believers in an atmosphere where we feel like we can share our hearts. Also, worship through music and evangelism as well as the moments when we experience the effect of other’s prayers on our life. Thank you Holy Spirit for the gift of joy!

  28. 128
    Kerri N says:

    3. I am tiring of trusting my future with God and the plans he has for me.
    1. The person that God has put in my life who is oppressed is my friend Natasha. She attends my church and she is currently living with a man. I try to tell her that she is living in sin and she needs to get out of that relationship.

  29. 129
    Debbie Watson says:

    Looks like I’m solo now. My daughter’s schedule went haywire for the summer.

    Someone in my life who is living in something very different from me – in a different kind of oppression.

    I have a friend who lives in the Middle East. Her family raised her ‘Christian’ just because they weren’t Muslim. She has a history that is filled with abuse, hurt and some dangerous choices. I have learned much about her culture and how it fuels her feelings of quilt, shame and fear. Her relationship with the Lord is unclear. She can say all the right things that would make you think she’s a strong believer. But as we have gotten closer and she began to share about her past and present, I now can say, I don’t believe she really knows what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ.

    My heart breaks for her. She desperately needs Jesus. We talk occasionally on the phone, but mostly by email. Speaking truth to her is what I try to continuously do. Praying Jesus will take hold of her in a mighty way.

  30. 130
    Mirra says:

    Sandy Feet, 2, mother/ daughter, Clearwater, FL

    Question #3- We discussed being fatigued in praying for something for a long time and not seeing any results.Sometimes it is not for us to see the outcome,just be faithful to continue to bring it to the Lord and wait for His timing.
    Question #5- We discussed what about the christian life gave us the most joy.It is wonderful to know that we are secure in Him and nothing can take us out of His hand or change His love for us.

  31. 131
    Lynn says:

    Chapel 3 in IL & WI were only 2

    Both of us are fatiguing in being obedient with our diet. One for weight loss and the other for another health issue. We do well for awhile, then the enemy gets ahold of us and we fall.

    We both discovered that we are too casual in our awe of the word. As others here have said, it is so readily available. We also tend to read it only on the surface, we seem to need a study like this one to find out the depth of it. That was convicting to us and we both desire to dig into the scriptures for ourselves rather than always relying on a bible teacher to do the interpreting for us.

    What brings us the most joy? Friends in the faith and seeing God at work bring us the most joy.

  32. 132
    colleen says:

    Husband and Wife. Colleen, Cape Town, South Africa.
    I was really floored by question 1, but then I got thinking and I do know a poor person’s name – our gardener. He comes to us once a week. He lives in a shack and has very little compared to us. We sold him a bicycle for a nominal fee and he is so proud of it, this also makes his journey to work much easier. But I realised how much he has shown me. He is always cheerful and has an amazing sense of humour. So he may have little but he lifts our spirits.

    Question 3. I fatigue in my prayer life. I make time for Bible reading because I love doing the study, but sometimes I think that I don’t really read the Bible meaningfully – I skim over the words so that I can answer the questions in the study. But I seldom spend time in conversation with God.

    Question 5. My greatest joy is the Bible study group that I lead on a Wednesday morning. A group of very precious ladies – my sisters-in-Christ. Mark also said his greatest joy was the Bible study. This is a group we attend on a Wednesday evening and is made up of men and women and a few different denominations are represented. I was amazed to hear this as Mark has become disillusioned with Church and I am so excited that he enjoys the study. After many months he is reading and hearing God’s Word and for me that is a blessing and a joy. I also love it that he watches Kelly’s videos and discusses Beth’s questions with me. Believe me when I tell you what a shift this is for him.

    Well, until next time. Stay in the word precious Siestas and thank you all for the input.

  33. 133
    Jariza says:

    Jesse and Jariza, Alburtis PA

    5. My husband said what brings him the most joy is reading god’s word and it coming alive in his life and knowing that the creator of the earth is intimately involved in his life! What is bringing me joy in this season of my life is knowing on the inside that God is presently working on things in my life and in the lives of my loved ones no matter what circumstances look like right now. Praise God for that.

