Siesta Summer Bible Study 2014 Gathering 2!

As you will clearly see and loudly hear on the following video, Jackson, Annabeth and I were in the middle of Camp Bibby when it was time to tape my little video greeting for Summer Bible Study Gathering 2. SO, I brought the kids with me. Lindsee and I decided it would be sillier and better to just give you the unedited, woefully unrehearsed version of the taping. So, here you have it. Since I promised in the video to add a few pictures from our week, you’ll find those at the bottom of this post right after your discussion questions. So glad you’re participating! Thank you for coming along!

Siesta Summer Bible Study Session 2 – COTD from LPV on Vimeo.

In case you have trouble viewing the video greeting, here are the discussion points for your small group and for your comment content to this post:

1. From p.46, middle of the page: Did 1 Thessalonians 2:8 stir up a story of your own about a way you have shared not only the Gospel but also your very self because someone had become so dear to you? If so, please share a portion of it with us.


2. From p.50, in the margin toward the bottom of the page: Isaiah 38:15 records words from the pen of Hezekiah that poignantly describe bitterness: “I walk along slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul.” I suggest in the lesson that bitterness makes our souls heavy and our feet like anchors and it ages us far beyond our years. Share something of the impact bitterness has had in your own life and, if God has delivered you from it, testify.


3. From p.51, mid page: Share a time when you experienced some form of persecution because of your belief in Jesus. This topic will only grow more relevant in a culture increasingly hostile to Christianity. We’re going to have to learn to expect it, deal with it, and not shrink back in our faith because of it. Our tendency will be to return insult for insult but Christ has called us instead to bless when we are cursed. (1 Peter 3:9) Nothing about it will be easy. We’ll have to be deliberate to be victorious.


Do Weeks Three and Four of your homework for our next gathering. If you are watching the optional video teaching sessions through LifeWay, watch Session 3 right away before you begin Week Three homework then, after Week Three homework is complete, watch Session 4. Follow up Session 4 with Week Four homework. Click here to access all of the teaching sessions. 


Week  Three Memory Verse:

“For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:8


Week Four Memory Verse:

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16


I love you guys so much! May God reveal Himself unmistakably and personally to you throughout these 8 weeks! I am honored beyond words to serve you. You can drop off here and say goodbye or, for those of you who like this kind of thing, you can scroll on down for a few pictures from last week’s Camp Bibby:

At the Aquarium in Houston. The whole complex was a total blast and God gave us perfect weather. We could easily have had a 3-digit temperature that day but it was dryer and cooler than a normal June day in our warm city.


My boy and me on the Ferris Wheel that looks right on downtown Houston:


Annabeth and Aunt Melissa (AB’s present obsession) on that same Ferris Wheel:


I love the above picture because Melissa looked so similar to Annabeth at that same age. Needless to say, Annabeth is the spitting image of her mother but her hair is much darker than Amanda’s was. Amanda stayed very blond through her young childhood. Below is the actual picture I promised in the video where all of us froze trying to figure out what creature Annabeth said we’d petted. She was right though and here’s the proof! Stingray-bonding with Aunt Melissa:


This picture is from the restaurant in the Aquarium. Our table was right next to it. We were all mesmerized by watching the fish in the enormous tank but Annabeth was totally lost in a world all her own. I’m sure she was Ariel swimming right among the fish in the ocean of her imagination.


This was our boating day on Lake Conroe about an hour from our home. We took Keith’s boat and he taught both kids how to steer it right at his side. It was so much fun. We took the boat all the way to the other side of the lake and docked it at a pier and ate at Papa’s Burgers right on the water. It was a magical day for the children. That modest sized lake would have seemed as large as the Gulf of Mexico through their young eyes.



Thank you for humoring me! I love them so much it hurts.

Happy homework and I’ll talk to you very soon!!!



302 Responses to “Siesta Summer Bible Study 2014 Gathering 2!”

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  1. 1
    Elisabeth says:


    1. a.For 8 years I worked at Starbucks and had the honor of befriending several coworkers over time and sharing Jesus with them.
    b.During several trips to Africa I became heavily tied with some beautiful African friends and children: teaching them and pouring myself into their new walks with Jesus.

    2. For a solid 15 years bitterness was one of the strongest parts of life. I was bitter at my father for the way he parented my siblings and I, and I was continually bitter with friends for not fitting our relationships into the mold I had designed. Then Jesus lovingly but strongly showed me that bitterness only harms me, and that I can cast it all at His feet and He is more than worthy of my trust. He cares and He will deal with it on my behalf. All I need do is gaze up at His face and believe Him.

    3. At several places of work and in several college classes I experienced some persecution for my faith in Jesus. I was mocked by some professors in front of the class for several semesters. At work, my manager didn’t like the Holy Spirit in me and would schedule me to work on Sundays on purpose as well as openly mock me for being “naive, closed-minded, etc…..” But Jesus is bigger and I pray being around me planted seeds in their hearts that will lead to good harvest. He is worthy.

  2. 2
    Becky Getter says:

    Okay….that video was the best. I am laughing so hard. I will be smiling the rest of the day. Of course I too have grandchildren and love seeing your precious little ones interacting with you. So real and down to earth. And your love for them is over the top. It reminds me that God loves us in the same way. Thank you Beth and all your team for this study. Great job! Love digging into Thessalonians with you all!!!

  3. 3
    Gay says:

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing your grandchildren with us! They are adorable and such “kids”!

    Here are my answers to the discussion questions –

    1.I shared with a dear son of mine my conversion experience and the Gospel. I gave him a Bible and ask him to read it for himself! I pray daily for his conversion, too.

    2. We are going through a time in this country where many good, hard working men who have been good employees for their whole careers, and are not yet retirement age are losing their jobs. They apply for other jobs and literally hear nothing back. They are willing to take any job, but are told they are over qualified. My wonderful husband is one of these men. I am bitter towards those who took away his jobs and hope the same happens to them or their loved ones. But I don’t think about that much, because the Lord has taught me to “trust in Him with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding…”
    And He is taking care of us.

    3. I had the blessing, a number of years ago, to travel to Israel with a group of teachers from the Jewish Day School where I taught. Everyone was wonderful to me, even though I am Christian. However, one day we met with some leaders in some Jewish schools. We went around the room introducing ourselves (which for me meant mentioning being Christian) and the Jewish man sitting across from me turned sideways in his chair and crossed both his legs and arms away from me! What strong body language! He did not make eye contact anymore with me nor engage me in conversation! Not a life threatening persecution, but I, none the less, felt his disapproval.

