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. 151
    joann, huntingburg, in says:

    #3 I am currently struggling with being critical. I am also doing the James study and this week’s lesson talks about slander meaning criticize. I am praying that God will destroy this stronghold over me and replace it with a spirit of encouragement.

    #5 My greatest joy comes when the Holy Spirit speaks to me through a specific verse in a particular situation. This really thrills me to know that we have such a personal, caring God who is concerned about every detail of our lives.

  2. 152
    Michelle B. says:

    Carver, MA; solo

    #3 Currently fatiguing in holding to the hope He has called me to, His plans for my life, His promises, as I battle through cancer. Jer. 29:11 and Rom. 8:28 continue to be my anchoring Scriptures. I have been so blessed by so many people praying and loving upon me. It has been a blessing to share my faith in Christ and His strength in my weakness.

    #4 I could relate to the joy and weeping that the people felt as the Scriptures were opened up to them. In the midst of my fatigue, my mom read Scripture to me as I listened. The Word fell fresh on me in a comforting way. The tears just rolled down my cheeks. God’s comfort wrapped around me in a big hug.

    #5 The one thing I love about the Christian life that brings so much joy is mentoring and encouraging younger sisters in Christ. I love one- on- one time with them. I also love it when I see a person’s life radically changed by the revelation of God’s love for them personally.

  3. 153
    Summer says:

    Aqua Room Girls, Willow Spring, NC, 5 ladies and a baby! :o)
    We held our group meeting tonight. Our schedules have conflicted a bit with the video/blog postings, but we meet as soon as we are able!

    Tonight was such a sweet time of fellowship and encouragement. Many of us are fatiguing in obedience, how we speak to our spouses or boyfriends, in serving others and relationships. Definitely challenged to “learn a name” and to seek opportunities where God can use us to bless others. The awe of the LORD and His word that the people in Nehemiah 8 had was so convicting and we are all praying for God to break our hearts for Him and for Him to give us that awe and wonder for all that He is and has done for us, to make Him top priority and to have a hunger for Him and His word.

  4. 154
    Kery says:

    Kerry, solo, Jackson, TN

    1. Recently, this sweet lady called me and asked if I would come over to her home because she had something to discuss with me. I arrived and after some chatting, she told me that she asked me over because something needs to be done to help addicts learn to live drug free. She lamented over our court system and the way the same people are in and out of jail, being charged large fines, but no long term efforts toward true rehabilitation. Thirty days of court-ordered rehab will rarely result in long-term sobriety. During our conversation, the subject of the poor came up at which time she said to me “a lot of the people y’all think are poor, are not really poor” ! All I could come out with was “huh?”. She went on to explain to me that people who have nice homes full of lots of “decorations”, drive newer vehicles s, and dress in nice clothes, think those who do not are poor. Her words to me went something like this “We live a simple life. We do not have the nicest home, drive the best car, or have nice clothes, but we are NOT poor. The bills are paid no one is hungry, we have clothes on our back and shoes on our feet. What we have may not be the nicest but we don’t desire things we cannot afford nor do we worry about paying for more than we can afford! Y’all put too much stress on y’alls self trying to keep up all the stuff!!!!””””

    WHOAAAAAAAAAAA! What a lesson for me and here I was thinking she was needing my help and come to find out, I needed hers!!!! My heart has always been tender toward this family, so when I so find that face to look into who is TRULY powerless, oppressed, and poor, I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear it. I am now looking for that person but with eyes that have been enlightened

  5. 155
    Megan says:

    Grants Pass, OR Solo
    One of my greatest joys about the Christian life is how personal it is. Jesus knows me, cares about me, speaks to me, and has a plan for me.

  6. 156
    Milford, OH Eastside Women says:

    *What a sweet time of fellowship. This Bible study has been a blessing to each of us. As we each get to know more about Nehemiah and his struggles we can each relate! Amazing how God always puts thing in perspective for us. So lucky we live in a day and age where we can worship freely! 🙂

  7. 157
    Roommates Forever says:

    Oops! I’m late on posting, but we had a great discussion last week! A story I shared was that I attended a fundraising banquet for a local crisis pregnancy center and sat with a several people I had not formally met. We talked and shared and enjoyed the fancy meal. At a set point in the program, they announced the speaker would be a former client of the pregnancy center to talk about her struggle and the way the center had helped her. I was surprised to find the sweet girl across from me was that speaker. If I had known that ahead of time, I may have treated her differently, spoken awkwardly, felt uncomfortable with our “differences”. I’m so glad I didn’t know. It was a great reminder to me that circumstances don’t make a person. What a blessing!

    We are really enjoying the study and still struggling to know exactly what God has planned for us to do (what our “wall rebuilding” is), but we want to know it!

  8. 158
    Natalie says:

    Natalie, Nashville, TN (went from a group of 3 to a solo. Others got busy!)