  34. 134
    Sue Alice says:


    1. Lena, took food from church to help her, Sandy, food, clothes, took to Doctors appointment, and Jerold, money. This is from the three of us. We have not done any thing since we have done this. We all need to learn another name or group to help. One of us gives to “Living Water”, and “America Feeds”.

    2. Only one of us felt any entitlement to lay down something…Worship leader, God impressed on her to step down in this postion so someone else could step up.

    3. In the area of obedience…two of us are having trouble praying and studying God’s word, we have run into a dry season. The third one years ago was tiring out, but God give her relief and she loves what He is doing in her life at this time.

    4. All of us agree we could not imagine what it would be like to live without, and to have at our fingertips. The people must have felt left out not having the Word at their sides, and in their homes to read and learn by. Oh, the joy they must have felt when Ezra read to them from the Book of Moses, with the leaders in the crowd explaining. We wish we could have been there to see their faces when they “got it”.

    5. What about the Christian Life gives you Joy? All of us had pretty much the same idea…… Seeking Him. Bringing others to God, seeing the chance in others and in us. God’s love and glory. He is so GOOD and AMAZING.

    Blessings to all of you. Thanks Mama Beth for this wonderful study.

  35. 135
    Mary Beth says:

    Mary Beth – St. Louis
    (Sorry I’m a little late in posting – I was out of town last week. Anyway….)
    1. I was so convicted when I realized that I don’t know the name of someone who is living an “under-resourced” life that I contacted a food bank in our community to see how I could help. Hopefully I can give you a name in the near future…:)
    3. For many years I prayed daily for my unsaved family members that they would come to know Jesus as Savior. Lately my prayers have been less consistent. I know that God wants me to intercede for them, so I want to begin to pray for them again on a DAILY basis.

  36. 136
    NC F.R.O.G. (North Carolina girls who Fully Rely On God) says:

    It was another amazing night of bible study for us girls. One of the common comments about this study is how Kelly draws you in and really makes you think about your responses to her questions. It helps us to really meditate on His Word.
    #1 This question really hit home to all of us in that we really didn’t know a poor person by name. We shared about becoming more aware of those around us who we meet in the grocery store, or at work, or at a gas station.
    #2 One of the entitlements we thought of as a group is submissing/obeying our husbands. We “think” we know it all and do not need their help. We also “thought” the word ‘submission” was negative.
    #3 We are currently fatiguing in daily consistent bible study. We let too many distractions come into our lives.
    #4 How we are aided in understanding of scripture: our church. We are currently going through Year of the Bible as a church. We read each day in chronological order, bible verses as a church. Sunday school and the sermons are centered around what we read for that week.
    #5 What gives us the most joy in the Christian life is hope, no fear in death, and peace. We have an Awesome Heavenly Father!

  37. 137
    Michelle says:

    Michelle, Clinton, TN – going solo
    Question #3: The area of obedience in which I am currently fatiguing is staying at my church. I have for a long time wanted to leave but not due to God calling me, but my difference of opinion on how a sensitive matter was handled and my disappointment with some older members. God has made it clear I should not leave. I am finally seeing some blessing from that after almost 3 years but God has had to work through my whining, begging, anger, and resentment. He has worked on MY character through this and I am feeling some joy come back and some positive changes at our church. I think the church situation was secondary. I truly believe God wanted to use this situation and seemingly unending struggle to teach me some things about myself.
    Question #5: The part of the Christian life that gives me the most joy is serving and participating with other Christians who are passionate about their walk and relationship with Christ. Serving at a Walk to Emmaus, at a Passion conference as a Doorholder, and on a mission trip with others who are excited about Christ and serve tirelessly and who are bubbling with joy at the privilege of being the hands and feet of Christ is what Heaven must be like. Self awareness seems to be put on the back burner and it’s a thrill to be a part of it!!!!

  38. 138
    Tangila says:

    Tangila, Solo, Pearland TX

    3.In what area of obedience are you currently fatiguing?
    I am currently struggling with praying through a certain issue until completion. It has been years but God consistently sends “word” that I must persevere.