  4. 4
    Peggy says:

    Oh Beth … thank you for sharing your precious grandkids and Camp Bibby with us — such a delight!

    I have been so looking forward to this 2nd session since you all are my group as I read Thessalonians solo but at the time I’m responding, it looks as if I’m 1st and I’ve got nothing on the 3 discussion points of (1)sharing the gospel and your very self (2)bitter situations and (3)persecution personally. Although from my reading, all are very good points to emphasize and search my heart especially on #2 (so I am).

    The closest that I can come to responding to this is with my dear “unbelieving” spouse (who I have known and prayed for for over 40 yrs.) who is a prideful humanitarian that believes that heaven and hell are right here and that’s it (and he does believe in God)… as I continue to live my Christian walk before him all these years (clearly his salvation and knowing Jesus) makes him the most important one that I can witness to (yet have failed so often) except in continuing to pray. So I ask prayers for him because he is 84 and too much of his life has gone forth without the precious knowledge of Jesus as Lord. Clearly this weighs on my heart (not with bitterness, I hope, in any way, but I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to make me aware of any bitterness that may be in me). I do believe bitterness has hampered his life from his upbringing (esp. his father he never forgave)(huh? easier for me to see in someone else’s life) … anyway, I do see progress and he has always allowed me to pursue my passion of Jesus Christ and my faith, he says he admires.

    I’m so thankful that my spouse has seen and made it possible for me to leave our home for the last 18 yrs.(as he promised when he retired) so that I could come and serve in Mexico … you’d think I’d have some witness or persecution stories from all my experiences here, but truthfully it’d be with others in this country, not myself. I have such a passion of Jesus Christ and wanting to see trafficking end here and worldwide that it aches. However, I truly desire to see my own saved by Jesus Christ in such a way that it cannot be denied that it is JESUS (that matters)!

    So LOVE the memory verses chosen and standing firm on them
    “FOR WE NOW LIVE if WE ARE STANDING FAST IN THE LORD!” but it’s actually the “if” that makes a big difference and the how … no?

    Vaya con Dios en la paz de Jesucristo,
    Love y’all …
    Peggy (from MN in MX)

    • 4.1
      Peggy says:

      correction: I’m no longer 1st, by the time I submitted all I wrote, Elisabeth and Becky got their comments in … and mine is “awaiting moderation” … so who knows where I’ll be in the line up. :0)

      Thanks again Beth and LPM team, loving reading the letter of Thessalonians as “Children of the Day”! I really love the wallpaper of this also, I wake up to it every day on my desktop! Thanks!

    • 4.2
      becky says:

      Prayed for your husband’s salvation Peggy!

    • 4.3
      Jamie Rindt says:

      Peggy, Loved your comments. I’m praying for my husband’s spiritual life too. 21 years here. It gets very disheartening to me. You seem to have a good attitude. Blessings, Jamie

    • 4.4
      Alesa Lambert says:

      My grandmother married Buster when they were both 80. My mother and I could not for the life of us understand why she just couldn’t “date”.! Well Buster had lived all over the world and outlived 2 wives but he was not a believer. I am so glad to say that 9 years later at the age of 89, Buster became a born again believer.

      Dear sister do not give up! Where there is life there is hope! I will pray with you.

  5. 5
    Betty M says:

    Betty M Solo!! ND
    1. The Lord is just beginning to use my experiences of delivery over depression and over dependence on medication as a source of healing. Just this weekend had a chance to minister to a dear young mother( a third cousin) caught up in the vicous circle of antipsychotics and drugs! Oh I love how He works miracles from brokeness!!!!!
    2. My sister took my earthly inheritance and talked my father into having me jailed on false charges which later happened. Charges were dropped and so was my betterness!! I am free from being bitter over the whole aweful thing BUT what is amazing is how freeing it is to JUST LET IT GO!!!! It is not always humanly possible to let go BUT GOD…..
    On the same subject, I have a dear relative involved in higly visable ministry who can not let go of bitterness he has over the kids walking out of his life with his wife who left him and asked for a divorce. This has aged him so much he looks much older than his years would dictate he should. It has hardened his character and he finds he has to constantly run from the guilt and pain of this bitterness thing. It rules a life and enslaves one!
    3. I took a stand against the sin of homosexulaity. Plwase note it was not against the person caught in the sin but the sin itself! I did this on Facebook and it got me sick the amount of hits my post had and not one person stood up for me and stregnthened my stand, even my christian friends woudl not comment. I tried to tell the truth in love but got called horrible things and some of my friends are no longer friends. It grieved my soirit alittle but I ocntinue to make a stand anyway as I feel He wants me to but I do it with love not condemnation and still….
    I am hangin on in the faith! Staying steadfast ALWAYS in the Lord the author and finisher of my faith!!!
    Love you Beth and have a happy bday in a couple!!
    Betty M

    • 5.1
      Betty M says:

      PS Sorry for the typos as I am sleep deprived from a weekend away rejoicing in the Lord at the wedding of a dear son to a sweet girl named Beth!!
      Betty M

  6. 6
    Lorraine says:

    1. Over the past few years, I have been able to share Jesus and how He works in my life with people I have worked with. They have be witness to some of the things I am involved in, not only in church, but outside the church. For the last three years, my husband has been the chairman for a food pantry, which was started in Vilonia, AR after the tornado three years ago. I have helped him by volunteering and have been able to share the love of Jesus with the people we have served.

    In the last tornado in April, our food pantry and clothing closet was blown away. We found a few clothes, a few cans of food and two cases of Mac and cheese. We are currently looking for a new location, because people we served have been looking for us.

    2. For quite some time, I carried bitterness of actions that my mother has done to me, and some of the things she has said. Because it happens so often, it became really hard to deal with. I got some ladies from my church together and we went to see Beth when she was in Little Rock. When she started talking about the different types of people in our lives, it helped me to really forgive her for the bitterness I was holding because of her actions. I now know that I can give it to God, and He helps me to deal with the situation better, so that I don’t have to hold the bitterness I was holding.

    3. Since I was burned as a preteen, I have received a lot of persecution, because it has never wavered my belief that without Jesus in my life, I might not have been able to handle the situation as I have. With Jesus’ help, I have been able to show people the real me, the person I am from the heart. He gave me strength to be a strong woman and let me know I could achieve anything that I set out to do. People see how Jesus is working in my life, and with His help, people don’t see my burns, they see the real me.

