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. 151
    mary from jonesborough says:

    am a week behind & did not get to “meet” with my on-line group except to let them know that my 85yr old mother passed away. I was able to share the gospel again with her and was there at her deathbed but no evidence that she ever accepted God’s gift of salvation. however, the LORD has given me peace that He loves my mom even more than I or anyone else on earth could and gave her numerous opportunities to receive salvation by grace through faith. and only God truly knows the heart! please pray for me. thank you!

    • 151.1
      Elaine says:

      Mary , im so sorry for your loss! Praying for God’s peace ,strength and comfort to you.

    • 151.2
      Lyn says:

      I know how hard it is to lose a parent and not be sure if they accepted Jesus in time. Let me encourage you by saying that all your mom had to do is silently say yes and it was done. If there is now a peace in your heart then it was accomplished. I pray that peace that surpasses all understanding for you.

  2. 152
    Joanne says:

    This comment is not in reference to the questions you asked us to respond to but rather a comment about a question you asked at the very end of the third video session. You asked “Do I feel that it is impossible to displease God?” and also remarked that you weren’t even sure if this question would make the cut in the final production. Well, I am SO glad it did. I had to admit that I had to be honest with myself and admit that is exactly how I behave sometimes…and I needed to hear it. I loved especially when you said that God will always love us no matter what but that sometimes He must think, “I’m about to wear you out – you know better”. Thank you Beth. It never ceases to amaze me how God always speaks to me through your studies…no matter where I am or what mess I find myself in.

  3. 153
    Kim B. in AZ says:

    Beth this has got to be one of the most fun bible study video on this blog of all time. I love that your grandkids were on it. They are so cute.

    1. Living it out before my extended family.

    2. A couple of months ago I found out that several things I had been trying really hard to change and thought I had made some progress in, I had in fact made no noticeable change to those around me. Yes I was trying to do so with Gods help but through comments from several different people I found my perceptions were wrong.Well after this all came to light I found myself angry and frustrated. I was mad at God for not answering my prayers or changing me like I know he does. I gave up on trying in the areas I had been working on, I stop doing bibles study daily and prayed very little. Well after some time I felt myself slipping farther and farther so I knew I had to do something. The first thing God showed me was that I had to forgive Him. The more I started to pray the more God revealed all the areas that I had allowed bitterness toward Him to come into my life. I was grumpy and gloomy and felt like I was in a giant pit I could not get out of. The only way out was to let go of the bitterness, forgive, start studying the word again, pray and get back in to fellowship with God. I am so glad I did those things. I feel so much better. The things I need to change still have not changed much, but I know that I am a work in progress. I know that it will take some time to regain the ground I lost when I gave up let alone move beyond. Oh yes I also had to ask for forgiveness from God and several others in my life. Bitterness had a high cost and it was not, I repeat not worth it.

    3. I was persecuted by my own extended family. It was a very difficult time in my life. One memeber in particular said some pretty mean and harsh things to me whenever we got together. Things are much better now with that person, but we still have issues at times. No one in my extended family is saved.

    • 153.1
      Danielle says:

      Hi Kim-
      Thank you for sharing about the cost of bitterness in your life. It can be so discouraging when you feel like you should be changing but you don’t necessarily see the fruits of that. I actually just today was so frustrated with myself that I keep having the same bad attitude. I feel like with all the Bible study I’m doing and time with the Lord I should be different. I, too, have at times had those thoughts of “This is not working.” or “What’s the use in trying? I’m not changing anyway.” But, like you pointed out, maybe there is something hindering me from that, like bitterness or unforgiveness. It is amazing how something like that can take hold of us and we don’t even realize it! What a praise that the Lord showed you what was keeping you back from the relationship you so desired with Him!!!

  4. 154
    Tracy says:

    I am only going to respond to question #1, because my response is lengthy, and it is truly the one about which I feel the most convicted to share. While I am in a way doing this study solo, I also call into my Bible study group sessions in TN (I now live in FL, so I have to conference in 🙂 !!), and they are also doing this study. My response to question #1 pertains to them, so not only will I share it here, but I will also share it with them in our next meeting.

    #1 – It was August 25, 2009. The first night of a brand new Bible study group. We were doing Beth Moore’s study on Proverbs, “Wising Up”. I was nervous. I’d never been to a Bible study group before. I wondered, what would we do? What was expected of me? Would I have to speak or read or pray aloud? Little did I know then what a blessing God was placing in my life. Through the years, members have come and gone, but one thing remains…our faithful God. As I read through pages of old prayer requests, a smile came across my face. So many have been answered…(I’ll leave this part out as it includes names and specific, personal prayer requests). It goes beyond all of that, even! Indeed, we have a faithful God. As I think back to that first night of Bible study and how anxious I was, I am reminded of how blessed we end up when we are willing to step out of our comfort zone. Because I did, I was able to share my life with all of you, and in turn, you’ve become so dear to me 🙂

  5. 155
    Dawn says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Beth!!! Hope your day was as fabulous as you are!!

    1. God has been so very good to me. We, Him and I, have had some go arounds and He always knows best. Telling others the things the God can and will do for you is getting easier for me. Especially, my loved ones.
    2. I held onto bitterness for a LONG time. Until I finally let go and let God. I realized I didn’t have to have an apologize from the people that caused the hurt to have peace. I probably would have let go of the bitterness faster, but God lets things happen to get our attention. That’s what makes our testimonies:)
    3. There’s a young employee that works for me and is gay. I love them dearly and pray for them all the time. the first time we ever had an agruement about any kind of politics was over the incident that happened in CA with the gay couple that wanted the Christian bakery to make them a wedding cake and they refused. Well, needless to say it was hard for me to come to terms that we were just going to disagree. It still hurts, they still work for me, but you can tell the relationship isn’t the same and that really saddens me.