    2. Historically God has called me to lay down name brand designer labels. Weird I know but he was so specific and every time I disobeyed the shoes and purses actually break. More recently, I am wondering if as we seek to adopt our first child God is calling me to lay down a successful career to be a mom and have balance. I will do whatever he asks and I only pray for a clear direction from Him.
    3. I have victory in 1 area which it took 2 years for me to become obedient to but now eating healthy and exercising are where I am fatiguing. Lord please strengthen me in these areas. I have so many obligations that I just move this down and use food to cope with stress.

  9. 159
    Ashlee & Leanne says:

    Ashlee & Leanne

    We both have been in awe of the scripture and the book of Nehemiah. We have also been full of joy and we loved learning that our job shouldn’t come from material things but true joy is from God.

  10. 160
    Carolyn says:

    St. Catharines, ON, MOurning Cloak Butterflies, 6
    We talked about entitlement in the way that Nehemiah was entitled to certain things in his job. We found that also led into a discussion about the fact that we seem to live in the “age of entitlement”, where so many of us feel we are entitled to certain things and so many live beyond their means in order to get them. Do we really need all this stuff? We all really liked #4. It is reallly sobering to think about the fact that we have so much available to us in terms of Bibles and reference materials. We often don’t give it a second thought. If you think of someone in a country where Bibles are banned and we are so blessed to have such easy access to it. We need to stop taking this for granted!

  11. 161
    Sandy says:

    Durant, OK
    “Compassion Chics-ages 22-78, engaged to widowed”
    19 of us doing the study, 13 in attendance this time

    1. We were all challenged to get to know those around us
    who are in need of our love and attention. One of our
    women shared a very touching story about a woman
    who was working up on a roof, to help her husband do
    one of his jobs to provide for their family. This
    study had prompted the woman who was sharing the story
    to take time to listen to others. When the woman who
    was helping her husband on the roof came down for a
    bit, the other woman visited with her and listened.
    She learned of needs that the family had, and was
    prompted to help meet those needs. She was very
    blessed by taking the time to get to know the other
    5. We had several specific answers to “What about the
    Christian life gives you the most joy?”
    Jesus, His Presence, His Peace, His Comfort
    Trusting God
    Studying His Word
    Making a difference in any one’s life because of
    doing what God asked

    We enjoyed the Romaine salad, with the adaptation of packaged glazed pecans and berries; our version of banana pudding, pasta salad and fruit.
    We are all very much enjoying the sweet fellowship and learning together through Kelly’s teaching.
    Thank you, Beth!

  12. 162
    Ashlie McDonald says:

    SLC SIESTAS-slc, utah, 7

    We had to meet a week later than planned due to our state holiday. Everyone was super encouraged in our group through the last few weeks of this study. Everyone was very open about their struggles and very encouraged by one another. The question that got the most discussion was #3 What area in our walk are we currently fatiguing? A lot of us are fatiguing in the same area-That God is in control and is good and to keep having faith in Him through the struggles. It gets so hard to wait on Him through certain areas (health situations, waiting on a job, slavery in our thoughts, etc), but it was super powerful to discuss Nehemiah 9 in light of all of our situation (we were a week late so most of us went ahead and studied the next weeks study that included Nehemiah 9). We were encouraged that God had come through for the Israelites so many times and it reminded us to think about all the times God pulled through for us. It’s hard to remember what He has done in the past when we are so bogged down by our current situations. We discussed this and planted our flags of faith in Him yet again!!
    What a blessing this has been! Can’t wait to see what God reveals to us through this last week of study!

  13. 163
    Linda says:

    Linda, Bartelso , IL solo. #5 I real feel the joy in God when what I hear Sunday goes with what I am studing on Tuesday then whrn you read the same message the next day I just see the joy in knowing This must be what I need.

    • 163.1
      PJWOhio says:

      I am there with you, Linda! When this happens to me, I know the Holy Spirit is really trying to get my attention. Sometimes a “whisper” isn’t enough–I need to be bonked with a 2X4!!

  14. 164
    Jen says:

    Friends Forever, 3,PA

    We had to postpone our meeting by a week due to illness.

    3.) We shared a variety of areas in which we feel we are fatiguing, but strangely enough they were all related.

    4.) We talked about how easy it is for us to take for granted having access to God’s Word (we each have at least 3 Bibles in our possession as well as the Internet). We can’t imagine waking up early to spend all day relying on someone else to read us God’s Word. We also talked about what Church would be like if the pastor just read from the Bible. Would it be as appealing to go?

    5.) All of us had a different answer for this question. Our answers included:
    -Serving others
    -Seeing how God answers prayers
    -Creation (nature)

  15. 165
    Carolyn says:

    Nashville, TN, Devoted in Donelson, 5 in attendance.

    This is my first posting even though we have met three times now! What a blessed time to spend in God’s word with each other. Loving the study and the fellowship.

    Tonight’s discussion on what brings us joy were varied responses:

    * worshipful music
    * her homeschool daughter scoring super-high on her first standardized test
    * children learning to honor parents means more than doing what they’re told, it means doing what’s right even when they aren’t told!
    * Maundy Thursday services

    Can’t wait for the next two weeks study. This is my first time to host a group in my home… loving it!

