Nehemiah Online Bible Study Week 1

By July 2, 2012Nehemiah

Welcome back to online bible study, as we discuss week one (session one) from Nehemiah, a Heart That Can Break by Kelly Minter.  It’s been a busy week as we launched the Summer Bible Study, organized 650+ women into small groups and introduced ourselves via email or live Facebook chats.  By now you’ve settled into a habit of daily reading and are digging deep into the Word of God. This week our lesson centered on what makes a heart break. We saw in our study of Nehemiah how his heart was broken for God’s people, and this compassion inspired Nehemiah to move and take action. This week we’ll be discussing compassion in live Facebook chats so join us when it’s most convenient for your schedule. To see the chat schedule- click here

Were you convicted by your study to think about those people with broken walls who might need you? Did the lesson stir your own compassionate heart? As you recall, the first thing Nehemiah did when he felt compassion was to pray. He cried, he fasted and he went to the LORD for wisdom and direction. Clearly his purpose was God’s will and not his own. Kelly Minter writes  “sometimes the most accomplished people aren’t the ones with the most ability but with the most breakable hearts.”

Nehemiah was in conversation with the LORD through his prayers and discerning the LORD’s will for this situation. He was also unsure how to approach the king. Finally in chapter two he says…

I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire? ”

 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king… Nehemiah 2:3-5 NIV

When I read this I stopped on the words “Then I prayed to the God of heaven.” I’m unsure if Nehemiah left the room and prayed silently, of if he dropped to his wobbly knees before the king and prayed to his one true King. Did he shout a prayer, pray silently or shed a whisper and a tear? In that short time frame, a cupbearer servant of the king was able to rise above his status and earn favor with both king and queen. It’s a powerful moment in history….orchestrated by compassion and obedience to God.

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Assignment For Next Week

  • Discuss Session One
  • Watch  Video Session Two (optional due to cost)
  • Complete Session Two in your book.
  • Check in with your small group
  • Join a live chat discussion (optional) for schedule –click here

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
  2. What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )
  3. Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 )
  4. Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week?
  5. If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

In Him,

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She’s an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

More posts by Christine Abraham

Join the discussion 110 Comments

  • Kristy-Leigh Tatum says:

    Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggles of another person? How did this affect you?

    I have been led down the road to study peoples struggles thay have faced in the past in events like the Holocaust or in todays time with racism, and other forms of hate. This has made me more of a compassonate, loving person, and when I am through and reicieve my MA next year I desire to teach college courses that wil teach my students of other peoples struggles in order to make them more compassionate and loving.

    • Christine Smith says:

      What a great calling Kristy! May the Lord bless your teaching and may your words bear fruit in others.

  • Heidi says:

    I am terrible for opening myself up to others struggles and then resenting them for burdening me. I don’t want to be this way.

    • cynthia says:

      Pray in your heart that the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say when you come across someone that is going through a struggle.

  • Jennifer D says:

    4. Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week? No I didn’t get a chance to buy the ingredients as of yet.
    5. If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study. The first is time line on page 13. In addition, the fun fact on page 31.

  • Carin says:

    Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you?

    I recently said good-bye to a work colleague who passed away suddenly. I went to the hospital not believing she was actually going to pass. I brought my bible because I wanted to make sure she knew the lord as her savior. She had asked me about my faith in January 2012 and I didn’t follow through. When I got to the hospital she had just been put on morphine. I lost my chance as she barely knew I was there. This affected me greatly. Never miss an opportunity and always follow through when someone asks.

    What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so?

    I loved this part of the study as it was a good awaking for me.. I never repent daily in my prayers. Now that I know I have to remind myself. I think of things & situations and not my daily struggle with sin.

    Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned?

    Yes, in ministry!. I was sure I knew what God wanted me to do and I was so unprepared with a leadership that I was given that I blew it.

    Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week?
    No, I just left 100 degree weather. The thought of baking or cooking was way out of sight

    If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    I did the study of Ruth by Kelly. I really like how she gets us to understand the person. Nehemiah being a cupbearer was fascinating to me. I sell wine and have for 20 years. He took his life in his own hands by tasting the wine that could have been poison. That is how the of glasses or “toast ing” started long ago. You clinked your glasses so that the wine would get into the others glass and they would know if it was poison.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Wow Carin….that is a difficult experience to go through. You showed courage in visiting her at the hospital, and you were there to pray over her, not necessarily with her. May your testimony encourage others to watch and listen for Divine Appointments. I hope you fail forward in your ministry and don’t let the enemy discourage you.

  • Christina Shubert says:

    I try to open myself up to the struggles to others. I enjoy helping other people. I do sometimes feel sad that I do not always have a major outlet to serve. After week one, I have determined that I will be more conscious of how I can serve God and others in small ways. Day to day life offers me opportunities to be a blessing but sometimes I forget.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Over time the LORD will set Divine Appointments before you. Set your heart to watch for them. 🙂

  • Jessica G says:

    1) Yes, I have opened up myself to another person’s struggle. It made me more appreciative for what I have in my life. It has made me stop thinking of all the negatives and start thinking of all the positives.
    2) I have to say that repentance sometimes plays a huge part in my prayer life and then other times it plays a small part. It has shown me that I need to have repentance in my prayer life more often than what it is.
    3) I have had many visions of what I want to do in my life since I am currently going to college. Now, that I am growing closer to God and watching my daughter grow. I have so many ideas of what I want to do but only God will tell me in the future which path to take.
    4) No, I did not try to cook any of the meals. My husband does not like enchiladas.
    5) My favorite moments about this week is how much I am growing in my faith and how it makes me look forward to learn more about God and wanting to be a christian.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I’m glad you are enjoying the study and noticing a difference in your faith. It’s why I find Bible study so fascinating…the more I read, the deeper I fall in love with God.

  • Shatara says:

    Where is the complete bible study for week 1? Is the assignment to read Nehemiah’s journey?

    • Christine Smith says:

      You need to read week 1 in the book Nehemiah by Kelly Minter. The study is there, and we share a weekly summary and group discussion. If you don’t have the book then read Nehemiah chapters 1-3 and you’ll be on track with us.

  • Cindy H says:

    1) As an educator and school counselor for 31 years, my life revolved around the struggles of other people. It was SO important that I met with God every morning to get my marching orders for that day! It was the only way that I could survive some of the sad situations involving my kids at school. I knew that God was their only answer. Many times the kids would bring up their faith, and we would talk about how He would sustain them.
    Loving this Bible Study!