  7. 7
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Katie G.; Knoxville, TN; solo

    1. About two years ago, I taught a sixth grade girls sunday school class. I shared the Gospel with them; but I also shared my own life with them, whatever was appropriate to share, because I wanted for them to have a real life relationship with Christ, and to see that He can carry them through whatever comes in their lives in the future…the feeling is the same for my littlest sister, Deanna. She is getting ready to go to college. I have intentionally tried to be there for her, and have tried to show her Christ in my life. She is such a sweetheart and so unspeakably dear to me. She is becoming a godly young lady, and that just about moves me to tears thinking about it now:) I’m so glad:)

    2. Bitterness has threatened to take my joy from me, precisely because it is born of unforgiveness, and it truly is a root that can defile many. When I was able to forgive a few close family members, and even the ones who really mean well, but tend to overstep their boundaries on a regular basis, it was so much better of a feeling on the inside. With some, it’s like, they know not what they are doing to me, but with others, it is like they fully know what they are doing. But Christ in me makes all the difference. He has given me everything I need for life and godliness. When I try to focus on that person’s eternal destination, and pray for them, that helps me to forgive also, even as I have been forgiven.

    3. I have been asked to stop talking about my faith, and about Christ before by a related family member that was getting to a point where I could tell, the Holy Spirit was convicting of sin, and their need for salvation, but they were not wanting to receive it. It made them uneasy, and they were a little angry about it. If I spoke up more nowadays, maybe that would happen more, and I should not be surprised by that. I should just keep praying and keep loving people, no matter how they receive me.

    What spoke to me the most over the last two weeks was day two of week one and day five of week two. The phrases “work of faith, “labor of love”, and “steadfastness of hope” are great to meditate on. Also, that lesson on personal relationships was very thought-provoking, because I have noticed that people tend to be too busy for others. Maybe they do it to avoid heartache…but that is the stuff of living. If you love, sometimes it can be painful, but the consistency of sticking it out, and working it out together, that is fellowship. The other person knows that you are committed to that friendship for the long haul. I think everyone loves the idea of unconditional friendship, and unconditional love, but they are afraid to stick themselves out there, and be that for someone else…a lot to think about.

    I love the video! It made me smile, real big:) The pics were great too, thank you for sharing them with us. Blessed day to you today, Beth.

  8. 8
    Corinna says:

    1. My best friend on the face of this planet prayed for 21 years for my salvation. She and I were like sisters all those years, but lived a rift for about five years until I finally gave my life to the Lord. (always believing IN the Holy Trinity, just not fully embracing.) She and I were at the Eden Prairie LPL in April together and it was the first time we spent time together as Sisters in Christ and it was so wonderful. Probably not the correct way to answer this question, but it is definitely monumental and of Christ!
    2. My divorce and the events that led up to it and after it were/are very bitter in me. Depends on the day, I guess. I do know that God has given grace and forgiven me, but some of the actions from my children really throw a wrench in things from time to time.
    3. It is probably my own issues of not letting things just be, but it feels like there is a constant cloud of persecution in my work place because I work with my husband and his two brothers and their mother. All but my husband are God and Jesus condemners. And very vocal, too.

  9. 9
    Tracey Knight says:

    Tracey ~ Arkadelphia AR ~ solo
    1. I work on a college campus & lead a group of girls through the campus ministries’ discipleship program. On this campus, my husband is also dean & professor of some of these girls. I identified so much with that balance of opening up your life vs oversharing. Just b/c I have a platform doesn’t mean I have free reign to toss the laundry of all my people out on the floor. So as I honor those closest to me, I’m opening up my life to these girls & it has been the biggest blessing!
    2. Yes, bitterness will eat you alive if given the chance. This was a situation with someone wronging my child – enough said. 🙂 Thanking God for that deliverance.
    3. Not to my knowledge yet. I also see believers tearing each other apart. I agree with Beth that it will get harder here as we go so good grief, let’s not help the enemy with the in-fighting.
    loving this study, y’all!

  10. 10
    Letha Mahan says:

    17 in small group

    Your grandchildren are darling! But aren’t they all! I have eight ranging in age from 20 down to 7 (I am not that old, really I’m not! – ha!). I love them to the moon and back.

    1. About three years ago, I finally began a Bible study group in my home, something I had been wanting to do for years. From about seven of us, we have grown this summer to 17! I truly don’t know where I’m going to fit everyone but I’m trusting that God has the plan laid out even if I don’t have a clue what that will be. I love the mix: all denominations, no denomination, ages 40 to 60, those who are new to those who are firmly established learners of the WORD. We even have two who have recently moved but are still joining us via Skype (I didn’t count them in the 17 because they don’t take up much room – ha!) I believe we can truly say that we are looking outward!

  11. 11
    Cindy says:

    Loved today’s video and am SO happy you kept it “real”. Those grandbabies are adorable!! I’m not answering the questions (sorry) but wanted to use this space to comment on Day Three because I think whole section on walking with God is one of the best things I have ever read!!! I loved the freedom that I felt reading it of just realizing that God is walking with me in love (that same adoring love as Beth as for those grandbabies!) and being available to me if I am limping, in the fire, wounded or bruised! Just LOVED that whole section and am so grateful for the gift of writing that God has placed on you!! It blesses me to the bottom or my soul! Along with the great Scriptures used in that section. ☺

  12. 12
    Brenda says:

    I did all the homework for Week One but have fallen behind and have to catch up with Week Two. I will catch up! Love the study and time in the Word and love the videos! They are a real blessing!

    #3 – a form or persecution – I can really identify with that. In the mid 1980s I worked for an organization where I reported to 2 bosses. I worked for 1 boss in the mornings and the other boss in the afternoons. It was a nightmare. The organization had about 30 employees and the level of nastiness that was directed at me was crushing. And I was NOT witnessing or saying anything to people about my faith. No matter how desperately I tried to make the situation work, it just wouldn’t and I finally realized what was wrong. The Bible says we cannot serve two masters and I had been trying to do just that. It would never work and I finally resigned. Oddly enough, they tried desperately to get me to stay. One of the Directors pleaded with me even though he had told me I had no future prospects with the organization. I finally told him that I couldn’t serve two masters and the Bible says you can’t serve two masters. He gave me an odd look and said “what about me?” The way the organization was set up, he was also in a position of trying to serve two masters. He resigned a few months after I did. Fast forward about a year. I was working for an organization that needed a secretary and I recommended a gal from the previous office. They hired her and the first day she told me in no uncertain terms “you’re one of those born again Christians and I don’t want to hear anything about it”. I was stunned and told I never said a word about my faith at the previous job. She told me I didn’t have to! She laid down the law and then she basically told me that everything that had been said and done to me at the previous office – all the nastiness – was because of my faith – it had nothing to do with me as a person but only what I stood for and what I believed. I was a silent witness but a HUGE target just the same.

