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.ย 


Weekย  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. 201
    Lisa H says:

    1) few years back when participating in my MBA program, was able to be a example of what it means to walk with God to my classmates – one told me she is inspired to be a better person from knowing me.
    2) recently realized in a conversation with my parents, I harbor deep bitterness still when discussing certain family members who fail to treat me with the graciousness shown to them. They live far away & truth be told, distance causes us to have a superficial relationship. Thought I had forgiven them and released the bitterness from my heart – but it reared it’s ugly head again a few weeks back…guess I still have some work to do
    3) From the most unexpected place, I have felt persecution from sharing the gospel. I’m part of a small group that has met weekly for over 6 years. Two years ago, the wife of our SG leader couple asked if the women of our SG would serve in a 31 week “service project” for the girls of our church. Some of us did & it was an amazing experience for all involved except our small group – the non-participants from my SG blamed this outreach ministry for the demise of our small group. Saddens my heart that persecution for serving others could come from a long standing small group community.

  2. 202
    Linda says:

    Linda, Johnstown, Pa., solo

    I am late posting for this session because I had my own version of “Camp Bibby” last week; I had my 5 grandchildren spending the week. Here are my answers:

    1. My nephew’s wife lost her mother at a young age. I lost my only daughter to stillbirth. So we have become mother and daughter to each other. She is a believer and we encourage each other in our faith. We can each share our personal stories with each other and feel like we have someone who understands or at least cares and will keep it in confidence.

    2. During the early years of my marriage I let bitterness cause a lot of tension in our marriage because of a person who was deliberately trying to drive a wedge between us in hopes of destroying our marriage. There has also been bitterness towards a certain family member who seems to thrive on stirring up trouble. This person did something that hurt my mother and the rest of the family very badly and the bitterness causes divisions within the family. I have learned to give the bitterness and hurt to God but it seems to be a constant battle that has to be won over and over as new incidents occur. So I can’t really say that I have won this battle once and for all. I have found it interesting in reading the prior comments, how many people do struggle with bitterness and how often it is within/between family members. It seems this is a very effective weapon that Satan uses.

    3. I do not feel as if I have faced real persecution because of my faith. I grew up in a church which had very conservative standards of dress and hairstyles, so at school I did experience being made fun of to a certain degree, or just being so different from everyone else, that I felt excluded in a lot of ways. Sometimes I still feel excluded from family members or friends’ activities because of my convictions on certain things (such as alcohol).

  3. 203
    Tangila K. says:

    1. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 stirred up the story of how my relationship with my Bible Study partner for this study began. I was her mentor when she was a teacher and she inquired about the Bible I had on my desk. She couldn’t believe that I actually believed “that stuff”. Well, I shared the Gospel; answered her questions and became her friend and now she is a woman on fire for God.

    2. Regarding bitterness, I worked for a really demanding supervisor who I began resenting after being written up for something I did not do. After much prayer, I started doing nice things for her anonymously and one day she actually asked me to pray for her family. I learned that prayer and obedience can transform a bitter situation into a sweet one.

    3. I experienced some form of persecution as an 8th grade science teacher in a public school when I had to teach the “evolution” unit. At the end of one lesson, one of my avowed agnostic students decided to challenge me by asking if I believed what I was teaching. When I said no they asked what did I believe and the debate began. That was the first time that I had encountered that type of resistance but I can honestly say that God had been preparing me.

  4. 204

    Lyli, Fort Lauderdale, Solo:

    I am desperately behind and trying to play catch up this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I worked with teenagers for close to two decades. I taught high school language arts at the Christian school and served in the youth group at church. I was a single gal until my early 40’s so those kiddos were my life — had the over my house, carted them to church, drove them to summer camp, and pointed them to Jesus as much as possible. They had my heart. No regrets.

    2. This broken world is full of disappointment. If you are in full time ministry, you learn early on that you can’t put people on a pedestal because we are all fallible. As I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve come to understand God’s grace more fully, and I pray that He will help me to be grace filled, rather than bitter when circumstances go sour or when godly people do ungodly things.

    3. I really experience such little persecution compared to my brothers and sisters who are living for Christ in the 10-40 window. For me, the persecution I experience is when people accuse me of being “close minded” for being a believer. We live in a society that applauds relativism, and condemns absolute truth. I agree with Beth that the climate is going to get much worse for Christians as we move forward.

  5. 205
    debbie says:

    I have my own issue of bitterness. I have attempted to deal with it many times….it is more like a sorrow and a loss now than a bitterness. My mother has hated me my whole life. Yes you read it correct. She has told me as far back as I remember that I ruined her whole life. I was born to a 16 yo woman. Anyway I have tried everything possible to make an appropriate relationship with her and I have recently given up. I am 50 years old and it is just too much. She does not want anything to do with my sister who is 4 years younger than me either. we have a brother that is way younger than us and he is her “golden child”. Anyway I can’t really go into the details but everything imaginable has been tried….it is now just sad.

    My persecution for my faith, if any at all would be from family members having comments about my christian faith…most of them are not church going if even a christian…anyway…..that is what I have to say

  6. 206
    debbie says:

    Ok so I have to be honest I was not going to share this but well I have enjoyed watching your grands, rely I have but it has made me aware that I am growing a seed of bitterness that I do not want to grow! Our family is a military family so as we have had kids we have also moved all over. Well in the end I have ended living far away from my kids and grandkids!I do not have money to just hop on a plane and go very often and I have some medical issues that make it even more difficult, Well my issue is I think I might be starting to grow a bitterness about this and I do not like it!! I do not want pity. My issue is I do not want to become bitter! My one daughter is almost punishing me by no communication because she feels I deserted her by moving on and not staying where she is….there are alot of detailed facts in this story that I will not go into but help! I do not want to be bitter!! What I have tried is feeling like it may not be working….