    • Christine Smith says:

      I like the idea of the LORD’s “marching orders” Cindy…what a great attitude of servanthood. 🙂

    • Celeste says:

      I love the description is being prepared as a teacher. I find this to be so true. Prayer helps the day be all that God has prepared for the class room of His children including the teacher. Thank you for your post I consider it joy to read here. Celeste

  • Jen D. says:

    2. I come from a very strict legalistic background and repentance was always something that had a very negative and almost condescending connotation. There was a lot of guilt, shame, and a sense of false openness. I often rebelled against that and as a result would believe the little lies that Satan would tell me. In the 12 yrs that I’ve not been in that environment, I now grasp the real meaning behind repentance. In Romans 8.1-2 it says there’s no condemnation for those in Jesus. In Colossians 3.2, repentance is a mind shift. Our hearts and minds need to not only recognize that there needs to change, but admit it as sin and then change. My pastor last week said that the only acceptable form of apology is change. We can say all we want God I’m so sorry. I’ll never do it again, but until we change and stop the behavior, we’re not truly repentant.

    5. I learned so much about me. I’m the type of person to so much seek others approval, that I won’t do things that I want to. I’m also learning that I’m called to do things that are just for me. I don’t need to compare myself to others and feel like I’m not enough to serve.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Repentance bathed in love is different than repentance bathed in shame. One is from the LORD and one is from the flesh.

  • Mary Beth Floyd says:

    Been under Spiritual Warfare this week as little satan tries to keep me too busy to do this, but yet here I am. I hope he is hopping mad!
    1. Yes, in the past few years I’ve been working with two recovery ministries leading 12 step groups and open share groups. This really opens you up to others’ intense pain. Pains of substance addictions, sexual abuse, eating disorders, feelings of despair and unworthiness, etc. Helping others on their recovery journey renews my awe at God’s incredibly loving and tender responses to his children. It renews my resolve to turn to God first with problems, joys, everything. Teaching others to armour up and develop a quiet time with God makes me feel so blessed to already have that. I get so much more than I give, and it does make me such a thankful person. I always go home blessed, yet very drained, because loving on people that are hurting takes a part of you when you really care. I’m a former “control freak” so it’s hard to not try to fix them but instead to wait for God’s timing.
    2. Wow ~ this hit me like a ton of bricks. I do stop when I become aware of things I’m doing and ask for forgiveness, and this is a small part of my prayer time, but you have made me realize I don’t take enough time with this and confess them as sins. I do ask God for help with this, but don’t verbally say this is a sin. Thank you for the conviction!!
    3. Yes, God has changed many things in my life. I’m pretty headstrong. I wanted to be a nurse and help others ~ God wanted me to be a teacher and planted me in a very needy school. I wanted to plant a Women’s Ministry in our church ~ God wanted me to plant a children’s ministry. I wanted my son’s addiction to be fixed immediately ~ God wanted me to wait and trust because the 4 year journey would bring us all closer to God.I wanted to change my husband ~ God wanted to change my heart toward my husband. Do you see a pattern here? lol
    5. My favorite moments were moments of conviction when I realized I am compassionate towards everyone except my husband! He is bipolar and acts on impulse, making it hard to trust him at times. This is a great source of hurt, frustration and anger, but God is showing me my heart needs to break for him, also. I feel very uplifted by the fellowship of this wonderful study. I’m just on a spiritual high! Thank you!

  • Rhoda says:

    1. Yes, I have opened up to another person’s struggle and have found that each time I have my faith has been stretched and strengthened.

    4. Just made gingersnaps recipe and shared with family. They were very yummy and with wholesome ingredients!!

    Not sure if I respond here and small group or small group only or both….

    • Christine Smith says:

      I made the cookies too and they disappeared in an hour…all 24 of them! My kids thought they were “too salty” and said they “leave an after taste” in your mouth. I realize its the ginger and might try a different brand of ginger or use a tad less. 😉

  • Jessica says:

    1) I have opened myself up to the struggles of one of my family members. She had a stem cell transplant last year to try to cure her cancer. She is cancer free and still recovering from the transplant. This experience taught me to care about the suffering and those in need.

    4) No, but the recipes look and sound delicious!

  • Kelly Anne says:

    1.Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
    I have actually opened myself up to my husband a couple of times. I am a new Christian (was saved on March of this year) and I was anxious to share with him. He is already very much a Christian, but I think me opening up to him made him feel better about us and our marriage. He is very proud of me and I think I made him tear up a bit when I was testifying to him.

    2.What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )
    Repentance has played a very large part of my life. I have never truely been a Christian and there was so many things I was doing that I felt I could do just because I WASN’T a Christian if that makes any sense. I’ve been repenting on the fact that I shut Jesus out of my life for so long. So, as a new Christian, I think repentance is playing a huge role in my life.

    3.Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 ) Not yet, but I am looking forward to this moment!

    4.Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week? Not yet. This is another sweet moment I’m looking forward to!

    5.If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    I really like how she compares great compassion to a “breaking heart”. Since she has described it this way, I’ve come to realize that that it is so true when you feel great compassion for someone or something-your heart truely breaks!

    • Christine Smith says:

      What a blessing to share your heart for the LORD with your husband. I wonder if he was praying for you to come to love Jesus the way he does! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the lesson about a breaking heart..

  • Sally says:

    Opening my self up to the struggle of another person, I feel is the art of listening. I have done this in the past since I am a Stephen Minster. Listening and then praying with that person is compassion. When you just hear what the other person is going through it can also inspire you to look at your own life, and see what needs to be changed. No have not made the enchiladas or the ginger snaps but both receipes look really good!!!! lol I think the favorite moment for me was digging into all the questions that Kelly presented and she really presented it from Nehemiah’s point of view. I am looking forward to wek two. And was also glad I could help get a book to another lady. That truely made my week!!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Thank you for showing compassion to another member of the Womens Bible Cafe and offering her a free book. It really does make a difference.

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Sally, I have been a Stephen Minister for over three years now and I completely agree with what you have written here. I like how in Stephen Ministry we are trained to show compassion and listen with love, but we can’t get in the “mud pit” with those we are caring for or we will not be able to minister in a way that is loving and supporting.