  6. 156
    Angela says:

    Angie from Greenville Ohio

    Wow, my story is messy I dealt with infertility, a messy adoption that almost did not work out, a troubled marriage, and a learning to trust God with my daughters medical needs. God is so faithful!! Through all that God gave me a passion for children’s church and VBS. I also have a passion for young women that would not darken the door of a church. I love serving kids and I love the people I serve with.

    I was very bitter when I was trying to get through my daughters adoption. God is faithful and got my family through that time, but it was not easy when her adoption looked like it would fall through..

    I know some of my friends in high school and collage thought I was silly for being a Christian. I would have had a lot more friends if I had not been a “Jesus Freak”

  7. 157
    lynda rickey says:

    First, one word: precious!
    1. I team taught with another teacher some decade ago. We really got the opportunity to know each other more intimately than is typical. We were both in the middle of difficult years personally. We spent many afternoons giving each other a listening ear and encouragement. Eventually, I was able to share the gospel with her. We both still work together, though we are in different grades and buildings now. But, we don’t let too much time go by without sitting down and checking in. She is not a Christian yet, but I am still praying fervently for her heart to be touched by the Holy Spirit and look forward to calling her a sister in Christ.
    2. I am amazed that God is so attentive to every detail of our lives. I am truly blessed. The Lord sent me a friend who has loved me in such a way that I have had true healing in my heart over past hurts in my family of origin. I am letting go of the unforgiveness that plagued me for many years. Love Jesus for caring enough to fish me out of my self-made prison.
    3. Don’t know if I can answer this. My life has been truly blessed.
    Love you all at LPM bunches,

  8. 158
    Jackie says:

    1. I lost my mom in January and the love shown to me by my small group from church has been overwhelming sometimes. They are dear to me because they have shown me what it is to be in true fellowship with another believer. They are the dearest people to me.

    2. I do have some bitterness and resentment over some things that happened right after my mom died, but God is working me through those things as I walk this weird path of grief.

    3. I’ve never really felt persecuted. I know my co-workers don’t invite me to go out with them after work but I’m not sure I would, even if they did. Mostly because they are much younger than me and into totally different things. It doesn’t make me feel persecuted just maybe a little isolated.

  9. 159
    Jaime says:

    Question 1 ~ We talked about the people that came to us and shared with us that eventually brought us back to church. We both had grown up in the church as children but as we reached adulthood we both walked away. Thinking we could do it on our own. Different circumstances brought different people into our lives at the right time. When we we open to the word and are now serving the Almighty God.

    Question 2 ~ We talked about a certain instance that still eats at us. Mine involves a family member and the struggle it has been to overcome and still today 5 years later I still fight with the bitterness. My bible study partner talked about a close friend’s betrayal and how she still struggles at times. We are both committed to moving on and allowing God to heal us.

    Question 3 ~ I have faced persecution from former friends that no longer want to be around me because I decided to follow Jesus and turn away from my former life. My bible study partner faces it from extended family.

    We both loved what you said in Group Session 3 about telling God that we love him “TOO”! We both stopped and just looked at each other. It was like a lightening bolt hitting us both!!!

  10. 160
    Debbie Szabo says:

    Hi Beth! I LOVED watching your grandbabies!!!!! I am really loving this Bible Study!!!! I got through the first two weeks with no problems…then I went back to work at the orchard I work at seasonally and also am dealing with a bathroom remodel so I got behind 4 days!!! I was so anxious to get caught up and this morning my boss called and told me to hold off on coming in because it was raining~~I started the laundry and managed to get myself right back on track~~I was so happy because I was really missing my lessons!!! Thank you for being such an awesome teacher of God’s word~~I am so blessed to have your teaching in my life!!!

  11. 161
    Kristen Keeling says:

    1. Over the past several years, we’ve had families or individuals live with us. They have ranged from homeless teens to friends of ours in between houses with everything else in between! We have literally shared our lives with them while also sharing the Gospel message or walking beside other believers while they were under our roof. That question was very near & dear to my heart because every time someone comes to live with us, they share a piece of my heart that I just can’t get back even if I tried.

    2. Not all stories have happy endings. One individual who came to live with us in particular did not welcome Jesus. This left me with feelings of guilt that morphed into betrayal and eventually led to bitterness. God has since taught me that it is not MY responsibility to convert souls. That’s HIS job! It is my responsibility to share the Gospel message and live a life that testifies to the difference Christ can make. It still stings & my heart truly breaks thinking that I may not share eternity with this person but I trust the Lord’s timing and wait on His intervention.

    3. I am always looked at as odd. Haha! We have just completed our first year of homeschooling & now I’m completely off the charts! (wink) I’m especially thought of as “extreme” by certain family members. This has led to intense discussions and a bit of awkward conversations but nothing I would categorize as persecution. I think my thoughts after those conversations plague myself more than the actual conversations themselves, if that makes any sense. I always think I should have said more or been more deliberate in my speech. I think as we continue to walk down this path of obedience and end up going less and less mainstream (ESPECIALLY when my kids become teenagers & we are not following the crowd when it comes to limits, guidelines, expectations, etc.) it may turn into more and more persecution but for now, I’m just building my faith & trusting in God to lead and direct.