    • 12.1
      Amanda says:

      That’s so powerful! You didn’t have to say a word about faith and your light shined so brightly!

  13. 13
    Leslie says:

    Hey Beth. These first two weeks of study have been awesome! I just wanted to thank you and Living Proof Ministries for making it possible to do a study online like this. I take care of my disabled, adult step-daughter, so it is quite a challenge to go to a study somewhere for a few hours. This is such a blessing to me!!! Hope you guys will do many more studies this way!

    Thanks again…. now I’m off to watch session 3!

    • 13.1
      Beth says:

      So thankful the online format is working for you amid your many responsibilities! May God bless and energize both you and your adult step-daughter. You are so dear to Him.

  14. 14
    Michelle says:

    The question about persecution really hit home…literally. As hard as persecution is you never know what the Lord will do in it, through it, and in future years. The short story is that I grew up in a family and an extended family with few believers. Many said they were Christians but were not in a living, breathing relationship with Jesus. There was no fruit. When I really started living for Him as a believer I was persecuted emotionally and verbally. I know my life was never in danger but my heart was broken and I felt like such a misfit. What do you do? You keep living and walking with Jesus. Romans 12:1-2 and other verses came to life for me. Sometimes there were such hard days, especially when you want those in your family to believe and love Jesus, but they just don’t. But all the while His Spirit was working. Not all, but many in my family now know the Lord. Persecution for believing in Christ within a family is so tough, but sisters stay faithful! You never know how your example will change a life!

  15. 15
    Heidi says:

    I’ve had my heart stomped on many times. I’ve had some of the deepest friendships imaginable, I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been comforted amd ministered to. I’ve wanted to shut down amd close my heart with a lock only to have The Lord Jesus pour love in there again. And again! I haven’t just been called to love, I cannot help but love.

    2. Some of the betrayals by a friend have been the hardest to handle. I resolved to never put myself in a position to be betrayed by not allowing close friendship. Not trusting anyone. For a season, the LORD Jesus was my best friend. But he never lets you stay in that place for long. Opening up your heart to love is one of the scariest things he asks us to do. But he is my example. No matter how many times a heart is betrayed or hurt, he keeps on loving. He asks me to do the same

    3. At work. People put enormous demands to tolerate outrageous behavior because we are Christians. “You’re supposed to love everyone no matter what right?” They love to start religious arguments about Gods character in the world we live in. You cannot ever let your guard down in your behavior or they crow triumphantly that you are just another hypocrite after all.

    What this study means to me is that it has addressed some areas in my heart that surprised me. Almost as if God is saying “it’s time to address this NOW!” It’s getting into my business. It hasn’t been easy writing the answers and responses.

  16. 16
    GOTTEE says:

    “Then I realized my heart was bitter. I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant. I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet, I still belong to you. You hold my right hand and guide me with your counsel. Leading me into a glorious destiny.” During the Siesta Bible Memorization last year, I memorized Psalm 73:21-24. I have been bitter for years because God took away a very significant relationship in my life away. I was left rejected and heart broken while the other person sucessfully went on with their life without me! Throughout my bitterness, I still belonged to Him. I sure didnt feel that but I started to claim the verse everytime I felt bitter, rejected, and alone. Then at a pace that I could handle subtle changes began and peace took bitterness’s place.
    Beth, I loved this “We can’t let Satan shut us in or he wins the battle. He’s trying to make ‘wound-lickers’ out of warriors.” I chose to be a warrior!

  17. 17
    Donna Garvin says:

    Hey sweet sister, LOVED BY GOD, I hope you had an awesome, fun and blessed birthday yesterday, filled with all sorts of wonderful surprises. Thank you for sharing pictures of your beautiful family. WHEN did those beautiful grandbabies get so big??? Love you so much and thank you for your continuing to study God’s Word and let us receive from you what God has laid on your heart. Our little study group is in the middle of Children of the Day and you (or God) has stepped all over my “business.” Yes, this one has come at just the right time for my life…thank you again for your obedience to God and God bless you and your ministry to the fullest.

  18. 18
    Brenda says:

    Beth these questions are so difficult for me to answer – I’m doing this solo and I have left the personal questions blank. Today I went back and answered them.
    1. Honesty I’m just myself around people – I’m willing to share how good God is to me especially when I don’t deserve it. He has given me His grace, His discipline when needed, and always HIS LOVE. In my willingness to share with believers and unbeliever they are encouraged/strengthen by the truth (so they say).
    2. I never struggled with bitterness until my mid 40’s. I believe Satan is very cunning and knows when to strike – I was beginning to go thru the change of life and in 2008 a situation grip me so tight I could hardy function due to bitterness. A special friend gave me a DVD you had done on forgiveness. I watched that DVD so many times I wrote every word that was use. The scripture was from Matt.6:9-15 the Lord’s Prayer. I wrote all over that page in my Bible (my favorite was from v.14 – you said forgiveness means Aphiemi = to send forth – push it – to God. I needed to forgive so my prayer would be heard by God.) Months earlier I couldn’t even pray to God the only thing I could say to Him was “The Lord’s Prayer” and that is what He used to set me free. Isn’t God the greatest!
    3 My persecution comes mostly from my own family members who don’t know the Lord.

  19. 19
    Shanna says:

    1. I have shared the gospel with my 16 year old daughter because she is so special to me. I know she has a call on her life the enemy is consistently trying to rob the good seeds from her mind.
    2. Unfortunately bitterness is still very heavy in my life and I pray for deliverance regularly. I have not talked to my grandmother in about 2-3 years because I just cant handle her negativity. She is extremely controlling and loves to make me feel guilty if I am not living the life she wants me to live. I was molested by my father when I was I was younger and with him being her son, she doubts it ever happened. I was physically abused by my 1st husband and the only thing she could say to me is what did I do to make him do that. So, I love her from a distance but when her name is mentioned, I feel the bitterness rising up again.
    3.Before my grandfather past away, our long relationship, which wasn’t always the best anyway because we were both alcoholics, was completely severed because he said I became one of those Jesus freaks. Back then I did not know to take that as a complement so I cut myself, and my children, off from him to avoid any further hurt.
    I LOVED this weeks video. It was so precious and thank you for not editing it!

  20. 20
    Tamara says:

    Thank you for not cutting any of that video blog! That was real & precious! We need to see your ‘realness’! I love y’all!