  • Angie says:

    3. Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29)

    When God called me back into relationship with Him in the fall of 2008 I was gung-ho wanting to lead bible studies and forge new frontiers for Him. He has used time, trials, tribulations, frustrations, and difficult circumstances to calm me down tremendously and is teaching me daily to just seek Him and watch what He does.

    5. If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    Something that stood out to me this week when reading Nehemiah 1:5-11 (page 15) was how specific Nehemiah was in his confession of his and all of the Israelites sins. He was specific to say exactly what they had and had not done and that it was against God that they had sinned. I often catch myself generalizing or glossing over my sin and needed this example and reminder to call my sin for what it is and admit who it’s against.

  • Karen says:

    Repentance—So often we feel really bad about a sin that we did, we feel very ashamed. But that is not true repentance. I feel I have only truly repented when I have these feelings and then make a commitment or conscious effort to change. That’s true repentance!
    It is so true that our culture doesn’t place a lot of emphasis on sin, evil, and wickedness. Our culture doesn’t want the rigid constraints of being told what is right or wrong. I pray for a change in our culture, that eyes may be opened to right and wrong!

  • Sheree Poole says:

    Repentence plays such an important role in my prayer life because my heart needs to be right with God before I continue in the body of my prayer. It’s the way I begin my prayers, to ask God to reveal to me anything that I need to confess and repent of. And He is always faithful to bring to my heart and mind something I haven’t dealt with. I also love the Psalm 139:23-24 that Linda shared in her post. What an awesome Psalm to pray back to God in our prayer time!

    One thing that stood out to me in this study is the fact that Nehemiah was persistent in his prayer….he prayed for four months day and night. And then he waited on his answer from the Lord…he was patient and waited! This was convicting to me because I’m not that patient to wait 4 days much less 4 months. I plan to put this into practice in my prayer life….to be persistent and patient and wait on the Lord. And I will pray for the Lord to help me be persistent and patient and to wait on Him.

    This is an awesome Bible study 🙂

    • Christine Smith says:

      We microwave everything in our society, even prayers. We need to slow down and practice what Nehemiah did….great point Sheree!

  • Lisa H says:

    1. Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
    I’m not sure this counts, but the prayer wall I have was a desire I’m sure God put on my heart. I update it all the time, adding and subtracting as He moves me. But to be honest, there is so many things I don’t remember “how they started”. Once I begin something, and am “working it” (mostly long term items), I’m wrapped up in what I’m doing (i.e. the prayer wall). Maybe I don’t think the way it started is relevant any longer since I’m “doing it”. Its more about what’s going on now, rather than what happened before. Or … maybe I’m just weird.

    2. What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )
    I used to not repent in my intercessory prayers (I hardly ever pray for myself). However, God convicted me after reading scripture – to mimic the way prayers begin in scripture. So now I do it. The benefits = I have found that if I am honest and truthful in the repentance (which I try to do at the beginning of my dialogue with God) the rest of the prayers “flow” and I “remember” things I don’t have on the wall that need to be there, AND there is a peace during the whole process.

    3. Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 )
    The prayer wall is different than what I had in my head for personal prayer time. It is actually better than my original plan 🙂

    4. Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week?
    I did not, however the recipes look good.

    5. If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    I found it very cool that I was able to recognize scripture and answer a couple questions without reading the scripture first! Since I have read thru the bible in 90 days twice this year (and will do it 2 more times this year) recognizing scripture and stories have really been more available, or “in the forefront” of my mind. I am blessed God gave me the desire to do this.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I saw your prayer wall photo on Facebook and was quite impressed! This is something I need to do!!! 🙂

  • Andi B says:

    It happened again!!! I almost finished my responses and hit a key that got rid of EVERYTHING!!!!

    Let’s try this again…

    Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )

    I often open myself to the struggles of people I know. Substance abuse issues, marriage issues, legal issues (thankfully not the same person or at the same time!) It is humbling, sometimes frightening and, when things get better, it is gratitude-inspiring, Thanks to God!!!!

    What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )

    Oh my… I often offer repentance… I’m quite aware that I am a flawed person in need of forgiveness. I recall once, being in tears, so sure that I was beyond hope for marriage and children. I knelt and begged God to forgive me my sins and missteps. I didn’t open my eyes to find myself partnered with 6 kids, but I did feel calmer and lighter. And I knew that whatever happened, I had been heard.

    Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 )

    Vision… i don’t know. I just know that I’ve always been driven to write. At this point, though I was sure it was my calling, I wonder it or how I’m supposed to do it. I wonder if there’s another step I have to take before I find God’s story.

    Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week?

    Not yet… but I probably will!!!

    If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study

    It was nice to see parts of the study where I’d noted people’s names: The friend who is the strongest voice for Christ, the friend who is always in my prayers. I think I especially liked Nehemiah’s patience and persistence in prayer. I am very like the author…more comfortable taking action. It’s nice to know that this personality trait can be tempered and that I can learn to let myself be led by God. (Not easy for someone who lived by the prayer: “God grant me patience… RIGHT NOW!!”) 🙂

  • Karen says:

    I was so impressed by Nehemiah’s faith. I didn’t feel I knew much about Nehemiah before this study, but from the first few verses, I have learned that he has a close relationship with God. God is someone that Nehemiah wants to pattern his life after. His concern for others shows this clearly. Think about your own “best friend”. That person is the person that you go to first when you need to talk to someone, whether it be a praise situation or a sticky problem area. Nehemiah goes to God first–no hesitations! Nehemiah wouldn’t think of going anywhere else first–and He does so immediately.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I like reading verse by verse and digging into Nehemiah. Kelly Minter makes us stop and see the fine details…

  • Lauren says:

    1.Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
    I do this with my students. As adults returning to college, have so much going on in their lives- family, work, financial obligations, etc… it makes my head spin. Sometimes all they need is a listening ear and I try to be that for them.
    2.What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )
    I must admit I wrote that it didn’t have much. I’m starting to think that God’s wanting me to focus on my prayer life through this study… we’ve been talking about prayer at church, and then tonight I went to Bible STudy and the preacher talked about… Nehemiah. He got through the first 5 chapters, talking about how everytime Nehemiah was faced with something he prayed. I don’t do that… I let “me” get in the way and make a big mess. I also identified with what Kelly talked about regarding big vs. little sins… that sometimes because my sin isn’t “big sin” I don’t need to focus on it so much… which is totally wrong! Sin is sin, whether it be “big’ sin or my pride and gossiping…and it separates me from God!
    I have really enjoyed this study. The online chats that I’ve got to participate in have been great. Keep up the good work!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Sounds like conviction to me! I too am enjoying the online chats…what a blessing it has been.