  12. 162
    Holly says:

    1. I visited a dear friend in the hospital while she struggled with suicidal tendencies, so that she could be reminded of God’s love for her and so she would be encouraged. I know I shared my very self with her because of how much I ached for her. Despite the deep heartache I experienced during this time, I do not regret loving her deeply.
    2. I was bitter toward a family member until recently, but praise the Lord, He freed me from the lack of forgiveness in my soul! I now have forgiven this person and am re-learning how to love them.
    I am still struggling with bitterness toward a different individual. I fear I still have a long way to go in releasing it, but I think God is working deeply in my heart toward this person.
    3. This question made me realize that I have led a very sheltered life thusfar. I couldn’t think of a single time I had been persecuted for my faith. I would say I have been confronted about my faith, but the person was not trying to bring me down personally. They just expressed blunt disagreement about my belief in God. The fact that I can’t think of a time when I’ve been persecuted concerns me and makes me realize I need to get out there more and be more open with unbelievers about my faith.

  13. 163
    Marie S. says:

    1. Trying to live out my faith as a single mom before my
    9 year old son.

    2. I have been through so much including a horrendous divorce which has had a huge impact on me. I pray to not be bitter but it is definitely a struggle for me and does at times weigh me down a lot.

    3. I have been suddlely made fun of, but made fun of none the less, because of my views and beliefs on how a Christian single should conduct themselves regarding dating and sex before marriage.

  14. 164
    Theresa says:

    Thank you for sharing your grandchildren with us…they are precious! I have two grandkids about the same age. We are blessed Grandparents indeed!
    This study covering the 1st & 2nd Thessalonians is awesome!
    #1. 1 Thess. 2:8 not only stirred up my own story along with finding out there is still ground within this ole’ girl’s heart which is in mighty need of “tending” by my Father Whom knows this heart of mine. Four years ago, I found myself following the lead of my husband away from our church of twenty-one years. Our youngest son resigned his pastoral position at a church miles away on the same day my husband, resigned as pastor. All four of our children were raised before the Lord God alongside those precious band of believers! I still miss them to this day and rejoice with them when able to visit! There are some that have left the faith and others we do not know of their welfare. The church finally disbanded a couple of years after we left. Heartbreaking…often wondered why? (Therein, is the hard ground of my heart that His Word is tending.) God has now lead my man to pastor a small rural church and the folks are precious! We been with them for one year. A different body of believers and different…but good. Does that make sense? I am, oh— so thankful for these brothers and sisters in Christ! They have been great encouragement to us…through our eldest son’s divorce, eldest daughter eloping, and my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. God is faithful to me! Oh, how I need Him!

    #2. Mmmm…bitterness…like a cancer, tis true. It brings unbelief to full spectrum. There is suffering, and offense in this world. Christ faced it and left a path in which we can follow through to higher ground. Often, my feelings dictate the reality of this. There is a primitive sign which hangs above our front doorway, it reads “Bittersweet”. Life does have bitter moments, though I have found His Living Word can maneuver this fleshly tent from staying in bitterness, depression, doubt, etc. He is faithful! “I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living”. Yes!

    #3. I’ve never experienced persecution in the manner of Paul’s affliction. I have been verbally mocked for my faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, it cuts deep, especially coming from family. Yet, I am determined to share the mercy, grace, and love of Jesus with them and others. I cannot keep from speaking of Christ in daily living. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
    Phil. 1:21
    Currently, there is transition at work concerning how living out my faith is expressed. Co-workers know I am a woman of The Word. I have been challenged on my choice of listening to only Christian music and mocked at for prayer. It is strange, for the opposition is coming from another professing believer…odd. I am determined to overcome evil with good. Only God knows the hearts of these beloved souls.

  15. 165
    Ginger G says:

    1. We agreed that we generally always share ourselves with people, but had one or two people that we particularly love and share our ourselves with – people that know us and love us like family.
    2. We’re both military wives and could relate to this question about bitterness. It’s easy to become bitter when you have so little control over your life and your family time. Having to say goodbye to people you love, moving, etc. It’s something we’ve both struggled with in the past but God has been working on it with us. It’s not a cure-all but we are growing in that area.
    3. One of group members hasn’t experienced any “persecution”, the other group member has been hurt by family members that have accused, used faith against us, or have teased about it.
    4. We’ve enjoyed all the context given in the study – about Paul, his relationships, the maps, etc.
    Love the video and pictures of the grandkiddos!!

  16. 166
    Sue Muoio says:

    Happy Birthday Beth…so very thank-full to God for you and yours! Great pics! Thanks for sharing your life and God’s word with us!!! Bless you!

  17. 167
    Andrea Henley says:

    1- I am ashamed to say I have not really shared the gospel w someone who wasn’t already Bible-belt familiar w it. I am currently praying for the opportunity to share w a neighbor friend and the wisdom to say the right stuff.

    2- I’ve recently been plagued by bitterness towards myself regarding wasted time and missed opportunities in my 20s and teens. Sometimes forgiving yourself can be most difficult, but I’ve found peace in the truth that God works all for His good. Peace kicks bitterness into forgiveness.

    Lindsee- your birthday post was incredibly encouraging. You’ve served served served in your 20s- such a great foundation for your future! Clapping for you and urging you on.

    3- I completed Beth’s James, level 5, in 2010 when my first child was born. Nothing beats feeding a baby and memorizing Scripture, saying it over the darling little one! When my hubs and daughter went home for Christmas, I was looking for an opportunity to quote it to family. I was a bit confused and hurt to get the eye roll and what seemed to be condescending anger from a few family members. Discouraging, yes, but I still have that time w my daughter and the words of the book itself to combat negative thought paths!