  16. 166
    Karen E says:

    Susan and Karen, Rochester, MN

    We had our Nehemiah discussion this morning, working through the questions as they fit with a myriad of other topics in our lives. This is a great study for both of us at this time! We got excited by Kelly’s Hebrew definition of “strength” — that it means refuge, protection, safe haven. We love the idea of taking refuge in the joy we have in knowing Christ as Lord, especially when our circumstances and emotions make us feel weak and unsafe. Thank you, Kelly!

    For #5, Susan enjoys being part of teaching and encouraging others in coming to know and grow in faith. I most enjoy the Body of Christ — I have been so blessed by believers in recent difficult years, and God’s love has been so obvious through them.

  17. 167
    Brandy says:

    1. I volunteer weekly at a non-profit ministry named Square Peg. We serve children in a local apartment complex. These families are mostly Hispanic & these kids live a very different life then my 8 yer old. Most of them have no private space of their own, they sleep in a room on the floor with 4 or 5 others including other adults. We provide weekly homework help because their parents can not understand their homework & weekly bible clubs for Pre-K-4th grade. Weekly bible study life groups for middle school & high school. This is a huge blessing in my families life! We love the relationships we have made with these kids. Some kids we have known & worked with for 8 years! It keeps my mind awake to reality outside my Christian bubble.

    2. God has asked me to lay down a job/ministry position that I thought I very much deserved & was entitled to. Someone else received this position out of the blue & it has wrecked me for an entire year! I am beginning to see that God is asking me to lay down my feelings of entitlement in this area so that I can see the blessings & the new opportunities that He is bringing to me. The greater purpose of this is to humble my heart & draw me nearer to Him.

    3. I have become very fatigued in children’s ministry. I do believe that God has called me to children’s ministry & He has wired me & gifted me in this area. However, I have allowed so much opposition from the church & parents to control me. This has resulted in great fatigue in this area of obiedeance & ministry. Some blessings are the children themselves & seeing God work in their life. My husband works with me in some areas & that is a huge blessing! Being with my child in church is another blessing!


  18. 168
    Carol says:

    I got a late start to to study, new grandbaby, out of town,etc. I thought w/ it being summer and my love of study it would be easy to catch up and join in. Whoa! I was unprepared for how directly and powerfully God would use this study to speak to me, where I’m at at this moment. Instead of hurrying to catch-up I’m slowing down to make sure I don’t miss anyting He is trying to tell me. Thank you for choising this study and introducing me to Kelly.

  19. 169
    Amy Storms says:

    I forgot to write in for our group! We’re a week behind because of scheduling conflicts, but we’re trucking right along and loving Nehemiah. We had four ladies in Santa Clarita, CA, and one dog. We had a great discussion on joy. So thankful for Kelly’s insight, and so glad to be on this journey with you all!

  20. 170
    Barbra Keeler says:

    Agape Girls in the Word, Oxford, PA
    I finally realized that we never left a comment on video #2! Is it too late? Anyway, the 5 of us met this week to discuss session 3. We are totally enjoying Kelly’s style of writing and the new insights the Holy Spirit is giving us! After we watched our Team USA girls bring home the gymnastics team gold =), we spent most of our discussion time around the question of which areas of obedience are we currently fatigued in. The top three areas where we were able to encourage one another were prayer lives, Scripture reading and healthy eating patterns… in short, we’re all about food – physical AND spiritual! We’re praying that God will help us to find balance in these areas and make sure we’re not believing anything false about God that makes our prayer and Scripture reading dry lackluster.

  21. 171
    Stephanie says:

    Stephanie Parker, Co

    #2 I have seen people around me do this and have even had some one give me there purse just because I said I liked it. It was very humbling.

    #4 Bible study is so important to keeping you in the word and understanding it.

    #5 Our women bible study group and the family I worship with every Sunday at church with.

  22. 172
    Cheryl says:

    Cheryl, Cleveland, TN, solo, Just moved so life is a little cluttered and unorganized. Love the Nehemiah study. Helps me to look at things more important than cleaning and unpacking. #1 question spoke to me because I haven’t found one person’s name. I am touched by Voice of the Martyrs stories, but will try to get to know one to pray more specifically for. #5 question reminded me of worshipping in Wednesday Women’s Ministry in St. Charles, IL listening to a women’s quartet singing without musical accompaniment. I felt like I was in the presence of angels. blessings to all.

  23. 173
    Heather C. says:

    Heather C. from Florence, SC: going solo

    1. I have the high honor of working in full-time student ministry with many teenagers who are “first generation” believers…they are the ones taking Jesus into their homes and neighborhoods. These teenagers don’t have much as far as material possessions nor do they have much family support for their faith. However, these are the people that God has used to break my heart in such a mighty way. Just this past week, one of these teenagers, Marcus, shared his story with a group of our ministry volunteers. He spoke about how he couldn’t see a way out of his dire circumstances until he met Jesus and now God has given him a heart for his family, neighborhood, and school. He wants to make sure they know they don’t have to live like that anymore…that there is something more to life. The thing that amazes me most about all of these teenagers is the size of their faith. They KNOW (without a shadow of doubt) that God is going to bring salvation to their homes and communities. They can’t even fathom it not happening.