  • Debra Sellars---Group 39 "CLAY" says:

    I am also encouraged by Nehemiah’s stolid and grounded courage to wait and “be still” before asking the King what to do. Being “still” is VERY HARD for me….I am definitely a TYPE A (extro-vert) person who often finds herself all knotted up inside because she stays too busy busy busy, and often it’s seeing about others’ needs and ignorning my own. We can busy ourselves with a lot of “good” things…but I want the “best” thing God has for me. He promises us that in Jeremiah 29:11.
    After my divorce five years ago, I felt like a shattered puzzle–some pieces I have put back together (being a good mom, a teacher, daughter, and friend)….but some are still missing or maybe just not in the right place.
    Once one divorces, nothing is the same. Everything is different. One has to pray and seek God’s guidance and will during these valleys in order to put the pieces of his/her life (puzzle) together as HE wants. And often, I do not KNOW what HE wants……:~(.
    I am trying daily to seek his guidance with prayer and being “still.”
    However, most days I feel like I am in a canoe that is drifting aimlessly in the middle of the ocean; I have my hands on the oars, ready to row, but do not know in what direction to row…..so just as Nehemiah waited, I will contonue to wait and listen.
    I just so crace to be plugged into what ministry HE desires for me. I also sing and that’s always been a huge part of my worship and my soul…..and that too seems just to be a piece of the puzzle that I can’t make fit again…..everything just seems all mixed up right now……but as I mentioned earlier, I do have some of the solid pieces together….I love being a mom, a daughter, a friend and a Jesus lover. He is my strength and refuge. He is MY STRONG TOWER. I will continue in my canoe, with my arms ready to row……

    • Christine Smith says:

      Thank you for your testimony and sharing your heart. Praying for all single moms and the job is difficult yet the rewards eternal. Pray constantly for your children and pray for the LORD to direct your steps.

  • Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

    Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
    Yes it was very humbling for me.
    What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )
    Repentance plays an important role in my prayer life.
    Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned?
    (page 29 )
    Oh, yes. Very different. But I won’t go into it here.
    M. Waters

  • Jamie says:

    1. Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
    I have opened myself up to a few teenagers in our youth group through the years that were struggling with one thing or another. I was able to share my own self esteem problems that I have had to work through having not grown up in a Christian home, my parents’ divorce, my sexual abuse, the list goes on and on. I know now that because of my own struggles I can come along side someone else that is struggling and let them know they aren’t the only one and God has blessed me for my willingness to share this heart-wrenching stories with others.
    2. What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )
    Through the past couple years, repentance as a parent has been very important. I want my kids to know that yes mom herself is not perfect and sometimes I have to apologize to them and to God for my actions. I only hope that as my kids witness my repentant heart they too, will learn when they do something wrong all they need to do is come to the person and God and tell them what you did and MEAN it. God will forgive our offenses. Another person may not then depending on what was done, but God will definitely show his Grace on us.
    3. Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 )
    Yes, yes, and yes. We had taken in my teenage cousin a couple years ago that had a LOT of baggage. My experience lead me to believe I could help her. What I didn’t expect was she didn’t want my help and what she was doing to me and my entire family was something I never anticipated. It is with a heavy heart that my husband and I finally came to a point where we knew we couldn’t take it anymore. I had to speak with her grandmother, my aunt, to see if she would be willing/able to take her. Needless to say she was overjoyed that we asked and God had this plan all along. Unfortunately, my cousin didn’t see it that way and will not talk to my husband or I. That has been one of the most difficult things to date I had to do. Telling her we couldn’t continue to care for her but that we loved her still very much. My children had a hard time with her leaving, but their behavior has gone back slowly to where it should have been. I guess I didn’t realize how much she influenced my children until she left.

    • Christine Smith says:

      We’ve had a similar experience in helping a troubled teen, and in a short time my own children had adopted her colorful vulgar language, her deceit towards adults and her disrespect for others. Like you, we had to terminate the relationship as it influenced our children in the wrong direction. My teen daughter tried to help a similar friend at Christian camp, and terminated the relationship when the teen girl stole $60 from her purse and then lied to the pastor about it.

      • Jamie says:

        Christine, It took me a long time to realize I hadn’t failed, which honestly I felt as if I did. I felt guilt for the relief of not having her in the house no longer. I still think I have a long way to go. She left in February and we are leaving for our first family vacation since she left on friday. I feel bad that she is not here to spend it with us, but relief that I can enjoy with no worries.

        Jamie

        • Christine Smith says:

          You left imprints on her heart of being a Christian woman. It may not have value to her right now, however when she is an adult and seeking God she may remember her time with you. Keep praying for her and break any generational strongholds in her life through prayer.

    • Lauren says:

      I know exactly what you mean about wanting your kids to understand… I tell my little boy all the time that Mama is just a big old mess that needs Jesus!

  • bonnie long says:

    SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS WEEK 1
    1. Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )

    God blessed me beyond my wildest dreams to have a small part in starting a couple of orphanages in Kenya.

    2. What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )

    This trial has reminded me to try to daily look for sins and to ask God to show me the sins i am unaware of in my life.

    3. Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 )

    right now my marriage. Also i was going to bring 3 Kenyans over here at the end of the month for workshops. That has certainly fallen through.

    4. Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week?

    i guess one blessing of this trial is i’m finally loosing the weight i’ve been praying over. i’ve lost around 15 pounds, amazing how fast it drops away when food makes you nauseous.

    5. If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    Nehemiah’s prayer and the study on prayer effected me deeply. It led me to this intercessory prayer request – i have been so blessed by my Lord’s infinite graces and mercies. Every single morning there has been a Bible study lesson or devotion that has spoken directly to me for that day. i’ve not searched even once, i have simply read the study for the day or opened the offered link and He revealed His word to me. Isn’t He amazing! i have also never understood and heard the Holy Spirit as i do now. i thank the Lord and praise His Holy Name. During this trial i’ve had the time and reason to study the precepts of Biblical marriage. i have learned a lot and see the worm holes the enemy has been able to bore in our marriage. i ask that you pray first for the will of God. Ask, if it be His will, to remove satan’s oppression from our marriage and restoration of the relationship. More importantly, ask for a hedge of protection around the both of us and to draw us ever closer in our respective walks with Him. Please pray for God to reveal and renew Himself within us each day. Please pray for our walk with the Lord. i thank you for your prayers and love.