  18. 168
    Ann says:

    Well, I am a little late this week in listening to Beth and visiting the blog as it has been a busy week. BUT, I have to say I love seeing pics of Beth and her family. They are all so fun to see and hear about! Thanks for that. Now for the questions:
    1) Living life with Christ out for a close family member to see while myself still trying to be patient with them.
    2) I was carrying some bitterness of a friend at church that had said some hateful things to and about a good friend of mine. I finally realized that I needed to get rid of that because she not only didn’t say them to me, but that it was between those 2 and God as to what really happened.
    3) I can’t really remember a time I have been persecuted, other than, I have lost a few friends because of my faith and my changing my ways! It hurt at the time, but now I see that I needed Christian friends around me, not anyone trying to bring me down and that at some time, you have to choose who your friends will be.

  19. 169
    Holly Smith says:

    Our group met and we spent a long time on the first two questions. For the first one, we focused on sharing our life and with whom–those who have become dear to us. We shared about something Priscilla shared at dotMOM about building our lives with fellow believers (not those who also serve other idols) from Ezra 3. For the second, we talked about how God has helped us walk through times of bitterness of soul–from wounds inflicted by those close to us–and how we still face those people today (with the armor of God!). It was a wonderful evening. We closed in prayer for one another and praise for God’s goodness.

  20. 170
    Lynn says:

    1. Sadly I am not one to verbally share the gospel very often (only a handful of times since giving my life to Christ). However, much to my surprise as I was visiting my mom (just after studying week one and telling God I was willing to follow His lead, whatever it looked like) the opportunity came up and I know it was God’s words coming out of my mouth because I don’t even remember much of what I said and it was not planned out. It was only after the fact that I realized that God had taken me up on my offer of willingness. I will wait to see what He does with it. I have received confirmation from other things since coming back that He will use it, in whatever way He pleases.

    2. I have seen bitterness at work more so in someone else than myself. But, I was close enough to see what it does to the soul and the attitude toward everything. It affected me as well. A lot of prayer and time has gone between that time and now. God is VERY good. What a transformation.

    3. I have not experienced much persecution, except when I recently shared with my mom and her husband (see #1 above) I felt a wall. the really sad part is that her husband went to seminary and his responses were very pharisaical (is that the right word?) The words coming from his mouth opened my eyes. I had been intimidated by his arrogance and seminary background until he actually asked me questions that God allowed me to see showed that he is coming from a place of not knowing God at all, know matter what schooling he has. He said things that contradicted the bible. Not sure what seminary he attended (it would have been back in the 60’s or 70’s) but it must have been an extremely liberal seminary. WOW. Or, perhaps he has allowed himself to be influenced greatly by the world. I don’t know. I wish I were a better debater! 🙂 BUT, the most important thing that God showed me was that I CAN share what I believe and I CAN do it with confidence! Thank you, Lord!

  21. 171
    Jennifer says:

    1. A few years ago, my husband and I had the privilege of going on a mission trip to Iceland. While there we met a dear group of people who live on an island called The Westman Island, and we were able to share with them the love of Jesus. We handed out videos they call “Jesus videos” and were able to just minister and encourage and pray for these dear people. We were gone for about ten days, but part of my heart remains on that beloved island. I am so thankful for social media, because I get to keep up with them on there. It’s a joy getting to be a part of their everyday lives.

    2. I feel like I constantly struggle with bitterness. 🙁 I am always having to ask the Lord to change this part of me when I feel it creeping in…one way I try to combat it is to pray for the person who might cause those feelings. I’m a definite work in progress on this subject.

    3. I have faced persecution by certain family members by living my life the way I do. They do not see eye to eye with me and we have butted heads a few times over something we’ve decided as a family. (An example is the fact that I homeschool my four boys.)

    I love this study and already the Lord has shown me some things through His word. Thank you! God bless!

    • 171.1
      Michelle says:

      Jennifer, I’ve been to Iceland twice, many years ago in college – first as part of a short study abroad, and second to take my mom back with me because I adored it so much! The people there were so kind and precious. Sadly, I wasn’t a Christian at the time. I would love nothing more than to go back again as a believer to share the gospel. I would love to know how this opportunity came about for you, if it was an organization that you volunteered with in the US, or there in Iceland?
      Thanks for sharing about it!

  22. 172
    Angie says:

    1. We moved a few years ago and I had to make all new friends. A little while back, I realized that I love these people and I was gonna have to share more of myself if I wanted these relationships to grow and last a long time. Now I have some very close new friends!

    2. I think I have some bitterness towards an unsaved friend. I must resolve this. It just came to me when reviewing this question. Guess I better meet with Jesus about that if I’m ever going to be a good witness!

    3. To be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve ever been persecuted for my faith. I grew up in a Christian family, went to Christian schools, married a wonderful Christian man, etc. I have been discriminated against as far as people not talking to me or talking behind my back, but I equate persecution to lots of pain and suffering. Praise God that I’ve never been in that situation, but, Lord, bless those that deal with that every day!

  23. 173
    Tierney Langdon says:

    You wrote a sentence sparking my interest. Loving your grandbabies so much it hurts. How do you cope with that type of pain? It gives me anxiety sometimes.