    1) 1 thess 2:8 means a lot to me because I invest myself into people I meet. When I first read this verse, I immediately thought of our life group (small group from church) because we do life together! We are in each other’s lives, it’s not always happy, but it’s real and we’re together!
    2) bitterness. God changed me & my ❤️ from church people. They hurt me & were very demanding, but God. But God removed all bitterness & restored my relationships! Praise God!
    3) persecution.
    From my parents & siblings. I keep loving them so they can see Jesus and one day know Jesus!
    At my workplace. Over the last 14yrs, I’ve had many rude comments thrown my way because I love Jesus & live out my faith openly! One of the meanest guys threw me a going away party that blessed my soul. The owner told me that (this guy) he doesn’t give parties to people he hates. One day, this guy we accept Jesus & live forever in heaven! Hallelujah!

  21. 21
    The Apple of His Eye says:

    Question #2:
    So many hurts and wounds stuffed down for so many years had to come out somehow: so out comes bitterness and depression. The book, “One Thousand Gifts” has and is turning my life inside out. Being grateful, looking at how I have been blessed = miraculous. Perspective – it changes EVERYTHING.

    AND forgiving….make a list, write every little hurt. If you remember it, it was important to you, no matter how silly it seems. And include yourself in that list. Then forgive them, and you. Bless them and yourself if you can.

  22. 22
    Fareen Doss says:

    1. I think any time that I have to share my story, I open my heart up. I allow my soul to be seen. It was a hard story, with an ending only God could give. My time here has been short, I cannot say for sure I have a story like Ms. Beth described here.
    2.Bitterness can consume anyone if left to fester. Not to long ago my husband hurt me, and I him, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I spent almost six months with such bitterness toward him. The world told me I was right to have such feelings of bitterness toward him. That I should hold on to those feelings as long as I could.
    Almost six months ago God moved me. My husband and I reconnected, something I never thought possible again. My son and I were happy, but something was missing there. He needed his daddy, as did I. The hurt is raw, and still hurts at time, but with God we are standing firm today. We never thought we would see our fifth wedding anniversary, but it is quickly approaching. The bitterness is no longer there. When I chose to lay that down, it gave God room to move, and move only as He could. The world was against us, but we had the one who controls the world in our corner.
    3. The news is filled with stories of individuals who are imprisoned and being beating on a daily basis, all for their faith. I came from a Muslim background. I was raised in the religion, practiced it and was faithful in my studies. But that all changed when I met Jesus. He stirred something in me that I still, ten years later, cannot explain. My family disowned me and I lived in different homes, out of my car. I was unsure how I was going to carry on, or even if this Jesus was worth it. What if I had it all wrong?
    I just knew inside of me I had the right path, that I was different and there was no turning back. It hurt my family and we did not talk for a long while. Trust was broken numerous times. I was hurt beyond belief, but I stuck to it. After a period of all sorts of rebellion, I returned to church, started reading my bible again and Jesus lit this amazing fire under me. I was alive again.
    It was hard on my family seeing this fire again, they thought they had won. Insults were hurled, fighting happen and many people were hurt. Most of all I was hurt, unsure of what I was doing. I knew that God was in this somewhere, I only had to look. It has taken many, many years of arguing and hurt, but my family and I cannot be stronger. They still practice Islam, and I still work hard daily in my walk. My father even walked me down the aisle in my very Christian wedding. “I will restore the years to locust have eaten.” His word, it is all we can cling to when we are put down for our faith.

  23. 23
    Darcy says:

    1. What strikes me about 1 Thessalonians 2:8 is how humbled and blessed I have been many times to be on the receiving end of this type of ministry. It makes me think of all the humble, bold people who had loved me and valued the gospel enough to share their messy stories with me; their very lives! And who have allowed me to do the same, openly and freely and without shame. I am a firm believer in how freeing and life-giving it is when we share our lives, dirt & all, with others. The church is just beautiful!
    2. I cannot quickly recall a time when bitterness held me down for a long time. However, I can testify to the Holy Spirit’s work in this area because there have been many a time where he quickly allows me to see the root of bitterness that is beginning to form inside of me. He brings me sorrow over it, and allows me to recall what I have learned about its damaging side effects.
    3. During my junior year of college, one of the campus ministries lead a week-long, campus-wide campaign that was geared toward starting spiritual conversations and sharing the truth about Jesus. I can vividly recall one instance where I was having a great conversation with a woman – she asked me if I believe that only Christians go to heaven, and when I replied “yes,” another woman who overheard mumbled something negative under her breath.

  24. 24
    Stephanie Scott says:

    Could you post some pics of the women or church members that are in Thessolonika today, that y’all came into contact with during your time there. I would love to see some the faces that are descendents of our Thessalonian heroes.

    Loving the study so far!!

    • 24.1
      Donna says:

      Hi Stephanie–I can’t help you there but when I was in camp in the 60s, one of our counselors was from Thessaloniki and I had her picture for a long time. Her name was Vicki Fragopoulou, and she told us, her face lighting up, “Paul visited our town!”–like it had just happened last month. She looked classically Greek–long dark curly hair like on a Grecian urn.

  25. 25
    Kim Safina says:

    Kim Safina
    Coast of California

    I am DELIGHTED to see the PURE JOY and BLESSINGS as you shared your darling and I do mean DARLING GRANDSON AND GRANDDAUGHTER with us!! 🙂 🙂 they crack me up!!

    Before I forget, HAPPY “57” BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK!!

    RE: study and Persecution

    I actually looked up the word


    Function: noun
    Hostility and ill-treatment especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.
    . persistent annoyance or harassment

    I was recently persecuted by a person who harassed me because I studied under a certain individual in the public eye. This LOST woman was so direct and rude. My first instinct ( carnal self) was to defend and go into attack mode. *Nobody messes with my faith and my SISTER in FAITH EVER!!! But then, I (spiritual self) chose to listen and LOVE her. My mind kept thinking about your study and page 21 where you wrote “Anything God emphasizes, the Devil seeks to exterminate.” and also ‘Will we welcome Him to do the exceptional when He pleases?” It was a GOD SEND for me!!!!
    I stood firm in my faith and belief and although I was persecuted, this person walked away with no victory after trying to battle with me!
    I went home and cried my eyes out and sobbed in knowing that Christ Jesus was with me.

    I think I am going to keep a Kleenex in one pocket and a RECIPE book page in another.

  26. 26
    Cynthia Smith says:

    Group Members: Cynthia Smith, Robin Nelis, Carol Torp, Jennifer Teike

    1. Robin – a family member who was part of the Jehovah’s Witness movement came to live with us. During the past three years she has not only accepted Christ as her Savior but is a growing Christian.

    2. Robin – my relationship with my father has always been strained. I was bitter because of not having a relationship with him and it has affected my life for years. Recently, the Lord has turned the relationship around in the past year to the point where my father has even told me that he loves me. God had to change my heart towards my father before He could change my relationship with him.