  7. 207
    Bethany says:

    I am so late on this posting! My apologies. So, first things first, Jackson and Annabeth!!! They are just the sweetest. I LOVED hearing their little voices. They reminded me so much of my niece and nephew Kensley and Cole. My two are the same age as your two. So fun!
    Now on to the questions.

    1. I love the idea of sharing the gospel and sharing my life. As I think on this idea, the past 20 years of learning to walk close to Jesus has been in view of my family members. Most of who are not believers. I am grateful that as the years have passed they have come to realize that I am not in a “phase”. That this is life for me. It is still my prayer that they would find that relationship, deep and daily, with Jesus as their answer. Just as He has been mine. This question also caused me to think of those who’ve shared the gospel and their very lives with me. I’ve had many special friendships in the body of Christ that I am so thankful for!

    2. Bitterness…ooohhh, that’s a sensitive spot. I am a little bitter about my singleness (little, who am I kidding!). I don’t want to be. I want to embrace it for all the blessing that it is. I’m not sure who the bitterness is directed toward. Myself? God? I don’t know….just know that it is there. Awareness is the first step to removal though, right? I’m changing. Grateful for forgiveness and mercy.

    3. Persecution. This was so prevalent in my early life as a believer. Family members mostly. It was a hard lesson for a young 17 year old new believer. It was also a tool to determine how serious was the decision that I had made. It tested my new baby faith. I stood strong most days, crumbled many days, was filled with doubt about their ability to ever accept me and not ridicule me almost every day. 20 years down the line God has answered that prayer! I am no longer persecuted. At least not from them. More will come. Hallelujah I am wiser to the schemes of the enemy.

    I love the study Beth. I am learning so much and am being challenged. I want to love the Lord as deeply as Paul, Timothy, and Silas did. I want to love others as deeply also. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to letting God use you! You have no idea the depth of the impact.

  8. 208
    Lisa Morris says:

    About three years ago an incident occurred within our extended family that left me feeling very bitter and resentful toward extended family members. During this time there were several timely sermons at our church on dealing with conflict and how the Lord wants us to handle it in a Godly manner. I followed through with these directions and not only did my bitterness go away, but the Lord opened several doors into different ministries at church including choir and missions and changed my life completely. No longer do I dwell on these roots of bitterness, because it really weighs you down. The Lord channeled me into so many wonderful areas that I can work and glorify his name and brought so many new people in my life. He took that bitterness and replaced it with love and joy.

  9. 209
    Lindsey says:

    1. While in University I was on the leadership team for the Christian organization Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. During this time I lead a Bible study for University students and one of my best memories of sharing my life and the gospel story would be when the group I was leading was made up of more non-Christians and International Students (from China) than Christians. It was such an amazing experience of showing them hospitality (ex: hosting them for Thanksgiving, one on one mentoring meetings) and love while studying the book of Jonah and learning of God’s pursuing love!

    2. I find it hard to put into words whether or not I harbor bitterness, not because I think I have it all together and don’t struggle with this, but rather that this is one of the sneaky struggles the devil tries to plague us with therefore making it hard to see. I would say (like many others have in the comments) that my bitterness probably is connected with my family. Particularly with how I felt neglected and often over looked in my family structure with being the middle child of an older sister and young brother with disabilities. Even today there are times when the big life events happening in my life (ex: my wedding) feel overshadowed by things going on in my other siblings lives (ex: pregnancy), but I have learnt that I choose to feel the way I do and therefore I need to choose to not let it bug me and find support and strength among my Christian family when my personal family is unable to.

    3. My answer to question 3 also has to do with my family as they are not Christians and therefore struggle to accept/ support/ understand my decision to be a follower of Christ and live my life as so. While I don’t know if the word persecuted would be the term I would use to explain how my family treats me, I have definitely felt rejected and misunderstood as a result.

  10. 210
    Melissa F. says:

    Melissa F., Blairsville, solo

    1. This question was bittersweet for me because thinking back on my life I realized that I have had experienced some painful moments when sharing myself with groups of people (mostly bible study groups). It took a lot for me to be vulnerable in a painful time in my life and my sharing was met with indifference and almost an attitude of “get over it, it happens to many people” (I had just had my third miscarriage). But, I have had some sweet moments of sharing and tenderness one-on-one with a couple of precious friends. I seem to just do better sharing with one person at a time.

    2.Referring to my answer to #1–I didn’t realize until recently that a few situations that happened at my former church were really just eating at me and I was still very hurt about how I was treated. It has been almost 7 years but when I think about certain people from there the hurt is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. Sadly, the most hurt I have ever been has been by Christians. During this tough time in my life two of my non-Christian friends were more present and caring than any of my Christian friends. So, I guess I am still carrying around hurt and bitterness from how I was treated (and it was ongoing and many different instances, not just once). It has definitely affected my self-esteem and I really just want it dealt with so I am not like the verse says, “walking along slowly because of the bitterness of my soul”.

    3. Like so many of you have shared, I don’t feel like I have endured true persecution-especially like some we read about even today that are in prison and being killed because they are Christians. But, I can think of some times in my life where I was made fun of, left out or ignored because of my beliefs. In high school and college when I wouldn’t go along with the crowd. At my first teaching job there was a very outspoken non-believer on my team who just loved to embarrass me by asking deep theological type questions at the lunch table 2 minutes before we had to rush off to pick up our kids.

  11. 211
    Amanda says:

    Olive Branch, MS

    1. In all of my teaching years I’ve always chosen to share my own personal and family journey (with students to a small degree and with parents in a larger degree)- praying that others would not feel I couldn’t relate and thought myself too important to be vulnerable with them. I, like Beth and Paul, like this approach. It keeps me reminded of ALL Jesus has done for me.

    2. I think probably the greatest bitterness I struggled with was not marrying the right man sooner (I married the wrong one the first time) and having children. I absolutely love the man I am married to now but we don’t have children since neither of us had any from previous marriages and we are really too old to have any together now. I am over the bitterness now with some years of God and I hashing it out but times come with friends having babies that I still get a little teary-eyed. But it’s not bitterness, since I know God has a different plan for all of us and Scott and I just love on everyone else’s children.