  24. 174
    Magie Wolfe says:

    Late, but catching up. My sister in The Lord who I have not only served with
    But also raised families side by side with. There was a big chunk of our
    Journey spent apart but God has been faithful to allow us to walk in
    Ministry together these last few years is such an example of Thessalonians
    2:8. I am so blessed. The second point on bitterness being heavy, pray for me as I have
    Opened my heart to God that bitterness will not overtake me,that he
    Will keep my eyes and heart focused on Jesus.
    Last point I guess if anywhere has made me feel persecuted it has
    Been at church when I stood up for grace based faith and get told how doctrine is what

  25. 175
    Naomi says:

    1 I want to actually share in words the gospel, but all I’ve really done is maybe answer a few simple questions or ask some. Otherwise people know I am a Christian and watch my actions. For a friend I have gone out of my way to connect with her more and though we have very different view points I want to show her that that’s ok, because I really want her to know my Saviour.
    2 when I lose people dear to me I was getting bitter recently. I’m still fighting it maybe. But I remember becoming aware of it and how it was increasing my loneliness, but I couldn’t do anything about it. So I prayed and right there I felt my bitterness melt away and I was receptive again, and vulnerable.
    3 in class at school there is often blame and sometimes insults spoken against Cristianity and Christians.

  26. 176
    RaeAnne Hsu says:

    Beth, I don’t know what it is, but God is always speaking to me through your studies. In these crazy word for word ways, He will remind me of His promises. I think we must ride the same train of thought:) Thank you for being faithful to write down what He tells you! For me week two, day three just spoke volumes. Will you walk with me is such a precious whisper to my heart! I wrote about it on my blog, Thank you for offering this study this summer; it was just what I needed to stay focused in among all the chaos of summer!!

  27. 177
    Faye says:


    1. There is a women that comes to church because of her boyfriend. Interesting situation. She has connected with several ladies. I’ve shared the gospel many times with her. As she keeps rejecting, it causes my heart to yearn more and more to see the day she embraces Christ. Though sharing the gospel with her, the sharing of myself is a hard area for me that I am presently working through.

    3. I haven’t been persecuted for my belief’s in Jesus, some forms of rejection maybe but not what I would call persecution. For me I feel more and I use the word lightly “persecuted” and struggle more from within the circle of believers.
    Persecution however is here… and it is going to increase.

  28. 178
    Sheryl says:

    1.At this season of my life I have four major things going on. I feel that God is asking me to share them with the people in my life,coworkers family and friends so they can see the results of peace,joy and strength that come from the gospel. This is new for me because I am a private person and don’t like to share my life with many people(trust issues) but I really care about these people and want them to see what they can have too.

    2.Bitterness destroys! God has really worked with made in the last 10 years to let go of bitterness. Bitterness showed me areas that I was not trusting God in.It also destroys relationships. It robbed me of my peace and joy in the Lord.

    3.Persecution does not always come from the world. Persecution for me came from a very close family member who is a Christian but bitterness and anger have become a stronghold in their life and I experienced much criticism from them as I grew in the Lord and began to love people more and trust God more.To me it is easier to accept from the world. You expect it from them. But you don’t from brothers and sisters in Christ.

  29. 179
    Kim says:

    1. When working through the study, I could honestly not thing of a single answer to this question. My mind was a complete blank. Today – I think of a nephew who became my nephew through marriage when he was 18. We invested so much in his life – both in learning about God but also investing personally. He became like a son to us. We have also since invested in similar ways in students at my husband’s school (he’s a high school teacher) who have very difficult home situations.

    2. Bitterness sucked me dry for YEARS. YEARS. It took me a while to recognize it for what it was. The hardest part is that it really affected me the most in the ministry in which I felt called to serve. I really have to keep an eye out for it because it can sneak up on me very easily. I’m thankfully so much more aware of it now. God has been so very gracious to me and so so faithful.

    3. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever truly been persecuted. I might have had folks say unkind things to me or purposely exclude me from things. But, I have not been persecuted – even from family members that are not believers.

  30. 180
    Julie says:

    1. I have a group of friends who in our mid twenties, spent time sharing the gospel with the youth in our city. Those we ministered with and too all have a special place in my heart. It was very messy at times, but The Lord always settled things.
    2. Bitterness has struck me on and off, but God has shown me I need to choose love over being bitter.
    3. Once, I shared my option about one of our government leaders because I believe his is not leading how a man of Christ should lead and the group I was with disagreed with my opinion and began to give me a difficult time because of my views.

  31. 181
    Dana says:

    1. I believe I am in the process of sharing my heart with a young woman at this time in my life. She grows dearer every day.
    2. I watched my mother grow more and more bitter in her life as a preacher’s wife. I saw how unhappy and closed off it made her. I have worked very hard to not allow bitterness to destroy my life. I learned that forgiveness is so important.
    3. I worked for ten years in a state university where I was not allowed to talk about my faith. I had to find creative ways to share my faith. I don’t know that I was persecuted but I was made to feel uncomfortable.

  32. 182
    Katie says:

    1. I am a high school teacher in a public school. I have the opportunity on a daily basis to live life with inner city kids and pour into them, but am hindered from forthright sharing of the gospel since it is a public school setting. As discouraging as it can get, an end of the year note a couple of years ago highlighted in my heart this exact idea of sharing life with those we minister to – even when that ministry is indirect & covert. The note was from a student thanking me for sharing the gospel with them without ever saying a word about being a Christian because of the way I lived my life and the example I presented in my classroom. God blew my socks off that day and reminded me to live my life out with my kids every day never knowing the impact it might have.