    • Christine Smith says:

      As I read Nehemiah I have been thinking of you and remembering your calling. Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Congratulations on losing the 15 pounds…:-)

      • bonnie long says:

        Thank you Christine. i wouldn’t recommend the diet 🙂 i think your way is much better and i congratulate you for your weight loss and lifestyle adjustments

        • Christine Smith says:

          It’s a slow weight loss for me…I’ve failed every quick-fix diet I’ve attempted. I am really pleased with Weight Watchers as I’m learning a lifestyle of healthy habits.

  • Lisa says:

    My favorite moment is from day 1 when she said she shields herself from finding out whats going on with people for fear she might be held responsible The Lord showed me that that’s what ive been doing for awhile now , thru health issues and having sad things happen ( being diagnosed with lupus and be really sick for 2 1/2 years, my sister in law who was one of my best friends and someone i could talk about anything with dieing from breast cancer, my daughter getting married and moving to CA and just having a baby 2 months ago, the heart ache of not seeing and helping her and the baby, and my son who walked away from the Lord) . I just shut down and felt I had nothing to offer and to be honest I didnt really want to offer anything. The result was that I was miserable. I sought God to change me and He just happen to have me google online bible studies the day Nehemiah started so i jumped in and He has really shown me alot, that all my problems are no reason for not getting involved and reaching out. Hes already had me get involved with a couple of things and I can feel my spirit coming alive again!! Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!! He was so faithful even thru all my sorrow and gave me 2 amazing grandchildren and my kids having amazing spouses and he blessed me through out but I was just focused on the bad stuff and not on Him . I’m not doing that anymore!! Its a waste of time!

    • Christine Smith says:

      You have so much to offer Lisa…the enemy has been weighing down your heart with oppression. Don’t let him steal your joy! When it happens again, rebuke the Devil and put him behind you. Keep your eyes on the things above.

  • Kelly Sylvia says:

    * A favorite moment from this week’s study

    Day 5 where Kelly writes “our passions intersect God’s will for us.” (pg. 28)
    Earlier this year I completed the Beth Moore: Breaking Free, The Journey, The Stories through WBC and was changed forever. I’ve had a passion and desire in my heart since I was a child to have 4 children, whether biological or through adoption. I have 3, 2 of my own and 1 stepson. My husband is so done that 2.5 years ago he had a vasectomy that I confidently and with full peace of mind agreed to. I told him I couldn’t “get fixed” myself because I just couldn’t commit to being done, but I would support his decision. For the next two years I beat myself up believing I was selfish for wanting more kids and not being satisfied with my family as it was. The sad part is I didn’t even realize I was doing this. Let me stress, I FULLY supported His decision, and felt the issue was mine to deal with. In February of this year my husband changed his tune and started researching reversal. He did this on his own and didn’t tell me until he was confident. Wow!!! I was shocked. At this point I was participating in the Breaking Free Study and coincidentally *wink wink* on the part that spoke of our dreams given by God.
    This brings us to now: Day 5 of this study where “our passions intersect God’s will for us.” We have not moved forward with a reversal yet and I am still awaiting God’s full revelation regarding this matter. I battle with trying for our own child, which my husband (unsaved) says is the only option, or continuing to dream of adoption. I know this is wordy, but its relative I promise! This week’s lessons opened my heart and helped me see how the next child in our life, regardless of how they enter could carry out the passions I’ve had and that is okay. I don’t have to convince my husband of adoption, but because I have a sincere and whole-hearted desire to adopt and care for another child of God I am in God’s grace. He opened my husband’s heart to another child, he will provide and fulfill his promise of the passion and desire he has laid on my heart. It may not be they way I planned it, but when finished it will be a beautifully and perfectly made puzzle made whole.God is AWESOME!

    Continuing in a season of Prayer,
    Kelly O

    • Christine Smith says:

      Beautiful story Kelly…thank you for sharing how God is working in your heart and marriage. Continue to pray, like Nehemiah, and see where the LORD leads you in this area. I love knowing that His vision is years ahead of ours…as the LORD watches His children grow in faith and love.

  • Linda says:

    A couple of years ago a group of us did a Bible Study called The Pursuit of Holiness. It was an excellent study and a part of the study focused on Psalm 139:23-24 (Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.) I put those verses on a sheet of paper and hung it where I could see it everyday. When I speak to the Father I want to make sure there is nothing between us that would get in the way. Repentance is very important to me as part of my prayer life. Ever since that study, I have incorporated those verses into my prayers.

    I am impressed by Nehemiah’s patience and his faith. He spent several months praying and waiting for God to direct him before finally approaching the king. And then once things started to work out, Nehemiah’s faith in God’s provision just kept growing.

    • Christine Smith says:

      What a great idea to being your prayers with this verse! Thank you for sharing your story with us Linda.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I just added this book to my Amazon shopping cart and will evaluate it for a future study here at the Womens Bible Cafe. Thanks for recommending it!

      • Sheree Poole says:

        I just previewed this book “The Pursuit of Holiness” and what an awesome Bible study this will be…it is full of Scripture on Holiness. Because we are all called to be holy just as He is Holy…Leviticus 11:45. Thanks for sharing, Linda 🙂

        • Christine Smith says:

          I put it into my Amazon cart, came back later to add more items and the books disappeared. I’m glad you posted this because now I can go back a 2nd time and get those books. This time I’m using the “buy now” button!!! There seems to be some spiritual warfare in keeping this book out of my hands…so I’m more determined than ever to get them now. 🙂 🙂

  • Louise Krasowski says:

    What opened my eyes after studying this first session was how often I try and handle difficult situations myself instead of doing what Nehemiah did which was turn to God and pray. I know I trust God completely but have to learn to be patient and wait upon him.

    • Christine Smith says:

      It’s common for modern women to be independent and depend on self…so we often miss the opportunity to seek wisdom from the LORD. I can see this study has already opened your heart to the idea of seeking Him and letting the LORD lead you.