    3. One significant time I remember was teaching at a public school. A little girl in my room was Jewish, which I, of course, thought was wonderful. However, several other students in my class began a writing project and talked at length about wanting to write about their love of Jesus. This is not something I led in any way but their own discussion (which I loved of course). The Jewish girl went home and told her mom the discussion of the day and the next thing I know I’m brought to my principal’s office and told I need to stop “teaching Jesus” to her Jewish child. These accusations went on for awhile and she threatened to take it to the Board of Education to have me written up. I continued to pray and the little girl continued to ask me questions. She “wanted” to know about Jesus. ??? This was a difficult time, but I just kept praying and trusting I wouldn’t lose my job, but I could also win the mother. I shared my love for the Jewish people and their history. I didn’t back down on Jesus being the Messiah. I loved on this mother and prayed for her. In the end she did move her child the next year to a Jewish private school in our area. I pray somewhere sometime the seed I planted will or has become fruitful in their lives in bringing them to Jesus.

  12. 212
    Alicia says:

    Q2: when my parents got a divorce (I was 27 years old). I chose to not be bitter toward my dad even though I feel I have every right to do so. Our relationship is different now, but I’m not bitter. Despite what happened between them, he was a good dad to me and my mom is a great mom to me. And for that I’m thankful. I’m lucky I got to have my parents married for as long as i did.
    Q3: I got a lot of questions when I was at school at ASU for being a christian. a lot of my friends didn’t understand why I believed the way I did and often times made fun of me for waking up on Sundays and going to church.

  13. 213
    Rachel says:

    I’m also a week behind everyone else! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. This past year I was part of a discipleship group and this was the first thing I thought about! We all poured into each other and walked through the year together. I feel like they shared so much of their life with me- I was able to have them to walk through some spiritual struggles, family heartaches, etc. Also- this week I was able to talk to my grandmother about Jesus. I never really knew if my grandma was a Christian and it was always kind of hard to bring up because we never really talked about it with her, and I didn’t want to disrespect or embarrass her. It just made me think- I’ve shared my whole life with my grandma, whom I love so much, but never the Gospel! We got to have our first spiritual conversation, and I’m praying for more boldness to keep sharing Jesus with her.

    2. I think in an way I’ve become a little bitter to my family without knowing it. While I have a wonderful, loving family, but I’ve always struggled a little bit with frustration with some of their decisions. I think I get bitter when I see the repetitiveness of these decisions. It’s so judgmental of me! I’m praying for a loving and soft heart- free from judgement. The first step is realizing it, right?!

    3. I honestly can’t really think of a time when I was persecuted, as I’ve always had a Christian community around me. I know that the Bible talks a lot about Christians being persecuted, but honestly I’ve never really experienced it.

  14. 214
    Britiney says:

    1. God has been making a way for me to share Him with the teachers at my kids’ school. I’m so grateful for them and so eager to share His love with them. I praise him for opening this door and ask for his strength and grace to walk through it!

    2. I’ve had a difficult relationship with my dad in recent years and have suffered rejection from him. This week I was walking hand-in-hand with my sweet 14 year old son and had a flash back to my dad telling me when I was 15 that it was inappropriate for me to hold his hand and that I was too old for that. This memory brought back some of the hurt and bitterness I’ve had toward my dad and step-mom. God, heal my heart and take this bitterness from me. Help me forgive my dad.

    3. Although I suffered some mild persecution in high school because I grew up in a strong Mormon community, the persecution that is freshest in my mind is that of Saeed Abedini who is imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith. He is from my home church and I cannot imagine what his beautiful wife, Naghmeh, and their two children must be going through as they wait and pray for his release. Thank you, Jesus, for the freedom we have to worship in this country.

  15. 215
    Lyn says:

    First let me say that I love all the pictures from both camp and your birthday Beth. Thanks so much for sharing them. Nest, I share your feelings about grandchildren. They are such a blessing.

    And finally, you asked us to share about a time that I felt some form of persecution because of my faith, so here goes.

    I have a family member that I was trying to share what the Bible says about some of the things that I was seeing go on in this person’s life and I was very abruptly told to be quiet and to stop thinking I was better than them because I read my Bible.

    That may not seem like much, but this is a close family member so it hurt me very deeply.

  16. 216
    Dora says:

    1. Sharing the heartbreak and heartache of living with ALS on a daily basis is emotionally draining, but somehow necessary. When people ask, “How are you?” it’s so easy and typical to say, “We’re fine,” when we’re anything but. I sometimes feel that people will think we’re not full of the joy of the Lord if we don’t put on this big ole happy face in spite of our terrible circumstances and so we fake it. Sharing the truth about the painful while still respecting the dignity and privacy of my precious husband is a balancing act. God’s grace is being poured over us lavishly and lovingly and we don’t have to pretend with Him.
    2. I don’t normally harbor bitterness, but I did have a great deal of frustration when supervising a group of employees at my company. No matter what I did to try to make work a better place — from spending my own money for gifts to free time off, it was never enough and they were seemingly never happy. If you read my #1 answer, you’ll see I have much more important things to dwell on.
    3. The persecution I’ve experienced because of my faith is very painful and private. I wish I could share it, but just can’t in this public forum.

  17. 217
    TerriTripp says:


    Sharing my cancer journey with others on that”path” and how the experience deepened my faith in a God who is a stronghold in times of trial.

    I have experienced bitterness in letting go of a past career. By trusting God for my worth, He has made it clear that He will fulfill His purpose for my life independent of a particular career path.

    I have felt persecuted by a lifelong friend because in her opinion my prayers are answered and hers aren’t. Her husband was quick to point out that my life has not been free from challenges.