    Carol – I had an extremely strained relationship with a relative that affected not only me but the rest of my family as well. I attended a twenty-four hour prayer session and gave that bitterness up. She also came to a point of accepting Christ. We have reconciled – though not the best of friends – to a point where our children can see each other and we can be civil at family gatherings.

    Jen – I have a similar situation with a relative and have sought forgiveness and reconciliation. That still has not happened but I, at least, have given up the bitterness and have done my part. In time, I’m trusting that God will do the rest.

    3. Carol – Growing up as a young Christian, my father was always ready to tell me that Christianity was for the weak to use as a crutch. It was difficult to separate his role as my father from his opinions that were different from everything that I believed spiritually. It took a long time to learn not to be so concerned about what he said about my faith.

  27. 27
    Michelle says:

    Michelle (Watkinsville, Ga. U.S.A.)

    (2) “I walk along slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul.”

    My bitterness has stemmed from me being Co-Dependent and wanting to still control my adult sons. I think I may have done a good job when they were younger, but its been hard to let go. My oldest has been in and out of our home, presently living with us and doesn’t plan on moving out any time soon. My hubby and I should be empty nesters.

    Although my circumstances have not changed, my heart has. I’m learning to be dependent on God. I’m walking with Jesus. He has showed me I can’t control people or even circumstances that may come into my life. The closer I walk with Jesus the more I can give Him control. I have a plaque that reads `Worry bad – Prayer good` I was so worried and stressed out because I wasn’t praying. Now that I am praying I have the peace of God.

    • 27.1
      Donna says:

      Worry bad-prayer good–I’ll have to remember that. Hi Michelle–I’m from Athens, just down the road!

  28. 28
    Tammy Kron says:

    #2. I have experienced severe bitterness in a relationship with a family member. I did not like what it did to me or how I acted when embracing it. I am a believer and the Holy Spirit convicted me. I knew I needed to forgive, and through Christ chose to do so. Since then, the Lord has brought such healing to this relationship, taught me much about myself and my sin, and has drawn me closer to him. Letting go of bitterness and unforgiveness through Christ is freedom. A weight was removed from my shoulders. Where there was once bitterness and hate, there is now peace and love.

  29. 29
    Ashley Hall says:

    1. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 really opened my heart when reading it, and studying that verse. I have a very dear friend whom I love very much, and pray regularly for their life and decisions. Recently, as I always encourage prayer to the problems at hand, my friend began seeking more knowledge of God and prayer, admitting that after actually trying prayer relief immediately followed. Also, that in the past prayer wasn’t something they would’ve ever admitted doing because of embarrassment. I have gently been introducing the word of God, and also experiences from my own life to guide their path to God. My friend has a beautiful heart, and I pray it will allow Christ to dwell in it!

    2. Bitterness played a leading role with me for so many years after the death of my mother, and that I was unwelcome to live with my dad because my stepmom was not ready yet for a child. Many times over I clung on to hatred just by even looking at her or speaking about her. I felt so hardened at times. It took a long time to let go of that, but when I did … It was like the feeling of complete freedom! I chose to forgive her for God and for myself, and I pray for her daily. It’s sometimes still difficult to see her with my own child because I want to shield him from the hurts I endured. I pray about it, and ask that God lays it upon her heart to the person He would have her to be, and the same for myself.

  30. 30
    Linda Reeves says:

    Linda ~~ Delray Beach ~~ solo
    1) Have shared the gospel with several friends over the years, they still hold back. I am not discouraged. Always ready to encourage when the Spirit shows me a path.
    3) Not ‘persecution’ so much as sense when secular friends don’t want to hear the reasons for my joy–easy to see them pull back. Still when tough situations arise some have asked me to pray for them.
    Love the study, thank you, Sisters!

  31. 31
    Carol Bruntlett says:

    Carol Bruntlett
    Albuquerque NM
    On page 50
    About bitterness
    I walk slowly all my years of the bitterness of my soul

    Wow when I read the word bitterness and exactly what bitterness does to your soul it eats from the inside out and when you carry that bitterness around it weighs heavy on your shoulders .
    My bitterness stems from having a friend I thought would be a friend for the rest of our life’s I we met on FB in a small group bible study on FB .
    I told her a lot of personal stuff about my life , we had became close friends in a short period of time , and so I shared a lot with her .
    Felt like I was be smothered by this person , constantly under a microscope so to speak with this person , she would get mad for things , like me encouraging someone else etc.
    There was much jealousy in the friendship there were many red flags but I did not pay attention to what God was showing me or telling me .
    So the friendship proceeded on , until one day it fell apart or dissolved .
    I was a tad bit bitter towards her for no explanation on why or how , then I emailed her months later and said please for give me if I caused things or hurt you etc in the friendship , the email I got back from her was you are forgiven go live in freedom . Well that was okay with me ,but the bitterness came from her not asking for forgiveness for what she done in e friendship etc . So I got upset about it all and I thought to myself how could she she is getting away with not saying anything or asking for forgiveness.
    Then I started praying that God would show me what I needed to do and help me to move on and get rid of the feelings I was having , and He was faithful to show me that I needed to forgive her for the things she done to me ,so I did and that I needed to pray for her and I did ,
    Now I no longer feel the bitterness towards her .
    I have forgiven her but just because I have forgiven her does not mean she can have access to my life to be my friend again .
    God healed my heart from the hurt .

    Thank you for this study I love it and it has been very timely in my life .
    Thank you for sharing your grand kids and the fun you all had , made me laugh at Annabeth at the last part of video to funny .
    Happy birthday to you .

    Thank you

  32. 32
    Donna says:

    1. I reminded someone dear to me of who they are in Christ–a baptized Christian–and I think it shook them out of a lethargy of doubt.

    2. I spent so many years in bitterness and it just ate away at my soul. I still have my moments but when I turn it over to the Lord he heals me, bit by bit.

    3. I experienced persecution from people I knew who are fellow believers and it hurt so much. I’m hurt in an indirect but very painful way when Christianity is mocked; once personally over a moral issue. It amazes me how Paul and other Christians can keep their charity in the midst of this; it truly must be a complete God thing.

    I loved the emphasis on how anti-Semitism is not of God; so often the Bible has been misinterpreted through history in such a tragic way.

  33. 33
    Laurie says:

    1. I worked closely with a number of elementary school kids many years ago and they became incredibly dear to me. A number of them are still in my life, and I am so grateful for them.