  • Sue Alice says:

    1. Yes, have open up myself to the struggle of another person? It was hard to do so, because I really did not know what to say or help that person. Just give them advice, pray for them, and be with them during the struggle. Let them ask me questions and I try the best I could to answer them. Not think what the struggle was about, and give alot of opinions. Just listen and be there for them.

    2. What does the role of repentance play in your prayer life? A bunch, as I have alot of issues to deal with, and I feel as unresolve sin in my life. My prayer life is not what it should me either.

    3. Have you ever had a vision to do something for God…….I know there is something there, but cannot place my mind on it.

    4. No cooking…sorry.

    5. Compassion and prayer.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Thanks for sharing your answers Sue. I pray you will break the stronghold of unresolved sin.Let Jesus heal by his wounds.

  • Amy S. says:

    2.What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )

    Just one week of this study alone has really opened my eyes to so many areas in my life, including my prayer life. Repentance has been in the background of my prayer life, and I see now that it needs to have a main role. As Kelly Minter says in Session 2, “When we understand the degree of our sin, that is the only time that we can understand the degree of God’s mercy and His love.” So if I’m not repenting in prayer, I’m not open to receive God’s mercy to the extent that He wants to give it.

    This morning when I woke up, I just got it. All of these lightbulbs were flashing in my mind with the material from this study. I thank God for that! But now, what to do with this knowledge? The last thing I want is to go through this study and at the end of it just go back to the way things were before–put a check mark next to the Nehemiah study and then onto the next…I am praying about what it is that God wants me to do. It’s unclear to me at this point. I have so many things in MY heart, but I don’t know what’s in His.

    Today when I began week 2, I felt God speaking to me when Kelly said that “sometimes God drops a dream in our hearts that we must pray over and develop, that we must cultivate by His word and direction before we share it with others.” This comforted me, because after day 5 of last week, my Type A personality couldn’t shake that it was unclear what God was putting in my heart. I felt like I needed to know right then. But today, I believe God is calling me to continually be in prayer about it right now. Maybe He will work to develop something in me for awhile. After all, I’ve started things and not finished them time and time again… I always love the planning stages, but I have trouble with the follow-through. So, I wonder if God is going to spend longer on me to prepare my heart to go the distance with His plan–so I can be sure of His presence in it. So I will keep repenting, keep praying, keep in His Word.

    • Christine Smith says:

      What a testimony of how Bible study can not only touch our lives, it can impact our hearts. I’m so glad you were open and willing to share this with us…its very encouraging. Thank you Amy

  • Elizabeth says:

    1.Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
    Yes, it affects me profoundly and I struggle to find the Lord’s peace in the midst of mine and other’s suffering

    3.Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 ) Yes, quite often! In fact, things never seem to go according to MY plans and that is a good thing! God’s plans are always so much better!

    4.Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week? No, they looked yummy though!

    Thanks for all the efforts for this stody! I am enjoying it!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Thanks for sharing your answers Elizabeth. I hope you enjoy week two also! Good study so far…..

  • Cindy says:

    I opened myself up to someone stuck , but they were in recovery, I was an accountability partner, and was struggling myself with something different, but I agreed to be the one in the group who would call each week to check on how the person was doing, and pray for them then and throughout specific times of the week. I became involved further and our family provided food and other things. I had compassion of this person and her family and saw her as more than just a damaged person who might not be trustworthy, but got to know her as a person, and found out her heart towards her circumstances, and God, I wept for her and with her. I got to and wanted to know how I could pray for her family members. Most of this happened over the phone, except when I made a delivery of food or toiletries. I was inspired, and experienced joy while giving. My husband and I struggled with our own social inadequacies in getting to know them, we knew that getting involved and reaching out to someone we didn’t know know could be risky, but we decided to trust the Lord. I found out later after we were no longer involved with this person and her family, that others in my group had helped her in the same way as our family had. Eventually after a few months of thinking this person was doing good, this person went back to the addiction, and we had little experience with it, so we didn’t know what we were dealing with, they ended up getting us to do something for a different reason then they said they needed help for. It was against our conscience. Since this person was a Christian and we got to meet her sweet family, our hearts felt compassion for her and her family, we saw the value in the children and the talents God had given them, and the insight, but they were almost poor. We thought we must help out, at the time, but we knew at that point we could no longer help,and just prayed.
    We have stero-types of people and think they are the way we’ve been told,
    until we hear their heart the way God does, then we are drawn to them, and love them.
    The person asked for forgiveness , which we were very willing to give, she was getting the much needed help and facing some things is what she told us over a phone message we recieved. friendship. I sent a card of encouragement ,saying we were praying and at this time we felt it was better to have a friendship at a distance., To be involved at that time, would be a place we didn’t need to be, there were serious family decisions that needed to be made by them that didn’t involve us. Now there needed to be family boundaries. Sorry it ended up that way. I needed to grow in the Lord more.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Sometimes you only need to be in someone’s life for a season of compassion, just to reveal the LORD to her…and then the Holy Spirit will convict you to move on. Other times you might need to be there longer. As long as the Holy Spirit leads your heart and you pray over the matter, you will not be misled by your compassion.

  • Elisabeth R says:

    I was touched by how deeply Nehemiah felt compassion. I want to care that much. I want to feel deeply compassion for those around me. I am enjoying this study. I am excited to see what I learn this week.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I was touched by his willingness to pray for a nation. For me its easy to pray for an individual or a group…but for an entire nation…Yikes! I can see the LORD will be working on me in this area of compassion.

  • Sharon Lewis says:

    I had only responnded earlier about how the study impacted me, but here are the answers to the questions I shared in my small group. To answer the first question, I have had a recent situation in which I have been able to share in the struggle of a lady that is going through what I had gone through myself just a few years ago. It was a time I thought my life was over, and that is how she is feeling right now. My heart breaks for her, and I empathize with her pain. However, I also felt such gratification to offer hope to her because of the amazing ways in which God has restored my life since then. It feels so wonderful to encourage someone else.

    In my prayer life, repentance is a major part. A long time ago, it was because I lived in fear that I would be condemned if God found one sin in my life. There was a constant state of guilt. However, I have come such a long way and have learned a lot about God’s grace and mercy and the truth about salvation. Now, I have such a love and reverence for God that I want more than anything to please Him. When I repent, it is because I want to bring Him honor with my life and be purged from anything that is not like Christ. I have such a yearning to serve Him, and I don’t want anything to distract me from hearing His voice clearly. I love the emphasis in the study of God’s kindness bringing us to repentance. That is so true!