    4.This question regarding awe for the Scriptures and the ways in which help is given to understand, is very dear to me. Personally, God has shown Himself and His word to be true truth in my life and I am always floored by what I learn. God has blessed me with a variety of teachers, both in church and in parachurch ministries, that have helped me to understand and apply what I’ve learned. I also get the privilege of teaching Bible Study and desire to do the same for others.

  39. 139
    Heidi says:

    Going solo today…throughout this study, I have been asking God for an orphan mission trip opportunity. In my surprise, God answered my prayers with a little girl, from a “poor” family with many problems, that would come live with us for a few weeks. God brought my dream of orphan ministry work to our home, and it has been filled with awesome blessings and painful realities of this little girl’s world. We wish we could keep her beautiful smile on her face forever and rescue her from the insecurities in her life, but we realize only the Good Lord can provide her every need and give to her all the love she really needs, His everlasting love.

  40. 140
    laura ealy says:

    Newlyweds No More (But Still Lovin’ It), Winston-Salem, NC, 3 – We had a great discussion about the names we know and about how we can further our ministry with them. We also agreed that our greatest joy is having a peace that passes all understanding!

  41. 141
    Fran says:

    “Simple Siestas” from Jackson TN

    Four of us met Saturday morning in our favorite booth at Perkins restaurant. We had bibles and workbooks and coffee and pancakes! 🙂 We sat for two hours and cried and laughed and encouraged each other like nobody’s business! We ran out of time and only made it through the first three questions. We discussed at great length the desperate desire we have to know the name of a poorer or oppressed person and for 3 of us…..we don’t have that name. We are desperately asking God to show us who or where to serve.

    Nehemiah is changing us with each page and each part of the rebuilding. Absolutely beautiful!!! God is speaking! We are listening!

    Fran, Christ, Robyn, and Kelley

  42. 142
    Sue in Georgia says:

    Sue in Newnan, Georgia – solo
    1. I have a neighbor, single older woman. She has a part-time job. Owns her home and car and that is it. She is a Christian. My husband and I are very happy anytime we can help her. She gets by on so much less than we do. She never asks for money. We do for her in ways of fixing things in her home, sharing food or positions with her and most of all talking with her and checking with her and sharing about what the Lord has done in each of our lives. Sometimes she just needs to talk and get advice on what she should do in certain situations. I pray we are a blessing to her and she knows that it blesses us to help her.
    2. What gives me the most joy in my Christian life is when God reveals His Word to me in an awesome and exciting way and gives me such an earnest desire to share His Word and blessings with others. I have the privilege of teaching Bible Study at our church and it is such a joy to share and to see others get excited and realize the joy of knowing and seeing Him at work in their lives. I also have such a joy in sharing what I have learned and studied with my family – husband, children and grandchildren. God is so good all the time!

  43. 143
    Loanna says:

    Loanna, Cumberland, MD, solo.
    #4- The awe for God’s Word that the Israelites showed was truly amazing. It seems they were longing, aching and excited all at the same time. Their deep appreciation is what strikes me most. Their actions acknowledged that they knew they needed to hear what God said and act on it. They knew the God Whose Word they were hearing was a God to be revered.
    #5- The fellowship of believers brings me joy; the way people who have never met immediately have a bond. Also, the solid rock security of the Christian life because it’s all centered on an all-powerful God.

  44. 144
    Nehemiah's Global Girls says:

    We had 4 people posting responses this time. We meet on Facebook and some others may still post. Two of us commented we are fatiguing in memorizing Scripture. We were so working at it last year, and now it is being really hard to continue. Our joy comes from God’s Word, and knowing that He has us in His Hands. He is taking care of us, we don’t have to stress so much. There was some interesting thoughts on Ezra 8:1-8. We just don’t have the awe of God’s Word that they did. Possibly because we do have multiple copies of it, and all those resources for us to constantly look at. It was very much a privilige for the people in Ezra’s age to hear the Word of God. They did not have copies of their own at home, and only rarely heard it. This was true right up until the 1800’s when that started changing quite a bit. We need to work at NOT taking God’s Word for granted. Our generation is so priviliged with it’s availability. As for the face of the poor, we have had that brought home to us in many different ways. Ministries to the street people, churches that are located in the poor parts of town, knowing people in our churches who are struggling. God has called us to share what we have. We need to be aware of them, know them by name, and reach out to them. Knowing them by name, makes it so much more real, than just donating to the homeless ministry. It puts a face to their pain, and makes us quicker to respond to their needs.