    2. This topic resonated with me. Over 10 years ago leaders of my church acted very hurtfully toward me and after the awful experience I decided Christianity wasn’t for me. Earlier this year I began to have a different perspective and realized that people can be bad representatives of God from time to time, but God might still be who He says He is. I have worked to forgive these folks and am trying to let go of the bitterness.

    3. I can’t think of a time I have been persecuted for my religious views, but for most of my adult life I have not been religious!

  34. 34
    Patsy says:

    Week 2 Day 2 Homework has been a powerful lesson!! Breaking Free was my first encounter with a Beth Moore Bible study. It broke me open!! I am forever grateful to Beth for shining the light of God’s Love through Scripture into our lives. God’s Word is as alive and relevant today as it has ever been. Beth has shown us how to apply God’s Word to our lives and heal us so that our individual ministries are more effective. The struggles and the joys are the warp and weave of life!! Thank you!!!

  35. 35
    Janet says:

    1. I have been through a few “events” in my life and I love to share my testimony with those that God brings across my path. The wonderful workings of God in my life are my proof of the gospel and I never tire of telling others!

    3. The persecutions I have endured are really nothing compared to the sacrifices others are making daily around our world in the name of our Lord. However I do agree with Miss Beth that it is growing increasingly more hostile to express our Christian beliefs and values. In the last few years I have gone from being called judgemental to ignorant to redneck:) Now more than ever before Christians must stand up for the infallible Word of God!

  36. 36
    Susan Puckett says:

    Loving the study so much – glad that I decided to go ahead and do it this summer. A response to #1 Question – my son died in August, 2008 from a traumatic head injury. He was just a few days away from turning 18. At that time, his Dad and I were not walking with God; however, Thomas was, thanks to a small church and youth group near us. After his death, I was so angry for a few months, but one weekday in Oct., 2008, I asked for and received salvation. My son had made the decision to be an organ donor and in January, 2009, I began volunteering with the organ procurement organization in GA – Lifelink. I never envisioned speaking to others, but that was what the Lord had planned for me. Over the years, I have spoken to numerous schools, civic organizations, and churches about organ donation and have given my testimony. Two years ago, I was asked to speak to the Coroner’s Association. I did not realize that many of them don’t like dealing with donors, because it slows up the process a bit. I was asked to give them a face of organ donation. I had a power point presentation with pictures of my son, and I spoke about what my family went through and then asked them to remember not my face, but my son’s, whenever they were working with families whose loved one was an organ donor. When I finished, the room was quiet, and I realized that many of the participants were quietly crying. I needed some water, and walked to the back of the room as the next speaker was to begin. However, the person who introduced me decided to take a break before the next speaker began. The first person to get to me was a coroner whose body language shouted that he really didn’t want to listen to me. He was crying, and said he would never look at nor treat donors/donor families the same way and he would never forget my son. Several other people stopped me before I could get to the water and when I finally made it to the refreshments, another gentleman and the coroner from my county, who is a personal friend, talked to me. There comment was that God was certainly in that room that morning. My son was able to give life to four recipients from his organs. More importantly, he is the reason his Mom & Dad are now believers and have eternal life and his story, his legacy continues to touch the lives of so many people. I am so amazed that God can take someone like me and use our tragedy for so much good. And the most amazing thing is that I am no longer bitter. I still miss my son, but I know I will see him again, this time for eternity.

    • 36.1
      Peggy says:

      What a beautiful testimony of you and your son! I’m so sorry for your loss but I rejoice in your gain! What a beautiful way to minister to so many by sharing organ donations and their importance. I’m glad reached you and others through your precious son. And you are so right, your son and a beautiful legacy lives on because of his selflessness … Jesus’ way! God bless you Susan!

  37. 37
    Melinda Fowler says:

    1) As our children were growing up, I tried to keep our home open with a Christian atmosphere so that all their friends could experience a loving Christian home.

    2) Because of financial set-backs, I have experienced bitterness for many years. When I allow it, it’s always there to cause pain. I must constantly dwell on the knowledge that it was a God-directed-change in our lives… and we are better for it.

    3) I work at a Baptist University in a small southern town. So far, I have been spared from persecution. I am very thankful to be a part of a University that helps student strengthen their walk with God.

  38. 38
    Beth says:

    Y’all, these comments are so good. Keep them coming!

  39. 39
    C J AMELUNG says:

    Cindy, St. Louis, MO – our group doesn’t meet until Thursday evenings so I don’t yet have their responses to the questions. I don’t want to put down just my answers – I want to hear what they have to say. I hope that’s okay.

  40. 40
    Marney Kidder says:

    Beth, your grandchildren are so cute.
    1. one of my favorite memories of when I was part of a evangelism program at my church where we went to visit those who had visited our church. I was able to share with the two ladies not only the gospel but also my personal testimony, and some of the struggles that I had experienced. It was thrilling when they wanted to pray with me to receive Jesus as their savior and help them know that they were not alone in their struggle.
    2.God has delivered me from the bitterness I felt for the relative that molested me for several years when I was a young child. I was stuck for so long.
    3. One day several years ago I was stopped at a red light, I was singing and clapping my hands to a song on the Christian radio station the windows were open but I was not singing loudly or had the radio volume up, as the light changed, a car drove by me, shouting curses at me,using God and Jesus’ names, making obscene gestures, screaming at me. Wow, I thought as the young men sped away, I must be doing something right.

  41. 41
    Melissa Ford says:

    Midlothian, VA

    Bitterness was a big part of my life from about age 7 to 34. I thought it was ok to feel and act like a victim of some neglectful relatives and a long line of mean girls. It weighed me down heavily and had me believing I was just an alien on this planet and no one would ever “get” me. I got to a breaking point with it all when I went almost a year without contact with very close relatives due to a highly elevated conflict.
    I sought help thru Christian Counselors and had lots of emotionally healthy mentors in my life. I finally had this breakthru moment….no strings attached…forgiven….loved..that is what God says about these people…and me….we are all loved by God. I can forgive without needing something in return. It is ok not to be liked or understood or even loved by them. It is enough that God can fill in the areas of unmet needs. That is enough! When I realized this and my heart and mind made the connection I felt so free and so aware. I felt like I became an adult that day.

    Thanks for sharing some candid family moments:)

  42. 42
    Bethany says:

    1. I kind of feel like I’m doing this now, with this study. During the first video, week one, I strongly felt God urging me to host a casual group on facebook for anyone interested in doing this study. I stepped out in faith and am doing that now. It’s not the bubbling over, loads of chatter and comments group that I would typically call a success, but I also sense God telling me to keep on keepin’ on, that one heart may be changed, and I’m just His vessel.