    2. Bitterness in relationships has been a huge place of healing in my life as an adult. I have been hurt deeply by relational wounds that I held onto and didn’t want to let go of for fear of being hurt again. That holding onto led me into a season of loneliness that was unprecedented in my life. On the outside it looked like I was surrounded by friends and events, but on the inside I was so pushed back by the walls I put up to protect myself because of the bitterness in my heart. God has done an amazing work in my life and has helped me to release those places into His hand and has restored so much in my life because of it. Ministry opportunities that had closed are now reopened and God has me walking in a place of young adult ministry with Him that 3 years ago I wouldn’t have even believed would have been a possibility.

    3. I was a science major in college and a graduate student in a biomedical research lab. Evolution was the norm when it came to ideas of the origins of life and the Earth. My belief in God as my Creator and the Creator of the Earth led to myself being viewed as less than intelligent in that circle of academia I was surrounded by. I was constantly questioned and made to feel like my ideas about what I believed were unfounded because they were based on The Word and not on scientific evidence & data. Thankfully my belief was strong enough having been raised in church that my opinions weren’t swayed by the naysayers and I came out of that season of life more convinced than ever of God as Creator.

  33. 183
    Marlo says:

    Feeling bitter towards a loved one for being so selfish to take her life. With God’s help and many years of bitterness coming to understand that she did not know God and she did not feel she had hope.

  34. 184

    1. I started going to a bible study about 4 years ago. It was a great experience for me. I was able to share my thoughts and experiences and learn from others. God is good all the time.

    2. I learned that I have the gift of mercy about a year ago. I never understood why so much in life affected me and it seemed people around me were oblivious to it all. I would put others before me, and not in a good way. I felt different and disappointed in myself because my choices were hurting me. I hurt deep down inside. I never seemed to recover. Once I realized my gift, it all came together. I have to walk with God no matter what’s going on in my life. I cannot do it on my own. It’s like screaming for failure to come back to me over and over again. I am still living with and learning from my choices. I am thankful I know God is here with me and has never left me. I let go of Him. God made me so special. And because He made me so special, I have to be intentional in every aspect of my life.

    3.I see Christians, myself included, and non believers shying away and not supporting each other because we don’t all agree with how we live or have lived or should live. I know God forgives us through Jesus and we don’t forgive each other. We take so much so far that it’s hard to come back at times. We often don’t come back unless we leave pride in it’s place. Then we have regrets, repent and realize we can come back strong with Him. I am slowly learning to give it ALL to Him. He’s taken care of it already. I don’t really need’s not like I can do it better. My prayer is that we realize we all have the Lord Jesus Christ. We must believe. He’s working in each of our lives.

  35. 185
    Sam says:

    1. I remember when I was first saved, the Lord placed two women in my life who were very dear to me. They were like the family I had always wanted.

    2. I struggle with bitterness because of family of origin issues still to this day. The Lord is helping me let it go and reminding me of my great salvation and how I need to forgive others too, because He forgave me. I must admit this bitterness is, at times, a daily struggle. When I thought I let it go, something else comes up that shows me I have not completely done so.

    3. I don’t suffer much persecution because I am not very vocal about my faith. When I witness to my father, I get “Whatever works for you, dear.” I think what is hurting my witness is reason #2. My prayer is I will be bold as a lion from now on and redeem the time, because I have wasted a lot of it.

  36. 186
    Sue Alice says:

    Sue Alice says:

    June 21, 2014
    1. The only person, I can think of his my husband, as he not saved. he helps with my studies if I have questions, and helps by looking thing up for. I also try and be the hands and feet of Jesus, by helping others.

    2. My bitterness stems for my father, as I was growning up, he hardly ever paid attention to me, and a lot to my sister. I never could do anything right or seemed to please him. He was only home on the weekends as he was a saleman. This cause a lot of problems in my life as a kid and a teenager. we finally made friends about five years before he died. He told me he was sorry for what he did, and told me he loved….he called me his sweet girl. He passed the next morning. I told him earlier I had forgiven him.

    3. I can not think of a time. some people think as me as odd, but that is all I can think. of.

    4. Quiet, peaceful, know that it is there with us.

    5. Rebellion, yes it has.

  37. 187
    Jan says:

    Jan from Hull, Ga. Solo
    I need to answer # 2 prior to answer # 1. The two are intertwined.
    I drank the bitter poison of bitterness for many years. My mother was mentally ill for many years and during that time frame some things happened to me that no child should ever experience. I did not accept Christ until I was a young woman, pregnant with my son. I did not grow in the Lord for many years, but around 15 years ago my pastor’s wife began a Sunday School Class for women in our church who were divorced, widowed, or whose husband would not attend church. (In other words we were broken souls.) She mentored us and taught us how to walk with God. I still harbored resentment and bitterness particularly to my dad, but with Bible Study, learning that bitterness was only harming me, and that I needed to truly forgive those who had hurt me or did not reach out to help me. Without forgiving these individuals or circumstances we can never be fully free. I am at peace now with my past after laying that burden of bitterness at the CROSS. I don’t dwell on the past, I only want to serve God and love others. Thank you Jesus!
    Leading up to sharing with those you love, my dad is old now and needs me to assist in going with him to MD, and other daily tasks which my mom can’t do so. The other week I was driving him home from the doctor and he asked “How did we survive when your mom was so sick? “ And then he began talking about how he suffered from emotional abuse from his father. Tears were running down my cheeks and I was thankful for sunglasses as these words blurted from my soul. “Dad, not all earthly fathers were like Grandpa, but your Spiritual Father loves you more than your earthy father ever could. What happened in my past, happened in the past. I was angry and bitter for many years, but this one thing I know; I cannot walk this earth without my Abba father, who dries my tears, knows my pain, and knows me better than anyone on this earth ever could. I can tell my Abba Father anything, and He loves me. I can walk and live and be happy. You have to forgive Grandpa and allow God to heal you. If you don’t the rest of your life will be miserable. “My Siesta’s his life is miserable. He claims that he has accepted Christ, but being saved is not being free. Sharing how bitterness can be healed with the one you harbored bitterness to? Only as a daughter of the King! I pray that my dad’s heart will be softened so that he can forgive and accept healing. I also pray that in this season of our lives that I can continue to be loving and caring to my dad.
    Thankfully I have never been persecuted because of my faith. I have had cold shoulders and rejection because of my testimony or stances on my faith. But that’s ok.
    Happy Belated Birthday Ms Beth.