    2. The last 2 years has been quite the journey. 2 years ago at this time I was beginning my last year as a middle school teacher. That career field was wide open for me. I was on the path to promotion, and not to be prideful, but I was in a position where I regularly received a lot of recognition. I’m not at all surprised that God knew He needed to get me out of that place quickly. From there, He has chosen to put me in full-time ministry. And I feel totally blessed and humbled that this is where He has me. My first step into ministry was as the director of a ministry at my church. I loved the work I got to do; however, it didn’t closely involve students which was also something I was passionate about. In true God fashion, about a year into it, God opened the door for a brand new position in student ministry. It was a no-brainer…it felt like a position God created especially for me…taking my gifts and passions into consideration. It’s a job that allows me to tap into everything I’m passionate about…it allows me to do something about everything that breaks my heart. However, it is somewhat of a demotion. The position comes with less of a title and less recognition. (I feel totally ungodly even typing that.) So, I’m learning all about submission and yielding. I’m learning how position doesn’t compare to being in the center of God’s will. I’m learning about letting Jesus and His plan be enough for me. So, I would say that the greater purpose in all of this is to refine me…to take away any ounce of entitlement and pride. The greater purpose is to make me look more like Jesus when all is said and done.

    3. I’ve been single (totally single) for the last 9 years. Back then, I asked God to save me from bad relationships. I asked Him for my next relationship to be with my future husband. And He’s been oh so faithful to make all of that happen. On a good, godly day, I’m head-over-heels thankful for that; however, on a not-so-godly day, I feel very weary in the waiting. Those are the days where doubt can creep in too. I doubt God’s plan for me is good. I doubt that He remembers me. I doubt that He cares about this area of my life. I even doubt the promises that He’s spoken over me over the last few years.

  24. 174
    Sandy says:

    Sandy, Oregon (solo) – I caught up!! 🙂 That in itself was a blessing because I actually considered skipping ahead to where I should be but boy would I have missed out on so much history, understanding and contemplation with my Lord. Anyway, #3) I feel fatigued at times when praying the same things for years for others (and myself at times) whether spiritual or physical needs and time just flies by without seeing any large changes or even in some ways seeing things getting worse. I do trust my Jesus though and know the Father is working things in His time, but it is hard to see family and friends going through such difficult issues.
    Also #5) What specifically gives us joy – actually ties in to the above. A friend once told me that we had been an answer to prayer in a time when “freaking out” would have been appropriate but God told them to trust Him. They did and decided not to worry about things out of their control. When she told me this, I thought, “WOW, to know that God is working through us, through our prayers and actions!!!” It made me realize how easy it is to let a small kindness slide because it might not have a big impact, when if it is Jesus prompting us, it is meant for HUGE things, even though we rarely get to know how. I love that Jesus uses us in the small and big things, to accomplish His work! God is so good to let us be a part of His great plan and to Him is ALL the glory! 😉

  25. 175
    PJWOhio says:

    Hilliard, OH, Pat, solo. First, I want to say I agree with “Carol” above: Thank you for introducing me to Kelly Minter!
    #5. Several things came to mind immediately when I answered the question of what about the Christian life gives me the most joy. Not in order of significance but the way it came to me: 1-The joy of praise music– contemporary praise & worship in church,the cd’s in my car or my fav Christian radio station, the music on my ipod, and the most fun….singing LOUD with the praise team at an LPL event! 2-the Peace God blesses me with in the great days and the tough times 3-The Love of Christ that I do not understand but am so humbled by I hardly know how to put it in to words.
    Thank you for offering this wonderful study and the opportunity to stay connected with all the Siestas!

  26. 176
    Andrea Henley says:

    Technologically Challenged but Thriving, New Bern NC, 3- We are all challenged in different ways with having respect for God’s word. Whether we’re too familiar with it via a lifetime spent in church or so academic that we treat it like a college-course text, we all agreed we could adjust our perspective and VALUE the fact that we can read the Bible daily. One person mentioned that it would be cool for God to one day show them how the gospel got from Paul’s mouth to their Nook. Only God could link that!

  27. 177
    Lindsay Daughtery says:

    The Southern Bell Society; Chattanooga, TN; 6. We met on Thursday, July 26th at Panera. We had yet another great get together and are all gaining so much from this study. One of our ladies suggested we do something she had seen on Pinterest. It is making small care packages for homeless people that we encounter in our day to day lives. They will be large zip lock bags filled with necessities like toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm, band aids, deodorant, lotion, wipes, etc. we will also include a tract sharing the love of Jesus.

  28. 178

    Shellie P.
    Spokane, WA

    1. I have to say I may not look at people who live very different lives from the oppressed, powerless, and poor people I see every day, but I do see them every day, mostly because I am one, but not nearly as much so as many that walk in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous every single day. Really, honestly, it reminds me that I’m possibly only one drink away from being just like them! I get to look in their eyes (often difficult since they’re staring at the floor in shame as I have so many times) and tell them that it’s okay and that there is hope! It thrills me to pieces and the thing I love best about it, and I know this will resonate with you, Beth, is I’m in there because I have been defeated over and over and over again by alcohol, and I’m already at only 13 days sober seeing how much God can and probably already has used what Satan intended to destroy me to reach others with His love!!! I’m only at AA because I so desperately needed it, myself!!! And I still do, and the thing that scares me most about saying that is the possibility that I will fall to that temptation again and drink and it’ll all be for naught 🙁 I was highly tempted just last night, but I’m here today and sober by the grace of God.