    The third question is a bit more involved for me to answer, so I’ll try to condense it. Since I was very young, I knew I was called into mininstry. I thought I would be a famous Christian singer one day, and I longed to proclaim the gospel and touch hearts through music. However, God has really fine-tuned my dreams since then. I began having an intense yearn to teach, and that has surpassed my desire to sing. He has also molded my character through many circumstances in my life and chose to use me where He saw fit rather than what I envisioned. He also brought me down a road of humility as well. I am still proclaiming the gospel, but in other ways and on a smaller scale. I preach, teach, lead worship, direct the choir, play the piano, and serve in other capacities in the church. This has really stretched me. I may not be doing things the exact way i had dreamed when I was younger, but ultimately, I am fulfilling the dream God placed on my heart when I was a kid, but in His way instead.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I like what you said about love being the foundation for repentance. 🙂 Your ability to teach and lead worship impacts a generation of people….plant seeds in their hearts to do all things for the LORD who loves them.

  • roxie says:

    God’s will not my own.. This is something I say quit frequently to myself. Sometimes it puts me in right respect on things. I truly have had my shall I say mind being tested with my son, his wife and two kids living with us for a short time. (Hoping short time) Plus another son until August. So I have had my struggles keeping my mouth shut and tearing down my own walls, that DO need rebuilding. Rebuilding with compassion, encourgment… 🙂 Even though it’s been my own family I have opened myself up with the struggles with them. But, God is keeping me on my toes with a Big Zipper on my lip. *grin*… I need to do what Nehemiah did and trust in the Lord and pray and keep praying. A verse that I have on my mirror is Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the Lord and not your understanding…

    • Christine Smith says:

      Laughing at that big zipper on your lip! You have a rare opportunity to teach your grandkids about the LORD as they live under your roof and your rules. Let them see you read the Bible, let them ask questions about God. What an opportunity! When tempted to judge your sons or daughter-in-law, you might meditate on Proverbs 18:21 Message Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. I’ve had to do this a few times when dealing with my teenager. 🙂

      • roxie says:

        thankyou for the verse will go on my mirror.. And yes, I’m hoping they see how important it is for me to read and meditate daily with God. I have bought each one a Bible and my grandson, maybe this will encourage them more…

  • Laverne (Missy) says:

    What a week, I cannot wait for our chat.

    @ Sharon what a great time to watch that movie……I have to say I was humbled when Lindsey was cleaning the office and she said to Mr. Deeds I bet you don;t know how much a quart of milk cost, he didn’t have an answer then but later in the movie he had an answer for her.

    You are right the whole movie moved me to action……..how could we not know we have to show enough compassion to find out and then act on it….

    Moses and Jonathan are my boys in the bible, but now after reading Nehemiah’s story he is quickly becoming my new friend. The things we can learn from him WOW….
    My heart struggle seems to be young people……..I started a mentors program at my church. I had no idea what it would look like or if it would be successful, but I did it and it was a huge success, so much so that after a while I passed the torch and my god daughter revamped it to Y.A.M.S young adult ministry. So while I didn’t open myself up initially for one person it affected many. After a few years when i was at another church and talking to my god daughter, I realized how the Holy Spirit left fingerprints on so many young peoples lives through me…I was blessed and honored that God trusted ME? go figure and ex drug addict…Only my LORD!!!

    • Christine Smith says:

      What a testimony! LORD…use me as you have used Missy. Let me reach into the hearts of young adults and the youth, allowing this generation to rebuild their faith and trust in You. Amen!

  • Penny says:

    “Then I prayed to the God of heaven” ….this FIRST response by Nehemiah reminds me and brings me back to what should always be MY first response. His humble, yet bold request gained favor from the king and queen because he first prayed to THE MOST HIGH KING !
    I am grateful to be included in this study of Nehemiah!

  • Julie says:

    This week was amazing, I am thinking differently and my prayer life has changed focuses. Repentance hasn’t been as big apart of my prayers but I have been working on intercessory prayer. I know that I am called to pray for others but I truly needed to look inside, listen to God and repent of my sins. How can I serve if I have not repented and truly know what my sin is. I want to have a heart that breaks for others and this exploration on page 14 about “where I could be more tender” was very eye opening. I want to open myself up in a way that I have never done, expose the layers that God knows that I have held down deep, surpressed and out of fear didn’t want to expose. This week has been amazing as different thinking has softened me and I am SO excited for another week in Nehemiah. God is an AWESOME God!!!!

  • Rhonda says:

    “Sometimes the most accomplished people aren’t the ones with the most ability but with the most breakable hearts.” This statement spoke directly to my heart. I confess I have been pretty self-centered lately. I got very down because I was not getting any response from the small groups I had been leading and decided I needed to start focusing on my own relationship with God, so I opted out of the leadership role. I am thankful I did so at this time because I am spending all my time on the Nehemiah study rather than wondering what I can do to engage the group members I was responsible for. I am currently praying for the members of my small group as I did before, but am not worried about whether or not they are staying focused on their studies. Nehemiah is showing me that I need to look for what I can do for others. My heart is broken for the developmentally disabilities, especially those with autism and Down Syndrome. So often these precious folks are overlooked as they can’t speak up for themselves. I have become active in prayer groups and monetary donations for Reeses Rainbow a group that sponsors and raises money for adoption of orphans with disabilities. This is bringing me joy to know I am helping the least of God’s children in the ways I CAN help. I look forward to each day of this study and am feeling my spirit be refreshed and deepen.

  • Andrea says:

    1. Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )
    For the past 9 years and especially the past 2 months, I have been involved in the lives of my friends’ two daughters. I’ve been their “godmother” since their birth, but over the last few months as my friend has been making increasingly poor choices (ie. alcohol, boyfriends, priorities other than her children), we’ve had to step in and take legal action for the girls’ safety. As things progress, it may come to me getting custody of the 5 yr old. Now I love and enjoy my life the way it is right now, because of the choices I’d made—I am single, I am free to make plans last minute, I have no one to be responsible for except myself. But because my heart is broken for this precious 5 yr old, I am willing to give that up to give her the love, support, discipline and life she deserves until her mother is able to provide that. I am willing to do it, but it’s a huge battle in my head—could God really be calling me to do this? Is this really the path He has for me? Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined things turning out this way or it even be a possibility that I would have to consider this.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I love the protective and caring spirit you have for these children….may the LORD equip you with the resources and support to continue loving on His children. May the girls mother see Christ in you and turn from her self-destructive behaviors.