    Nehemiah has been so interesting so far! Our Sunday School is doing Judges and it is like we are seeing a before and after picture of Israel. Before the time of their kings and after. Both sides have the people struggling to worship God, and Him alone. We are so blessed to have the Holy Spirit living in us to help us through each day. Thank you, Lord.

  45. 145
    themodestans says:

    The Modestans, 2. Skype from Modesto, CA and Galmi, Niger. We both found the second question to be a little difficult, as we had a hard time thinking of things we were actually entitled to and could justify hanging on to. One of us is part of a church that split and gave up the property that they had invested in and were entitled to in order to avoid a lawsuit, which they did not believe would have been God’s will. Their church is now doing well and the difficulties they have encountered have strengthened their faith, especially as they are trusting God to provide a new building. Question number five was fun. One of us finds the most joy in fellowship and catching up with others. She is very gifted at bringing others in and including them. The other one of us finds the most joy and getting to know God better through studying His Word and living it out and all the crazy, awesome things that come along with it.

  46. 146
    Karen says:

    Amarillo, TX. SPOKEN F0R, 10. Question 5 What about the Christian life gives you the most joy? Fellowship with believers, Worship, God’s creation, God’s Word, Time with God.

  47. 147
    Jordin says:

    Albuquerque, NM; Jordin
    1. As it was mentioned, the people that we minister to often times find a way of ministering to us as well. By faith, Marisa is stepping out of an abusive situation believing that God has more for her. The steps that we have taken to help her cannot compare to the wonderful witness she has been to us and the trusting spirit that she has demonstrated.
    As a youth leader, the moments in the Christian life that give me the most joy are witnessing young people live the faith that they have learned. My heart delights when they turn their studies into Christ-like actions.

  48. 148
    Matia Messemer says:

    Dooley Girls, Fort Worth, TX and Knoxville, TN, 2 by phone

    What a challenge to “learn a name” – to be personally involved in a situation that is foreign to these sisters in many ways, to be poor. I live in an environment surrounded by those who are poor and living on rice, once per month meat, and alternating buying medicine or food with each pay check or financial aid check. She lives in an environment of means to help those who are poor. We realized that the Lord will use both of us – me to encourage and her to help meet the physical need to then meet the spiritual need. Funny how she is already doing that for me and didn’t even know it! We are both asking for eyes to see and value those the Creator values…and to do that by name.

  49. 149
    Sarah Mattingly says:

    Sarah Mattingly, going solo, Dry Ridge Ky. This post is way behind, but better late than never. It is funny that you ask about our books. Mine is slightly damaged from taking it to the pool with my son, and the other day I discovered extra coloring on one page that I did not know about when my one yer old daughter “borrowed” my book.

    There is one major entitlement that I had to learn to put aside, because my pride was is the way. This was very difficult for me to admit to myself. I was called to a life of missions when I was 13 years old, so I assumed I would always be a foreign missionary. Although to everyone around, this sounded like a huge sacrifice on my part, I was so focused on the title that I lost sight of the purpose. I am still a missionary, serving in my church and community, and God had to teach me that I can be a missionary without a title attached. God may still have foreign missions in mind down the road, but right now God is wanting me to use my passion for missions here at home.

  50. 150
    Cartersville GA siestas says:

    We met on Tuesday, July 24, minus one sick siesta. We were all rocked by the first question to know a person’s name and know their circumstances. We are all waiting on that one to play out because we are sure He has just begun that work in our lives. The other question we pondered awhile is our greatest joys. We had some sweet time there, all agreeing that joy occurs together in the family of God, whether it’s in worship, prayer, or service. Sorry this post is sooo late. Our next one may be after the 6th. We may not meet till Aug. 11. School starts the week of Aug. 6th here.

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