    2. I don’t know that I’ve ever laid down an entitlement I actually was justified in. I’ve felt entitled to things (like a drink) just because you have no idea what I’ve been through and you’d drink too if you were me for crying out loud!!! What I didn’t know is that drink would stop working and turn on me! I am sure I have come closer to death than anyone knows at times!!! I’ve now laid down that drink in hopes of a greater purpose. The fear that I’ll never find it has kept me going back to that drink over and over again and I hope and pray that I don’t have to do that again, or more like get it in my head that I have to do that again and do it. Ugh! NO! Please, God!!

    3. Well, I already mentioned it several times above. Sobriety is harder than I ever imagined possible. At times I’ve wondered if being in a program has made me more obsessed with it, and it occurred to me that of course it has, because I’m DOING SOMETHING about it instead of living in denial and pretending that I’m fine and don’t really have a problem, since I’m not as bad as most alcoholics (which I could get there if I continued) and so of course, Satan is working overtime to get me to drink! He doesn’t want me to heal through the 12 steps and counseling. If I drink I’ll throw it all away and that’s exactly what he wants!! I WON’T give him the satisfaction!!! But yes, I’m fatiquing and was staring long and hard at my husband’s mouthwash of all things last night!!! Now that would be insane! I’ve swallowed mouthwash before inadvertintly not realizing that was why. My body wanted the alcohol in it, but I’ve never outright drank it before, but boy was I thinking about it last night and multiple times! And I knew it wouldn’t be enough and I’d be off and running to the store for a bottle of Vodka! Ugh! I do not want to go there again (and yes, I’m trying to convince myself). As I mentioned the blessing is getting to look others in the eye and tell them they don’t have to do that. There is a way out. And getting to meet new friends in AA and Celebrate Recovery all the time. I now have more friends then I’ve ever had in my life. When I really want to drink they can be quite annoying, though 🙂 I suppose that’s a good thing. I don’t get away with much with them around. I try, but they always catch me!

    4. Oh, my goodness! I’m so glad you brought this up! This touched my heart so much! I have dozens of bibles of various translations in my house and I have a commentary on one of the books of the bible I studied recently and I have a systematic theology book and more than one concordance, not to mention internet access which is a wealth of biblical knowledge if you choose to use it! And I take my access to the bible and all of the biblical resources for granted most of the time, forgetting that the words on the pages of Scripture are the very Words of God spoken personally to ME every single day! How could I take that for granted!!!!?! We are so blessed to be able to do that and to have direct access to God, thanks to what Jesus did on the cross for us! And this, even while knowing how many times I would go back out and drink again, not to mention all my other sins! Oh, Thank You, Jesus!! May I never take You for granted again!!!

    5. Right now the thing that brings me the most joy is pretty selfish after years of people beating me up (not literally) for my sin, the joy is coming back and having them hug me, realizing I’m living in enough guilt and shame without their help, and telling me that’s it’s okay. The important thing is I’m still breathing and I came back! There is nothing like unconditional love! I’ve never experienced that before Real Life Ministries and before AA. Especially, AA! Those people blow my mind! They will practically move mountains to help me when I call for help!!! I’ve never known love like that!!! I’m like, “What is with these people? They’ve seen it over and over! People go back out and they get thrown in jail, they go insane and have to be put in mental hospitals, and worst of all, they DIE! And yet, they’re willing to take that risk and help me anyway, knowing I might go back out!” And of course, I have! Three different times since walking into those rooms! And they just come running again when I call! They don’t give up on me and they don’t shame me!!! I don’t understand it, but I love it! I know. It’s a little selfish, but I’m trying to soak it up even though my head keeps telling me I’m never gonna get it, so I might as well drink.

    • 178.1
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      shellie: thank you for your transparency with your sisters here on the blog. I commit to pray for you as you allow the Lord to tear down this stronghold in your life. Keep us posted how you’re doing, k?

  29. 179
    Pat W says:

    I guess its comforting to see that I’m not the only one running about 2 weeks behind in my study, though I’m still in, and God’s still teaching me something, so I guess that’s what’s important.
    am going with ??’s 3 through 5 with a twist on 1.

    (3)something that could only have been accomplished with the help of God is: to Continue Living and not Just Die. an area where I could use a little encouragement towards perseverance, in an area I am currently fatigueing: is the will to continue to pursue a home, and to Attain! a safe place for me to just simply Just Be. sometimes I am so tired of just trying, and just continueing to just try to even Just Get my head above water. I guess figuratively my Head Is above water cause I’m not dead yet, but more often than not, I do feel to just be Drowning in the vast sea of negativity projected all over me by my family and environment, that I feel myself literally just yearning Towards the Little Rays of Sunlight that twinkle and sparkle through the ripples of the murky waters that smother in all around me.