  • Lynne says:

    Something that has struck me so far with Nehemiah is that his story seems to parallel Esther’s story. I see a lot of similarities & realize that her compassion & brokenness over her people sent her to the king for help just like Nehemiah. The more I read scripture the more connected everything becomes. I’m sure Nehemiah had a certain amount of fear when asking the king’s favor just like Esther, but that didn’t stop them from asking. They completely trusted God to take care of the situation. That’s the kind of faith I want – praying & pursuing in the face of fear knowing that my God will provide!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Interesting you said this because I too see Esther in the story! Her heart broke for her people, she prayed and fasted and she impacted a nation. Both Esther and Nehemiah had their hearts set on things above and not on themselves or their personal comforts. Imagine how different our world would be if more people lived this way!

      • Julie says:

        Wonderful perspective. And I can see the parallel too. Thank you so much Lynne for calling it out. Have a wonderful week!

  • Patricia says:

    Although my husband does not go to church, and because we are truly blessed, he was moved a few years ago to try and help a family in need. He reached out to a local area pastor and we were referred to an older couple living in a less than average manufactured home and living on a fixed income. Due to the woman’s many health issues and resulting medical bills, they struggle to make ends meet. Their possessions are meager by most standards. Neither can drive any more and because we are in a rural area, they have to rely on others to get them to the grocery, doctors, etc. Several years have gone by and we still do what we can to help financially, and I have tried to help them keep up with their never ending paperwork. The real lesson to me has been in this lady’s friendship and her never wavering faith in God and other people. It is unbelievable and so heartwarming to see how their church community meets their needs. Junie (she turned 80 yesterday!) has given me so much love and taught me so much by her example – it turns out that my husband and I are the ones who have reaped the blessings instead of the other way around!

  • Mala White says:

    1.Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14

    I have had the experience of sharing of myself with a close friend who wasgoing through a difficult time in her life. I will say it was both rewarding, exhasting and challenging for me. I had to seek the Lord for guidance and for a filling up of the spirit, at times I felt as though I was drained by her needs. On the other hand what a blessing to see the Lord working in her life! It was completely him working for and through me to help reach her, honestly in my flesh Im selfish with my time. Im a work in progress!

    2.What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )

    I will say this is an area that I could use some refinement . If my heart feels heavy, I will hastely seek the Lord. But what concerns me is when I dont reconize my need for repentance. To me, that means im so focused on me and not Jesus!

    3.Have you ever had a vision to do something for God that turned out differently than what you planned? (page 29 )
    4.Did you try cooking the enchiladas or ginger snap cookies this week?

    I am planning a trip to the grocery store for the enchilada ingredients! We are not big ginger fans. great recipies coming up too!

    5.If you want, share a favorite moment from this week’s study

    I am sooo enjoying the video sessions with Kelly. I love her voice and she has a way of touching the heart.
    What awonderful time of fellowship, to have 650+ women involved. Im grateful to have a small group that stays in touch. thank you “Beth Lang,” group 27 small group leader!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Thank you for sharing your comments and also the shout out to your small group leader! 🙂

  • Angela Ziulek says:

    “Then I prayed to the Lord”. Like Allison, I also have a son with an addiction. My heart breaks when I see him. I need to remember to pray before I speak and let God take control.

  • Allison says:

    Have you ever opened yourself up to the struggle of another person? How did this affect you? (page 14 )

    I am currently in the midst of trying to help our son with an addiction that we have only known about since last November. He says he hasn’t used any drugs since then…we are praying this is true. I once read that trust is like a piece of paper…once crumpled it will never be the same no matter how much you try to smooth it out. I pray for him daily and am grateful for each day that he doesn’t return to his old lifestyle. The affect on us – well we’re glad everything is out in the open. We are thankful for each day because there are so many other ways this could have played out. God is in control, but our son is not relying too much on God right now.

    What role does repentance play in your prayer life? If very little, why do you think this is so? (page 20 )

    When I did Beth Moore’s Breaking Free Study, I learned so much about repentance. Most importantly; however, I learned of the need to accept God’s forgiveness. For many years I believed my sins were unforgivable so I was constantly wrestling with guilt over my past. Clearly, this is not in line with what the Bible says about repentance, but I am trying to let the strongholds go and have a faithful, repentant heart.

    As always, Christine, God Bless you for this Bible Study. I am still without a church or Bible Study group since our move…no excuses…just avoiding what I know I need to be doing. This online study gives me a push to read and study the Bible, so thank you for all of the effort you have put into this wonderful opportunity to learn how to exchange self-centeredness for the joy of sacrificing for others.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Thank you Allison. Pray constantly and ask the LORD to reveal a church for you. Circle it with prayer and let us know when and how He answers.

    • Patti says:

      Your sharing spoke directly to my heart! I have struggled off and on with accepting God’s forgiveness, period. But, I do pick up the sins and feel guilt less often than the past yet I do pick them up from time to time still. I can see Him right now grieving for me, because I would not want my own children to continue to feel bad about their past. I also have a son that doesn’t seem to be relying on God. I will keep your son in prayer, with God all things are possible!

  • Arlene says:

    I have to say that the parallels between what was on David’s heart and what was in Nehemiah’s heart was important to me. It reminded me that God does answer our prayers, so prayers, when according to His will do not return void. Both David and Nehemiah trusted the Sovreignty of God.

  • Sharon Lewis says:

    I want to begin by saying how much I am enjoying this study. I am a heart-led person anyway and am very moved by other people’s needs, that is when I can see past my own self-centeredness. I can’t believe how comfortable I have become with God’s awesome blessings on my life that I have lost sight to a degree of the needs around me. This has been eye-opening for me! One of my favorite moments this week was when a friend of mine came to my house to watch the movie “Good Deeds,” by Tyler Perry with me. I was so moved and choked up by the homeless mother in the movie because my mind was still focused on this study. I was so inspired that I immediately had to begin researching opportunities to minister to ladies in such situations in this area. I can’t sit idly by any longer! I have to do something! I’ve got an application to volunteer for a Christian women’s shelter, and I am praying for the right opportunities.

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