  18. 218
    Lisa says:

    I’m a little behind, but I wanted to share one of my answers from week 2. From page 51 we were asked if we had experienced persecution for our belief in Jesus. Well I had a recent experience at work. I told a caller that I was offended by his cursing. He asked why and I told him, one because I’m a Christian. Before I could say anything else he started calling me names and accused me of not being helpful because I was a Christian. It was the first time I had ever experienced something like that. I was very shaken up after that call. Even after the call ended, he kept leaving harassing voicemails. I had to end up calling our security and legal departments for help.

  19. 219
    Tiffany says:

    Tiffany, Summerville, SC
    It is so evident that “your people” are so dear to you. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    The past few years I have worked closely with the middle school girls in our youth. I have three boys so it was fun to get to be with the girls. My heart was softened for them because this is such a hard time in their life trying to figure out who they are and keep a God centered life. Women in general are so dear to me. I like small groups where you can really get to know someone because everyone has a story.
    Bitterness is a tricky thing because we can explain why we should be justified in our bitterness. I have held some bitterness towards someone who has hurt a family member mentally and physically. I have had a hard time forgiving this offense but realize I must. He is an unbeliever and I have prayed for my bitterness to disappear and instead God has turned it towards praying for his soul. He is a non believer. I have held to letting God deal with him.
    Persecution can be so sutle. This is such a simple example but here goes. I am in sales and there are many personalities and beliefs within my industry. When entertaining during meals the simplest thing can be witnessing but can also be difficult. I had a hard time praying for my meals when I was not around Christians because it could be awkward and I did not want to offend anyone. I have prayed for boldness and have been able to do this a little easier and not fear the consequences of my beliefs. I still continue to pray for boldness!

  20. 220
    Sarah, Solo, Delaware Ohio says:

    1. In my time as a Bible study teacher and mentor, I have more recently made an effort not only to teach the Word, but to become transparent in my own walk with the Lord. As a result of this willingness, the Holy Spirit has done much in showing God’s work in my life just at the time the women in my circle of influence need to hear it.
    2. I grew up with some difficult circumstances surrounding a brother with severe disabilities, which caused me to become bitter in some areas of my life, primarily my physical health. I have had the opportunity in the last few years to face those issues and turn the bitterness over to God, which has had a tremendous impact on my emotional and physical life. I feel 20 years younger than I did. It really makes a difference.
    3. I sometimes do not feel as though I’ve ever really experienced true persecution, seeing as so many people around the world are at risk of death or punishment for expressing their faith. However, I can see how Satan is working harder in our own church community for people to abandon their faith by attacking people’s health; families are falling apart; and people are simply unwilling to be firm believers because of the sacrifice it takes.

  21. 221
    Mary Sandifer says:

    Mary Sandifer
    Indian Head, MD
    going solo
    So sorry I’m a week behind but it is VBS time and we are busy sharing Jesus with His precious little ones!

    1. I am a pastor’s wife and a former missionary in Germany. I endeavor every day to pour my life into the gospel I share with my children (my own little mission field inside my own home.) My life and energy goes into “making disciples” right here at home. But then there is our church family. Again, I pour myself into sharing the gospel with those who come to our church and those who attend regularly. Both in word and in action. I also have the experience of having shared my life with those we ministered to in Germany. To take them to a place of understanding not just religion but a relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
    2. Bitterness…now that’s a topic! Well, ministry can be joyful but it can also be painful. Especially when the pain comes from inside your own church family. When you have poured your life into these people and they turn on your husband or yourself. Only God can bring healing to that kind of a bitter heart. I have prayed and read His Word seeking His healing for a bitter heart. In that season He proved faithful over and over! Only God!
    3. Strangely the persecution that came to mind was the same that brought on the bitter heart. Attacks from inside our own church family at my dear pastor husband. Sad isn’t it? What people, who call themselves the family of God, can do to one another when they don’t get their own way. The chairman of deacons actually said, “I have never seen anyone so badly attacked for just doing what the Bible says!” He was a good man and a source of great comfort to my husband. An attack on the pastor is an attack greatly felt by the pastor’s wife. I love my man. He has my 100% support and unending love. He will preach the Word and not be one to “tickle the ears” and say what they want to hear.

    It’s all about Jesus. It all comes back to Jesus. Praise the Lord! Thank you for this study. It is bringing great renewal and healing to my heart, mind and soul at such a time as this. God is telling me to get back in there and love His people.Love what you said at the very beginning, “All it takes to lead is for people to see you following Jesus.” Amen!

  22. 222
    alyssa, group on facebook says:

    1. I have had a fairly difficult situation at home for the past several months. God so mercifully brought me a friend and prayer-partner in my cousin. I hadn’t really talked to her in years but a situation with our grandmother caused us to talk, and now we (I hope!) sharpen each other and spur one another on toward our everlasting hope, even when our circumstances aren’t perfect.
    2. I have a few friends for whom bitterness has nearly destryoed their marriages. I try not to hold grudges, but there have been some wounds over the past few months I have continued to pick at so they don’t heal. I have to conciously give those issues back to God. I know He is healing me, in spite of my picking.
    3. 2 years ago, my husband and I stepped out on faith to do a ministry that involved him traveling a great deal. We both felt strongly that this was God’s calling on him/us. We had quite a few friends and family members try to dissuade us from this path. We were surprised that fellow Christians wouldn’t understand what we were doing. But I know God calls each of us differently, and there are a lot of callings I dont understand!

  23. 223
    Kristie says:

    I am so thankful to be a part of this Sieta Summer Bible Study! I am learning soooooo much. Yay! I wanted to see if there was a digital file of the portion of the video for week four when Beth has us repeat after her the words about “I am not in control. I cannot control my people…” It really made an impact on me and I would like to print it and hang it in my closet to read each day. I am and come from a long line of female control freaks and want to stop the madness!!! Thank you =)

  24. 224
    Sarah says:

    That was funny Beth’s Grandkids cutting up in the video. It’s like life, while it happens. That was funny when Annabel(sp?) got up and left the white tiger on the desk to help you out with the lesson. I was cracking up when she first left it.