    (4) ..(the awe for the Word of God).. : This is how I feel. This AWE to continue to learn More. And That with all my spiritual self needs to Just Wall Out, I am still In the hostility, and the uncertainty of it all,– I So MUCH Do Notice God shining his Rays of Morning Sunlight in through my bedroom window, and the Beautiful Pockets of Blue Sky Just For Me to see and feel and Know that God Still Has Me, and is still holding me Close to Him. And a Very Real Way that Has Aided me In the understanding of the Scriptures IS through children whom I know and have known whom did have this special connection with Jesus to Understand the words only God could have revealed to them, and OFTEN in ways that grown-ups dont get it and Often in ways that grown-ups Mis-Interpret!- it. this I Have found to be true in many instances. It’s really all in how one looks upon a child. as the holder to the key to the kingdom – or as just something to ignore.

    And Back to question (1), and the Learning of a NAME, to TWEAK that question, to fit this question (4), and (5),:

    It brings me Joy! to learn the name of a child!, and to remember That Name, and to then speak Their name to them when I see them. The Joy In Them when I do this- brings me Joy too. there is one little boy whom when he sees me, he Talks with me, and he speaks My name, at church When he talks with me, and I find that He Does This in just the same way As His Dad Does, and it Brings me Joy to know that God Knows Me too and Remembers my Name.

    …and to add for (5): what I wrote in the margin of p.111, “what about the christian life gives me joy?” :are friends who Love Jesus and whom Love Me Because they Know Jesus Personally, and It Shows whom truly knows this Love of Jesus, and whom just gives it Lipservice, it Shows in How they Love On others, especially how they love on their family, or what example they set for their family, because just as this little boy exemplifies, those kids are watching us, whether we know it or not.

  30. 180
    Marti Mitchell says:

    Marti, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma…solo
    1. The precious women of Choco, Mexico City. Such profound poverty! Such beautiful and grateful hearts to know the Lord!
    2. I was called to nursing about 38 years ago. I always will be, of course. 10 years ago I lost my precious husband, and could have retired. I felt like God didn’t want me to do that yet. Even though I have crashed my back twice now. A common problem in nursing if you keep doing it. I worked another 7 1/2 years and retired this summer. God has cared for me each amd every day!
    3. Praying without ceasing, encouragement, staying focused
    Little Sisters: Hebrews 12:1-3
    3b….so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
    4. Peace. The joy of the earth itself, as God is in it. He never goes away or changes

  31. 181
    Kit Frankenfield says:

    Kit Frankenfield, Spring Hill, KS, going solo. (Wish I had had someone to share all these thoughts with. Going solo is just not as fun, even though I have been bless so much!!!….)

    First I would like to say that it is amazing that so much of my study in the book of Nehemiah has paralled experiences that I’m in the thick of NOW in my life. I knew that I wanted to study Nehemiah with people from all over the world, but I thought it would just be cool to experience it. I NEVER GUESSED that God would have WORDS for me, each of them that were fresh iced lemonade to someone weary and dying of drought. Life-saving and sweet. I thank the Lord for speaking to me these past two months through Kelly’s and Beth’s tutelage, and I’m working like crazy to finish this study TONIGHT! College begins soon!! Ph.D. readings are lurking all around me….I would like to respond to question 2–our entitlements that we need to lay down (or even downright GIVE BACK to the Lord). I heard a wonderful sermon from Pastor Irvin Middlebusher, our pastor in Spring Hill, Kansas, about giving EVERYTHING to the Lord–his wife, his children, grandchildren, home, cars, health, work, ministry, every single thing he owns. At first I thought it was harsh, but then I realized how freeing it is to leave EVERY ENTITLEMENT at the feet of Jesus and let Him have it. He can deal with all so much better than I can. So I have done the same. Sure we have fear with this, that the Lord will TAKE something we really love, like people, away from us. But it has given me an inner peace that I’ve never experienced before. The Lord has it….and He knows that I didn’t give it over lightly! I gave it with all that my heart, mind, spirit, and soul could hold and express. Finances…give it to Him. Start tithing and see how the Lord will bless. That is one thing I have taken from Nehemiah. Is ANYONE up for this challenge with me to “Bring the WHOLE tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. TEST ME IN THIS,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (NIV–Malachi 3:10). I want the Lord’s mighty blessing in my life. I need Him every day. I think of Beth talking about shaking the milk container and it was open and she was drenched head to toe with milk….the Holy Spirit should be the same for us—absolutely leaving not one part of us untouched by his grace, mercy and presence. Favor and blessing.
    Question 5: What about the Christian life gives me the most joy?? Teaching writing to college students. Thanking Him for each one all semester, praying with Christian students who come to ME and ask. Knowing that those who are in my classes are there because the Lord put them there; they need to experience something there or meet someone vital to their future. I don’t take what I am called to do lightly. Prayer–constant communion and fellowship with our Best Friend. Listening to words from Christian women like Beth Moore and Kelly Minter (haven’t you just loved these women’s senses of humor???? Oh my, it’s been so much fun to read these lessons, listen to the videos, and treat my soul to GREAT STUFF. The Nehemiah journey has given me so much more than I ever hoped for: great recipes, assurance of my Savior’s love for me, laughter, phenomenal Bible history lessons about Jerusalem and the wall and what happened. I feel so blessed to have been a part of it. Thank you Kelly and Beth. Kelly, looking forward to “being in the living room” with you again soon!!!! In Christ, Kit