    2. Bitterness definitely lived in my heart for years after my Daddy’s suicide. His sister caused much harm to my family, and I was extremely bitter towards her. The freedom I know now having forgiven her is immeasurably more than the pain she ever caused. Praise be to God!

  43. 43
    Leanne says:

    Sallis, MS
    1) I had a Bible study partner one time that at the time I was very open with. I felt like I could and should be that way with her. Come to find out she shared my story with some others and it caused me to distrust her and not want to study with her anymore. I have a hard time opening up and this made it worse.
    2) I didn’t realize it until I had gotten older how much bitterness I had stored in my heart from my parents divorce. I have learned to let go and learn from it. I have learned to have boundaries in my life to keep from getting bitter.
    3) I don’t think that I have experienced persecution. I try to be really careful becuase it doesn’t take much for a non-Christian or even a fellow church member to call you out on being a hyprocrite. I want to practice what I preach.

  44. 44
    Danielle says:

    1.) When I was teaching, I had a group of middle school girls that had lunch in my room with me each week. We did a Bible study together, but we also had fellowship with each other as well. They were so much fun and I saw myself as a middle schooler in these girls. We laughed together, they came to me with problems they were having at home and with friends, and I really felt a spiritual bond with these girls. I shared with them stories from when I was in middle and high school and even more recent stories as a away to encourage them and build them up. It was wonderful to be able to talk with them. I had one girl, in particular, who came to me and said that she felt like she could trust me with anything she had to say because of how open I had been with them. It was a humbling experience because I did not feel worthy to have a girl whom God will use one day (I do not doubt He has awesome things in store for her) see me as an example to her. Talking about this makes me miss that group of girls! They are now all seniors!

    2.) I love my husband dearly, and we have been married going on 3 years tomorrow!; However, we just recently went through a period of time where I grew very bitter. Some of it was directed at his family because I felt as though they were pulling on his heart strings in certain ways and were causing division between us that my husband could not see. I started to take it out on him, and mixed with some unrealistic expectations, I started to pick apart EVERY little thing he did that bothered me. I was not a very happy person to be around. I was tired from having our second baby and a toddler, so that didn’t help. I talked it out a little bit with him, and I could see the hurt in his eyes because he did not even realize all this was going on. He felt happy in our marriage, he just couldn’t figure out why I was so different. I totally lacked the joy of the Lord for a 1 month and a half, and I let my bitterness rule me instead of the Spirit. Right at the peak of my bitterness, I went to the mom’s group at our church and heard a guest speaker talk about loving your husband on purpose. It totally convicted me. Finally, I said enough is enough, and I gave it all to the Lord painfully because I felt I was deserving to feel the way that I did. I had to constantly battle thoughts that popped into my head by combating them with verses, and I finally am my old joyful self again. I still have to actively beat down any discouragement that comes my way, but I now have a better appreciation for my husband and don’t let other people dictate our relationship. Bitterness really does feel like a weight. It did hinder my walk with the Lord. I actually could not spend quality time with Him because I knew I was sinning with my attitude. So getting rid of that and throwing it off was a much needed freedom!

    3.) I can’t think of any recent persecution. I do have relatives who would make fun of our family because of being believers. They really made fun with us every time we see them. And they automatically assume we would judge their lifestyles because of our convictions, which is not the case. Unfortunately, some division was caused in the family because of it. It is I think sometimes the hardest to receive persecution from family.

    One of the most encouraging things this study was the 4th session about being parented by God. I needed that lesson a lot as I know God loves me deeply, but sometimes my heart has a hard time accepting it. It’s as you said, Beth, that we need to have faith to believe what we know to be true. Thank you so much!!!!!

  45. 45
    Martie Carter says:

    1. My husband and I have done youth ministry together in different ways over the last 30 years. As we’ve moved around during his military career and now as youth ministers at Fort Hood, we’ve taught and spent time with so many kids of all ages. There are times that they have lived with us as young adults when the need arose. We’ve also had the groups and the leaders that work with us in our home for meetings and meals. We’ve attended camps and retreats. It has been such a joy to watch God work in the midst of those times.

  46. 46
    Karoletha says:

    I taught preschool music for many years. I shared Christ with children everyday. Not always in words, but always in love.

    Bitterness is a constant struggle concerning a family member who has manipulated me and says hateful things. I am constantly working on forgiveness and redemption for this person. I want to do as Christ did, but oh Lord, I sometimes have such a temper.

    Two years ago, my beloved church split. Best friends said horrible things to each other and now do not speak. People told me that I did not believe in Jesus. Some of my best friends called me names. It was one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to me.

  47. 47
    Martie Carter says:

    2. There have been times in the course of ministry that people have attacked us or our children. The one that has done the most damage is the time when someone spoke out against us with other people, but never came to us directly. There were so much pain and hurt that came from this type of prolonged attack. God has worked with me to let go and to pray through all of that. He has asked me to see my own sin in the situation and to forgive the people involved and to pray for them. I have found that carrying around even the smallest grudges saps the joy and strength that He gives.

    3. There are family members and others who are angry with me for the stands that I take when it comes to things that violate scripture. I have learned in the midst of that to stand firmly in what the bible says, and yet at the same time love and show compassion for those who disagree with me. Sometimes, just standing for what God says in His word is enough to make us a target.

  48. 48
    Diana says:

    Diana – Indpls. – small group. I have had the honor of sharing gospel with many ladies thru classes, small group studies and one-on-one. Being open to share my own story has been critical to the openness of the group although not always easy. Most hurtful persecution unfortunately has come from within my church family during a time of not only conflict but stretching and growing in faith. Any bitterness has been mostly healed although occasionally a wound will be reopened and hurt felt afresh. God is faithful and keeps working!!

  49. 49
    Patsy says:

    Session 3 Video was so deep and has helped me confront some issues concerning my childhood that need some repair! Thank you!!! Thank you for walking us through the how and the why of taking even our childhoods to our Abba Father!!!

  50. 50
    Michele S. says:

    1) I’m thankful for Bible studies like “Experiencing God” and “Breaking Free” to name a few–those two studies specifically helped me heal and encouraged and stretched me in my knowledge of Him and His Word.
    2) I read Isaiah 38:15, let out a big sigh, and then wrote a prayer to the Lord…”Help me not to become bitter, Lord–help me to continue to walk with You.” Our church is going through some struggles right now and as a pastor’s wife, I’m knee deep in the middle of it. My husband and I continue to pray for the Lord’s wisdom through it all.
    3) In most of my jobs (I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor), I have felt some sort of subtle form of persecution because I’m in the minority with my faith and values because most of my coworkers don’t have a relationship with Jesus.

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