  38. 188
    Gina says:

    1. My daughter in law is very dear to me and I have probably shared with her more openly than with others. I lack the boldness that I so admire in others.
    2. I have had some bitterness that I struggle with but feel it less and less as I pray about it. Some days I feel like I’m making progress, other days, not so much.
    3. I’ve been very blessed in my life that I haven’t faced persecution but I do believe that it’s coming soon. I pray that I will be as strong and courageous.
    Love the video 🙂
    Thank you

  39. 189
    Laura Beckom says:

    1.i have shared with my small group many life events good and bad we do life together and I have the gospel with people I have a relationship with. I have been serving in children’s ministry for such a long time that I am now working with a student who was one of my first toddlers, I am mentoring her now.
    2.I went through a time of bitterness when a dear friend betrayed me and my family but God was always with me and turned things for the better my husband became baptized and now leads our small group and we have some great friends.
    3.i have not faced true persecution. I pray for the persecuted church with a group of believers and just that I can be strong like they are.

  40. 190
    Diginee says:

    Whoa – the third video was . . . oh my . . . speechless.

  41. 191
    Julie L. says:

    The J & J girls here. Here is our input for this week:
    1) We neither one had a story to match the exact question, but J #2 had a time when she opened up and shared with a small home group, not the gospel since they were all believers, but her testimony and really opened up about her life and the things going on it including how God was working at the time.
    2) J #1 says bitterness has been a challenge in her life since the divorce (that she didn’t want) occurred. It has impacted her life by creating trust issues with other people. J #2 also says bitterness has created trust issues and she finds it hard to put herself out there for fear of being hurt repeatedly. It feel like Satan uses that a lot and, every time she attempts to put herself out there again, she finds herself attacked and the hurt comes back fresh every time.
    3) J #1 describes a time in her young life when she was befriended by someone who took her to church. After services, she explained that this particular church service made her uncomfortable and her friend terminated the friendship. J #2 does not feel like she has ever experienced true persecution for her faith. Although she may have and just does not recognize it as persecution.

    Enjoying the studying of God’s Word with you all. See you back here in two weeks. May God richly bless you as you continue to seek His guidance and will for your lives.

  42. 192
    Amanda says:

    1. I was a new Christian when I met my husband. I was attending Church regularly and was unsure about asking him to attend with me because I didn’t know his feelings on the situation. He didn’t appear to be to keen on the idea but neither did I before I was born again. We all know appearances can be deceiving. When I finally asked him, he said, “What took you so long?” (We met around Thanksgiving and I invited him to Easter services.) I told it was because my faith was very personal to me and I wasn’t sure how he felt about it. He attended a couple of times with me.

    When we began to talk about marriage I told him I could not marry a non-believer. Within the week we where attending dinner with the Pastor and his wife and just after dessert he was saved.Within two months we were married. (Much more to this story but too much to put here)

    2. Bitterness…I had been making plans for my life for a long time. I knew how everything would be, what I would do, etc, etc. I was finishing college and it was time to get on with it. Then I got married and life was not what I had planned. The life I was living had no resemblance to what I had envisioned. I grew very bitter about this because I knew I made this choice by my own free will even though God told me on the night I met him this would be my husband and he restated that fact as he attended Church with me once again. After nearly ten years of this I said to myself if I am going to be happy at all I have to let the life in my head go. God gave me this man in marriage for a reason. Even if I couldn’t understand why I knew I needed to let go of my resentment so God would show me what His plans were. It took a little time and a lot of growth and I can tell you this from personal experience God knows better than you do about what you really want and need. I have the most wonderful blessing of a husband who had been there all along and such a joyful life. I just had to get out of God’s way to let it happen.

    3. I have experienced persecution in such that people many times in the workplace and in public have said things knowingly in my presence just to see what my reaction would be. Some not even trying to offend me but not knowing they had. I always say a silent pray, “Lord, forgive them they know not what they do.”

  43. 193
    Rosalie Castleberry says:

    1. Last September my friend and I were asked to teach a Bible study at the last minute. We agreed, and this has been the best thing ever. It is a 3 part study with part 3 beginning this September. Our group of 17 women have bonded so closely—we are much closer than family in many ways. God has just overseen this group from the beginning when the first thing we did was ask Him to send us the right women for the study. I have been pondering how to “break up” this group in December, and Video 2 gave me the perfect solution. We will stay bonded at the shoulders, but we will turn and look outward.

    2. Some really nasty stuff in a previous church caused me to leave after basically being a member there for 40 years—and my dad had once been the minister there. It was so sad. But if I had not left, I would not have been in the position to experience the event described in question one.