  32. 182
    Joyce in Colorado says:

    Joyce, Colorado, going solo
    Area of fatigue: My heartcry of 39 years is that my husband would embrace a daily, vital walk with God. And, now, that my adult children would as well.
    Most joy: ministering to women in my church

  33. 183
    Joyce in Colorado says:

    Please leave these posts on here for at least a month after we finish; i am behind in this study (just starting Session 5 today). Thanks so much.

  34. 184
    Joan says:

    Joan, Dousman, WI,
    #2 God has shown me that the sacrifices I have made which are also ongoing since my 91 y/o Mother-in-law moved in with us last April are resulting in great improvement in her physical, emotional and spiritual life. His greater purpose for this has been to show me how to share my home and space and care for someone who is so different from me. It’s an opportunity to share Christ with her.

    #5. What gives me the most joy is worshiping in song with ~2000+ people at Sunday Services, being with God alone in His presence, going through a Bible Study with credible, dynamic teachers such as Beth and Kelly,and having such a loving connection of brothers and sisters in Christ who have studied the Bible together in a home group for last 10 yrs and we do life together supporting each other through the highs and lows of life.

  35. 185

    Melissa’s Siesta Summer Bible Study Group – Yahoo Groups all over the world.

    A lady opened my eyes when she came into the newspaper where I worked and shared about her fixed income she is elderly and all alone. She could not pay her light bill and had been living without electricity in the USA for over a month. I was so shocked.

    Our groups has bonded over trials, fears and tears and brought us so close. We stand in the gap for each other in prayer and offer daily encouragement to each other.

    M. Waters

  36. 186
    Vivian says:

    Birmingham, Alabama

    1. My outreach to those who live very different lives from me is by letter writing and giving of Christian literature/books to a few prison inmates and a lady in a drug treatment facility. I have been amazed by one who has written such encouraging words to me; words I feel I could never deserve. Yet those words have come on more than one occasion at a time when I needed it most. Also, I have come to see hearts genuinely seeking God and having to fight for a holy lifestyle in a most unholy place. I have learned more how I am not really separated from “them” by bigger sins; sin is sin; some just are more public than others.

    2. The giving of my “free” time on my off day to help out in family circumstances. I didn’t have to give it up, but because I did I have benefited from richer relationships with some senior adult ladies and especially with my Momma.

    3. I am struggling to have a good quiet time every day. I have my best quiet times on the weekends but during the work week I struggle to have that same quality time each day. Being tired after work and needing to rest (mentally as well as physically), then things I have to take care of at home seem to use my time up. I know the joy of this time with my Father and I long for it every day. I do not like that I don’t get it in like I used to.

    4. It is wonderful to read His Words and know the understanding of hearing from Him one on one! I love the familiar feeling I get as I read and listen to Him at the same time. His Words and teachings for me. I enjoy reading different translations; especially the everyday wordings after having read a formal wording. Then I have commentaries and other Christian authors to read and use as resources.

    5. The most joy? So many things….a beautiful glow In His heavens; His repetition to me of a verse or passage three or four times in as many days; really getting into the Word and hearing His teaching; unity with Christian friends at worship at church; a hymn I sing as I work around the house or a more moving song that makes me dance as I stop my housework and perform for Him; He wrote my name down in His book of everlasting life; He knows my name!

  37. 187

    Bloomfield, IN / 10
    I’m sorry to be so behind on commenting for our group. We have enjoyed this study so much! I promise, Beth, that we’ve had much more discussion that I’ve posted on the blog! Thank you so much for being a blessing to us this summer!

  38. 188
    Sassy Siesta Sisters says:

    Sassy Siesta Sisters, Nacogdoches, TX…13

    We were a little bit in low attendance this Tuesday, only 5 of us could meet. We are trying to muster our way through the end of summer and the many distractions. These past 2 sessions spurred a lot of discussion between the 5 of us…we loved the talk of JOY! We also focused some time on laying down our entitlement…overall we are truly being blessed by the pages of Nehemiah!!! Can’t wait to see what the next 2 weeks hold for us…

  39. 189
    Cyndi says:

    Grace girls from Skaneateles, NY
    One of our own, Alma has “adopted” an Iraqi refugee family. Jason is the name of a boy we have met through Alma and are praying fervently for him. We are just loving this summer ride with Beth and Kelly. Love ya all!

  40. 190
    Katherine says:

    Edmonton Klondike Siestas
    Edmonton AB, Canada

    This post comes two weeks late. Yikes! Not to worry Beth we are plugging along but our post for video 4 won’t come or a few weeks as some ladies in our group are on vacation.