    Shoot I had missed that you had put up another study. I was wondering where the second video was. There it was all the time. >_<

    You were asking about bitterness. I used to be grudge holder poster child. I used to hold grudges because I didn't know how boundaries and forgiveness worked. I wouldn't let stuff go because I didn't want the same hurtful of offences to happen again and again. I wanted to protect myself. I didn't realize I was just building walls and ruining the present relationships by not forgiving.

    You know when someone shares it can be real carthritic. Help bring up stuff that has been pushed down for a while. When it comes up, feel yucky for a while. Because finally feeling all the feelings that pushed down.

    When grow up in a dis functional home, can't just feel your normal feelings. Cause people can't handle them. You push them down.

    In a home that's Christ-like, you're able to just express yourself, and they can listen and tolerate them like Jesus does in Psalms to David. Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit just listen to David and take it in as he talks to them.

  25. 225
    Jeanne says:

    Beth, you are adorable! I think this is one of the most fun videos I’ve ever watched! Thank you for including grandkids. I was laughing out loud and made my husband come over and watch.
    Loving this study!!!! It is truly a word in season. Thanks, friend. I will be in the huge line of people in heaven waiting to thank you for the impact you’ve had in my families’ life.

  26. 226
    Michelle says:

    1. I think that living Christ-centred in all my relationships is the thing that draws me close to others and them close to me. We are surrounded by a majority of non-Christian friends, colleagues, and neighbours and we love them truly and honestly exactly how they are. They feel that love and they know that we will be there for them. Our friends (and those we meet along the way) are like family to us, no matter where they are in their own journey.
    2. I see the cancerous effects of bitterness in those in my own family, and others outside of it. It is a wound that cannot heal, it continues to fester and bleed. The infection goes deeper the longer it is left untreated (by the love and grace of God).
    3. Although we may have faced some ignorance about our faith in the past, we are blessed to be free to love our God openly and honestly in our community. In partnering with those working in much darker places though, we have seen the destruction of persecution, however have not experienced it ourselves.

  27. 227
    Joyce Davidson says:

    Better late than never…???!!!
    1. I met a Christian friend the same week as I did this lesson in COTD who poured out her heart to me about struggles and situations she is currently going through. I felt like I was going back 8 years when her story was mine. I shared how God’s Word (2 Chronicles 20 particularly) was so powerful in my healing and restoration.

    2. I’ve learned that bitterness can’t be hidden and it plays itself out eventually in some form or another. I’ve had repeated offenses from the same people, again and again – words mostly. God has brought healing and forgiveness and insight in my spirit towards those who hurt others. It’s a new test each time, but it’s in these times where I see how God has “my back” again and again and again.

    3. Living in a small town one can stick out like a sore thumb when we choose to “go against the grain” of what is the norm. We as a family have felt the hostility and the mockery. It has been a temptation to hurl back insults, but once again – God has shown Himself to go before us and behind us – He provides when choosing to walk in meekness rather than meanness. At times though, I have lashed back out of hurt and that has never proven beneficial….

  28. 228
    Debbie says:

    I am literally praising God and The Lord Jesus Christ for the Holy Ghost boldness of my “sister loved by God,” Beth Moore.
    I am sharing this study with 2 other “sisters loved by God” who bring their first born children to the gathering to discuss and watch the videos. With that said, I have watched video 5 alone so as to concentrate on the teaching. We will watch it together next week. Beth is politely blunt about the subject matter (sexuality) that she is covering.
    Thank you, Beth! I wanted to thank you for the teaching and to encourage you that in this big world of many, this ” sister loved by God” is grateful for His word spoken in due season.
    Things hid, stay dark. Through Jesus all can be revealed and covered. So in the Light of His Word we can be free.
    The 28 day challenge! Yes! I want to shout Amen! No matter what the challenge, God is Able. He is not stingy….He will help you. Sin is sin, no matter how large or how small we view it. “Sisters LOVED by God” you can do this! Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

  29. 229
    January says:

    Yes, bitterness has wrecked havoc on me. At first just spiritually and emotionally, now I think physically as well, through unforgiveness.

    I am praying through the Scriptures for healing. I realize a huge obstacle for me in forgiving others is giving greater authority to God’s Truth over my feelings. The Lord spoke to me the other day, “You give greater credence to your feelings than you do my revelation.” (his truth) Ouch.

    Oftentimes, I’ll nurse and tend to my feelings far more than I ever will a truth he’s revealed to me through Scripture. I’ll explain his revelation away as fluke, or emotional excitement, rather than what it was, the Spirit doing a work in me or teaching me, etc. Same with healing. Same with forgiveness.

    God is teaching me that feelings are more fleeting than life itself – they can waver by the moment, but God’s word is what remains. Would I rather put my security in something so uncertain as feelings are so firm as God’s eternal word?

    I must (and have the power to) choose to believe God’s word rather than my feelings – and that means believing that unforgiveness causes more suffering to me than does the suffering of obedience (in choosing to forgive others).

    My pride and sense of justice tell me, “they don’t deserve my forgiveness,” or “forgiving will just tell them what they did was ok,” so I am also confessing those sins and praying the Scriptures over those strongholds as well. Again, I must trust God’s Word over my feelings – it doesn’t feel like there is greater blessing in forgiveness but because God’s Word says so, it must be true. And then I hope and pray my feelings will be soon to follow! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. 230
    Robin Wutke says:

    So thankful for God’s Word and time to study it this summer. Although I’m playing catch up, learning about the early believers whom P, S, and T loved so much is encouraging. Beth, your teaching is so insightful!
    Some brief answers to the questions:
    1. It’s been good to reflect on how I shared the gospel…if I have the opportunity (which God seems to give often) I love to tell you about how God’s hand was in my adoption to bring me to KS at the age of 8, provide my brother and I with loving parents (I did not say perfect :), and help me find Jesus. You would also see how complicated my family is and that it is God’s forgiveness that supercedes it all.
    2. I have to honestly say that I do not struggle with bitterness toward the choices I had no control over. Sadly, many in my family can not understand how Jesus has delivered me from that, but it is only by His grace and power that forgiveness washes away the bitterness. Jesus has put thankfulness and gratitude in my heart instead. Don’t think I’ve lived without resentment at times, I’ve just learned that I can choose to ask for God’s help with that burden. Prayer is a powerful tool!
    3. Persecution comes very rarely. I’ve had to stand up for my faith, and knowing God’s truth from His Word has been invaluable. Memorizing scripture is a powerful tool to know what to share and how to share it. Always with gentleness and respect or others tune me out.