    3. I have never experienced any serious persecution, but the political AND religious situation going on in the US now requires us to stand for what is right. Not taking to the street activists—at least not yet—-render to Caesar and all that—but the time is coming when we will be laughed at and called ignorant and racists and sexists and all that. That will be for starters. It is so important that we know the WORD so that we will be able to stand.

  44. 194
    Tami Crossland says:

    1. I didn’t grow up in church or with a good family life. I don’t have a testimony yet. I have gone to several different churches and thought this is “my family” only to find out later they have talked bad about me behind my back. I’m at a church now that I’ve been at for 4 years and feel like family. Any issues or not understanding something and they are there for me. When I went through trying to adopt my granddaughters a few years ago they were there through it all.

    2. I have bitterness towards a certain lady at my church that took me and my daughter in as what I thought was a good friend. She recently told me that she does that with all the new members. Its hard to not be bitter because she allowed us to come over and spend lots of time with her and her family and invited us to do things with them. I’m now trying to think that Jesus wouldn’t want me to be bitter about such trivial things so I’m trying to let it all go. I’m trying to build the relationship before she moves in a month.

    3. Since I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, my family is always questioning me on why “my God” is allowing my mom to die at the age of 61 with ALS and why my dad has heart problem. If I do something, they will say what does the Bible say about that or what does it say about this. They ask why “my God” is allowing bad things to happen to good people. I don’t have the answers for them.

  45. 195
    Karen says:

    Just wanted to say that Day 3 on walking is where God spoke most powerfully to me. Here is a quote I found when doing some research after video 3.

    God will help us when we cannot walk,
    and He will help us when we find it hard to walk,
    but he cannot help us when we will not walk.
    George McDonald.

  46. 196
    Krystal says:

    1. I feel like this is something that God is challenging and growing within me at this time, the being vulnerable is very difficult but He is gracious and has given me an opportunity within our small group to try again to serve others together and to be open and real with this group of people and it is a blessing to me
    2. I can see God’s work in my heart in this area concerning a family member with whom we have had a rocky past full of ups and downs it is something that I still struggle with and don’t know that I always respond as I should but I have been in awe for the love that God has allowed me for them through the hurt
    3. I have not experienced persecution as of yet that I can think of, I pray that if that situation did arise I would do as you prayed and stand firm in the faith and respond with love and grace

  47. 197
    Sharon says:

    My week 2 post is a bit late, it’s been a busy week with my birthday and my 40th wedding anniversary…lots to do and lots of activity going on.
    My persecution b/c of Christ came from my husband when after 5 years of marriage, I accepted Christ and he did not. Long story short, after years of prayer, a bit of marriage counseling, and some sweat and tears, he now is of the opinion that Jesus isn’t so bad after all. I’m still waiting for the day when he is “all in” for Christ, but I have also learned that I plant the seeds, another might water, but it is God who gives the increase.
    With regard to people of the world who have a low opinon of believers, (and consequently a low opinion of the Lord perhaps) I just apologize for some of the circus antics that go on in His name. There’s no shame in clarifying the fact that some of these “christians” are not really genuine, and even some of the genuine ones are not really listening to the Lord they are supposed to be serving. I then lovingly tell them not to toss the baby out with the bathwater, and go my merry way. It helps alot to establish a relationship with someone before sharing the gospel, as it lends some credibility to the discussion once people know me as a person. I also remind myself that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to sanctify and grow people, and that Jesus was a friend of ‘sinners’, and said Himself that He came not to judge the world, but to save it. We have not yet reached judgment day, and I am neither God, nor Judge Judy. 😛
    Thanks for the summer study..the pics are awesome, they make me long for vacation, but that isn’t coming until this fall.

  48. 198
    Samantha Baldwin says:

    1. I have shared Jesus with many of my new family members – it has been a welcomed change for them. However there have been times when it was not welcomed.
    2. I carried bitterness for years over wrongs done to me and you are right on that it weighs you down and keeps you from God’s best in you.
    3. I have been “verbally beaten” by a very close family member for my belief and closeness to God. That relationship has now been healed. Praise God!
    I am so enjoying this study and praying for revelation in my self and wanting to continue following God’s path for my life.
    Thank you Beth and LPM.

  49. 199
    Linda says:

    Linda, Bartelso, IL
    1. I have shared Jesus with my husband, his son, my daughters, through sunday school teaching, but not near enough.
    2. bitter I still thinking on this one
    3.Then people think you sould be perfict, I am just forgiven.

  50. 200
    lynn says:

    1. It is hard to admit but in some ways ministry has made me grow cold. I don’t see the fruit in my life or in theirs. I’ve not only shared Christ but I’ve also shared some of my deepest longings and hurts yet the ones I minister to every week don’t open up. It has been so hard to be in this place. It’s as though the church we serve holds us at arms length, close but not too close. I’m weary.
    2. I would agree that bitterness makes our souls heavy and our feet like anchors and ages us. I fight bitterness as I didn’t want to come to this church. My fear that this was a church that did nothing and likes it that way was true. So, yes my soul is heavy. My prayer for seven years has been for the Lord to move us or move them. I’m still waiting.
    3. Living in the Bible belt I can’t say that I have suffered a great deal of persecution. Subtle forms such as patronizing by family has been the most of it. I have found that I am more conscious toward defending the faith now. I want to make sure I do so accurately for those who seek to demean the Lord and us want to twist Scripture for their own purpose. That happened with a young man that our family had grown to love who has now decided he is gay.

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