    We loved discussing all the questions but the one on “What about the Christian life gives you the most joy?” The answers were different for each of us:

    1) being in the church band, having people in the home, being in community, serving seniors
    2) seeing people get baptized
    3) people accepting Christ
    4) studying the word of God

    These answers sow just rich and blessed the Christian life is. God is truly good.

  41. 191
    tonia Booker says:

    I am a little late to the question but we were on vacation…
    Okay I have to admit/confess that I don’t have a name instantly that I think of when I ponder the words poor and oppressed. We have Nathan, our Compassion International child and that alone has done so much for our family. But, I think I need to find a relationship here.
    The other question that really resonated with me was what gives me joy in this Christian walk? I think it is the excitement of watching God use my sin to benefit his kingdom. Each cruddy thing He redeems just makes me want to run to the closet and grab some more skeletons…lay them at His feet and exclaim, “What are we going to do with these?” all with a BIG smile on my face. I do not want to continue to sin, it’s not that, but His promises to perfect everything in it’s time, is true and I love watching Him work that truth out in me!

  42. 192
    EGS CA Summer Siestas says:

    Our small group of three quickly went to two, but we stayed the course. Sorry we’re so late. One of us had a busy travel work schedule.

    1) My sister shared of her work with the foster program she is involved in that is always in need and a family member who is struggling. Me not so much. I need to look around to see who is in need.

    2) My sister shared her entitlement to be right in her marriage and to have the problems they are experiencing be done in her timeframe. For me, it was the breakup of my engagement and the entitlement I could have had to be bitter and resentful toward him. I chose to forgive and move on. God is and has been blessing me for forgiving others offenses.

    3) My sister shared loving her spouse even if you don’t get what you need or deserve from the other person. For me, it’s hanging in there with difficult people. God has called us to preserve and finish the race strong.

    4) Commentaries, bible studies, small groups, concordances, sermons, etc.

    5) For my sister, God’s love according to his Word, God’s forgiveness and to see people healed. For me, freedom in Christ.

    Thank you Beth for organizing this. You are the best and one of my greatest blessing in my life. I love you dearly!

  43. 193
    Johnnie says:

    Johnnie, Wake Forest, NC – solo

    #1–I enjoy mentoring and spending time with my friend, Eunji. She is here studying at seminary along with her husband. They are both Korean and I have been blessed to get to know her and her family. It is very interesting when she tells me of their traditions—their way of life in her home country is so very different than ours. They face many cultural challenges here in the US and will continue to do so I’m sure in the future in whatever mission field God sends them. At this point Eunji’s husband feels led to minister to Jewish people—I find that fascinating and totally God—Koreans taking the gospel to Jews!

  44. 194
    Ellen H. says:

    The ABQ Siestas met again on Monday to discuss Kelly’s Sessions 4 & 5, and Beth’s Gathering 3 questions. We shared what brought us joy as well as areas of obedience in which we are fatiguing. We also prayed by name the people we know who are oppressed in our community and how we might be instruments of God’s redemption in their lives. We remain in awe of God’s faithfulness and his many blessings. In our times of weakness we will focus on this: “The joy of the Lord is our strength!” Nehemiah 8:10

  45. 195
    Jewel says:

    Jewel, Denver, PA – solo
    Finished these weeks awhile back. Just “reporting” now.
    #4 — I noted that the people STOOD when the Scripture was opened and read aloud. Interesting….such deep respect and reverence for the Book that guided them through life. We’v got countless resources at our fingertips to aid in our understanding. Seems I can be so saturated that I can get bloated and lazy and wasteful with it all. God, have mercy.
    #5 — Most joy in the Christian life? Fellowship/worshiping with others, especially in an international community overseas! Example — Sunday evening @ Baptist guesthouse in Lusaka, Zambia. Fabulous!

  46. 196
    Leah says:

    St.Thomas, ON Canada; Solo.

    One of the many joys I’ve experienced…
    -Singing praise and worship songs in the car with my 3 girls, at the top of our lungs. There’s no judgment of being off-key, it’s just us…singing to our Saviour! LOVE THAT! It brings me such joy and often brings me to tears. 🙂

  47. 197
    Siesta's Reveling in Restoration-2 Chesapeake, Va says:

    1. Sharon -she has taught me the importance of community, the need to set positive goals and has opened my eyes to a life so different than mine.
    Danita-she has reminded me how lonely it is to be single after a divorce where you don’t seem to fit in anywhere, I don’t ever want to forget how much a gift of money/time/flowers and a prayer means when you feel like no one notices or cares about your situation.

    5. Hope of heaven, Assured Praer, Comfort in Trouble and fellowship with others.

    Presence! The sweet presence of the Lord Jesus Christ that comforts, encourages, gives wisdom, brings healing emotionally and sometimes physically, gives strength and every other good and encouraging thing you can think of!!

    We are enjoying so much this study and even though have done others on Nehemiah love the diversity of the body of Christ-great angle Kelly!!

  48. 198

    Thank you for this I’ve all the comments inside and guys He never left us in our struggles in life even the persons who had a substance abuse, thank you Jesus

  49. 199
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