  31. 231
    Mary in NH says:

    #3. Persecution because I did the honest thing –
    In May, I needed to take a Friday and the following Monday off from work to attend our son’s out of state college graduation. He was graduating from Liberty University – a good 12 hour drive from our home. (We couldn’t afford to make a quicker trip by plane.)I had 1 personal day and 18 sick days. I knew I could use my personal day, but I also knew that the only way I could use a sick day was if I called in sick Monday morning – from the car as we drove back. I felt convicted that I should be transparent, so I asked the principal (yes, I work in a school) if there was any way I could use the personal day Friday and sick time on Monday and be honest about this. The Friday I was missing was a teacher workshop day, no students. He said unfortunately – probably not, if I didn’t come in on Monday, it may be unpaid. My paperwork was passed on to the superintendent of schools to approve – She wrote me a nasty note about neglecting my duties to the school district by taking an extended vacation. She noted my unexcused absence on my “permanent” record, effectively writing me up for being honest. Any additional unexcused absences may lead to my termination (mind you, I haven’t taken a sick day in three years.). Oddly, she ended the note congratulating me for my son’s graduation! I was very upset – but – in time saw this as a form of persecution for my honesty.

  32. 232
    Susan Whitaker says:

    1. In the workbook I shared my story, too much for a public comment. Bottom line is that God has delivered me from a very difficult decade and my present is a season of incredible blessing as I raise two young sons as a single mother.
    2. Some years ago I lived with bitterness and jealousy. I did not like feeling that way. Praise God, He has delivered me.
    3. I am 48 years old and recall feeling a lot of persecution in high school, although don’t recall the specifics now. Interesting, however, is that when I reconnected with a high school acquaintance on Facebook, his comment to me was that I was the “born again” girl in his recollection. Clearly I was having impact even though I did not realize it at the time.
    Thank you, Beth, for all that you do. You cannot know how much of an impact your bible studies have had on my life.

  33. 233
    Claudia Clawson says:

    1.I have shared with the children I lead in a bible study how I was raised in the church and could not wait to not go to church after I left home for college and how I did stay way from anything having to do with God and the church. Then how God in the fullness of his time brought me back to him self and has used me in a powerful way. When I open up and share my testimony God can use where I have been and how far I have come to touch the lives of others. The power of God becomes real to those you share yourself with.

    2. I was bitter for many years about my father. He was not married to my mother and never gave us his name. He would provide money and things but never the one thing I wanted most from him was just himself. I made my life miserable and everyone around me because I could not get over not being waned by the man that fathered me.Even as an adult women it still brings tears to my eyes to write these words. I had to ask God to help me forgive him and forgive my self for the anger I felt toward him. We do not have a relationship however I am peace and still do not understand why he never wanted me. The God of creation has been the best daddy I could ever ask for.

    3. Family can be the hardest on you. I have been called holy roller. Or when something happens I thought you were a Christian. Exclude or not invited to events at work.

  34. 234
    Debbie Swart says:

    Week two, day 2 was my favorite so far. I have done all of Beth’s Bible studies and so it was such a blessing to hear her testimony of this journey she has had with life and following God’s call. I have been a Pastor’s wife all of my adult life. Our goal and desire has always been to share the Gospel of Christ, but along the way, we have definitely shared our lives. We’ve loved people, been blessed by people, been hurt by people (sometimes deeply), yet I wouldn’t trade my life for any other! I’m just thankful that God chose this path for my husband and I and especially thankful for the grace and strength He has given to us to remain faithful to the call!

  35. 235
    Lori says:

    So enjoying this study along with an amazing group of Jesus loving women!
    1. It breaks my heart to see those of you that have shared about being real causing you pain. Especially pain inflicted by the body. It does take courage and trust to be real and authentic and share your life with others. But I have seen Him take the ugly ashes of heartache and brokenness and use them for His glory over and lover again. I am no longer afraid to be real and share my life because I am healed and redeemed in Him! To God be the glory!
    2. Bitterness is difficult. I watched it destroy the life of someone dear to me and vowed to never walk that way. But it has a way of sneaking up on you, as has been stated already. Presently, my husband and I are having to deal with someone being bitter with us. Despite our best efforts to be fair and make amends, nothing is good enough. In those cases we have to turn it over to our Fathers hands and trust Him.
    3. I have not really dealt with what I would call persecution for my faith but I know firsthand the bitter taste of rejection and disapproval over it from those that should love and accept me the most. It is painful but I can honestly say that walking through those trials has made my faith stronger and my Jesus all the sweeter! He is faithful all the time!

  36. 236
    Lacy says:

    1. As God walked with me during a time of losing a baby recently, I have had the opportunity to share a new bond with people around me. I have had a chance to minister to them as they ministered to me also. Sharing my real life with others opened up new places of connecting with people in pain.
    2. Bitterness really creeps in and definitely steals away joy and any good that can come of your situation. For me, it came up when other’s neglect in areas, put more on my to do list. I realized, I needed to forgive and know God held me even with my increased responsibility. He was allowing it to grow me up in areas that needed growing. He was in control the whole time.
    3. I feel somewhat badly that I don’t have more extreme examples. Mine have come while working I had made comments about the Lord and people directly or indirectly have changed the subject quickly or have avoided me.

  37. 237
    Shannon says:

    Greetings ladies!

    1) I have been a youth and young adult minister for nearly 20 years. It was not only my job, but my absolute delight to share the Gospel and some of myself with those that I served. Authenticity is of utmost importance to me and sharing the highs and lows of my faith and life brings that to my ministry. A few of my earlier youth now have families of their own and we still stay in touch. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2) Bitterness makes for some very unhealthy boundaries. After some extremely challenging trials in all areas of my life, I am sometimes finding myself walking a fine line between boundaries and bitterness. The bitterness holds me prisoner while the boundaries give me freedom. God is working with me on both of these fronts, but I am afraid my stubborn heart is holding on to that bitterness. I still fear leaving myself vulnerable.

    Having said that, God has and is showing me the importance of being a peacemaker and the rewarding renewal of relationships that it can bring when you begin to let bitterness go. His patience has been amazing and truly loving and He is not wasting a single second of my growth.

    3) My persecution is nothing like what others have had to endure. Mine has come more in the form of disdain of others, lack of support from my family and friends who call themselves Christians but do not follow its teachings, and a general misunderstanding of what following Jesus means. I have even been accused of following a cult.

    It saddens my hear to see the attacks on Christianity that show up all over the internet. I have witnessed it on local facebook pages and there is such an anger and bitterness there it is disheartening and quite honestly, a bit frightening. It is so close to home…right in my own little town.

    But there is still and always hope in Christ.

  38. 238
    Amy says:

    1. In my college years, I was a part of several Bible studies that were so encouraging. My freshman year of college was such a dark time in my life, both emotionally and spiritually and being able to do life with these ladies is one of the things that the Lord used to pull me out of that pit.

    2. I just recently fought a long battle with bitterness but praise God, was able to overcome it, by His strength alone. I dated a guy this past fall and really out of nowhere, he just stopped talking to me. Things were made worse by the fact that we work together and see each other often. We still do not speak to this day. I was so hurt and so angry-especially since he had initiated the relationship. I was not only angry at him, but I was also angry at the Lord for even bringing him into my life. After many long months, I’ve thankfully gotten to the other side and been able to praise the Lord for his protection and provision in my life.

    3. My entire extended family (both sides) are not believers. My immediate family has been ostracized at times, made fun of and not included in things because of our faith i Christ. It has been hurtful at times, but Jesus is worth every bit of it.

  39. 239
    Kathie Mullins says:

    This has been very hard to put time aside to do this study so far, which as you know is all my fault, so I am behind! I plan on this week catching up so that next tues I can be more on the ball and sitting more comfortable with you all. So here goes;
    1. Divorce has been the hardest thing in my life to live with. I choose it, I did it, and I damaged ALL around me. What the devil can’t do anymore is make me keep quiet and feel ashamed…I have had the chance to talk to several women contemplating divorce and sharing deeply from my pain to allow them to see that the other side of divorce is worse that living with any hard marriage. My passion for hurting marriages has been used by God in many ways that I have had the pleasure to watch him work to his glory!
    2. I had carried bitterness around with me towards my x-husband for far to many years. God finally broke through to show me that the only one who is dying inside was me, my X didn’t even know about it. He was happy and content in his life and mine was a wreck until I let go of the bitterness I had for him.
    3. I can’t think that I have any hardships in my life because of my faith. I have lost friends because I wasn’t willing to do the things they were doing, or talk the way they were talking but I believe this to be more of a purifying procedure than any kind of persecution.
    I love this study and being a part of something that may be continents apart from one another. Power in covering the earth with God’s word and prayer. Go siestas!

  40. 240
    Hannah says:

    1. I’ve shared about God with one of the sellers at the farmers’ market last year after speaking to the person about many topics over the summer.
    2. I have a very forgiving heart and try not to be bitter because it really bothers my subconscious and I know God doesn’t like it.
    3. Growing up in a small town, I was called names for being a Christian by older students in the bus. My family took any children to church whose parents didn’t go. Now some of them still follow Christ. It was worth it.

  41. 241
    Cathy Smouse says:

    I’m just checking in. I don’t have any comments to add!

  42. 242
    Christabel says:

    I just finished my first two weeks of homework, and I am LOVING this study! Anyway, I am two weeks behind because I was late ordering and receiving my student book. Anyway …
    1. I actually feel like I have shared my life with people before and thought that I was sharing the Gospel with them as well, but I now acknowledge that I really have missed out on living and sharing the Gospel with people … my family, some of my friends, and most of the people here that I am meant to be “ministering” to. I think it may be due to some missing “pieces” I may have that I just learned about in the Session 3 video. I think I need to KNOW and BELIEVE God loves me well and truly before I can live that out to others and to communicate it to them. It’s kind of disappointing to realize that I really am much further “behind” in my knowledge and belief in the Lord than I presumed, even after about 17 years of being a Christian!!
    2. Ah bitterness … a subject in this study which shows me just how much God loves me and is truly trying to “parent” me through this particular study. I recently realized some bitterness I have towards some family members who I just feel like I don’t measure up to … and growing up as an only child, I never had to compare myself or feel like I was being compared to someone else … now, I have a brother & sister-in-law whom I am in ministry with … and I feel like I fall short, in their eyes sometimes, and most often in my own.
    3. Persecution is something I do not think I have truly faced … yet …

  43. 243
    Sarah Fisher says:

    I am woefully behind, but I hope to catch up before the next session.

    1. The only people I knew who were helped by personal testimony was the man who eventually converted…and became my husband, and a friend who is changing very very slowly.
    2. There was a time I was being abused and I was told it didn’t count because it was me.
    I spent the years it was going on very livid and occasionally bitter. (teenager) It was a huge relief to know that God would forgive me for my attitude and then help me fix it, it didn’t have to be the other way around.
    3. I ran into a great deal of nonphysically violent persecution in the college I went to. The simple statement that I was a Christian brought horrified looks and comments that included “But your supposed to be Smart!”. That statement lost me every friend I had except my future husband. I spent most of college and large parts of my graduate class fighting for Christianity against random accusations including vandalism and automatic, inherent incitement to murder. If something happened on campus they didn’t like they assumed it was Christian blockheads who did it. Actually they never used the word blockheads but I have a phobia about writing to typing the kinds of words they did use, even when it wasn’t cursing. Wow! I hadn’t realized I would get this angry! The college as a whole wasn’t necessarily that bad, but lots of parts were. I think I better go back to making sure I forgive those people. I thought I had–most were just not thinking. I am sorry, I hadn’t expected this to turn into a rant. There are a lot more Christians standing up now, there. My gift involves reaching out to a category of those people less directly. Again, I’m sorry that I went off.

  44. 244
    Allison says:

    …doing the Bible Study on my own from Scottsdale, AZ

    1. Without being an ‘over-sharer’ regarding my childhood victimization, suffice it to say that I have come to realize that sometimes other women can be helped by hearing what I went through. Throughout the last several years and through the completion of several Beth Moore Bible studies (both online and at different churches), I came to realize that the guilt and shame of what happened gave the power to the person who wronged me. When I opened up to others about my experiences, I felt a weight lifted that I had been carrying around for many years. I did not cause it, I didn’t deserve it, God did not condone it. I learned that sometimes adults who should be protecting children sometimes make bad choices. I am who I am because of what I went through…insecurities and all, but I refuse to have gone through this for no reason. I have tried to be a better wife, parent, sibling, friend, teacher etc. to prove the chain of abuse has forever been broken.

    2. Bitterness: After reading my answer to question one, it is safe to assume I’ve had to deal with bitterness towards the obvious: the adults. The ones that were involved, the ones I confided in that chose to keep silent, the ones that took advantage of my vulnerability, the ones that didn’t want to believe me, etc. My testimony: God was with me, believed me, cried every tear with me and wants me to believe I am worthy of being loved regardless of my past, present or future mistakes.

    3. Fortunately, persecution because of my Christian beliefs is not something I have had to deal with. There have been times where I felt I just don’t understand and interpret the Bible very well on my own in group settings, but I don’t believe more knowledgable studiers of the Bible intend to make others feel inept. It just takes the right mix of Bible verses and life-applicable examples to get through to some of us…which is exactly why I enjoy Beth Moore’s ( and other ) Bible Studies ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. 245
    Astrid says:

    1. I am in my 30’s and still becoming myself ๐Ÿ™‚ I have spent most of life paying attention to others and attending to their needs so it takes some intention to be open, authentic, and vulnerable. It’s easier to share and connect when my defenses are down, ie when i was going through a season of loss and grief, I observed that it was easier to share the gospel and right along with it came my truest self.
    2. I was confronted by my own bitterness in marriage counseling recently. I once again brought up old baggage… stuff i really thought i had forgiven/let go but apparently not to the point of keeping it out of the present. Mercy.
    3. I grew up in a conservative christian family in a communist country [East Germany]. Although generally tolerated, we were clearly outsiders and my first few years of school were filled with tension because our beliefs were in conflict with everything the school represented. My parents- both with strong trailblazer personalities- did not mind actively opposing the system but I was a sensitive child, a conflict avoider, and grew weary and ashamed of the constant questioning/ defending of the faith, a faith that had not truly become my own. It’s taken me years to process and release the shame that i associate with being a witness and to adopt a healthy, balanced view of what it means to stand up for your faith.

  46. 246
    Deborah says:

    1. My children and friends and family. I’ve been blessed to know Christ all my life and I want His Spirit to continue to grow in me and spill out on those around me.

    2. I’ve seen the effects of bitterness and I know it is something we want to root out. I find myself bumping into bits of bitterness that spring up and surprise me now and then. Praise God that He can conquer!

    3. I haven’t really faced strong opposition or persecution for my faith. We are blessed to live in a community that is still faithful.

    My daughter and I loved the video with Jackson and Annabeth! We laughed and laughed. Bring them again! It looks like you had a great week with them. We especially loved it when you asked Annabeth if she had a word. It so reminded us of my cousin’s daughter who is about that same age. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. 247
    Carol Walter says:

    I just watched week 4 (with my husband, BTW). I need to write down the oath we took to fire ourselves as God so i can repeat it out loud every morning.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    A confessed (and trying to reform) control freak!

  48. 248
    Chelsea Via says:

    Sorry I’m late in commenting. Thank you so much for this Bible study, Beth! The Lord is using this Bible study greatly in my life.
    I love you and your precious grandchildren! They are so sweet in this video:)

  49. 249
    Ginger Hawthorne says:

    Catching up after my computer got a virus. Sorry to be so late.
    1. While not exactly the case, this reminds me that every day I speak with a Jewish coworker. He is devoted to God and his beliefs but we always find opportunities to enlighten each other. I talk about Christ and the New Testament, he explains to me how he celebrates the Old Testament. I never thought I would do this with anyone and it’s really nice to bring some of Jesus into our work day and his life.
    2. Bitterness has reared its ugly head in my life twice – both surrounding my relationships with men that I thought I loved. The first, my husband and father of my two children, took 18 years to put behind me; the second, a man I thought I would marry, still flares but not often. Marriage is forever in my faith but it can only be so if both parties want it so. Fortunately my new husband knows this and is committed to both God and me! That’s what sweetened all of that bitterness!
    3. Fortunately I have not experienced persecution . . . so far, at least . . . and I hope it stays that way. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many believers.
    Thank you, Beth, for sharing yourself with us and leading us deeper into God’s journey! Amen

  50. 250
    Ginger Hawthorne says:

    Oops, I forgot to include . . . I was in Bible Study the night after Annabeth was born and it is a real joy to get to see both her and Jackson! Thank you for sharing them, also.

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