Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reading Rachel

UPDATE: Oops! Girls, I left GENESIS 30:1-24 off the online reading selection posted yesterday - and it will be key to the discussion this afternoon, so be sure you read it if you used the online link. I've linked it here, and added it below. (Thanks, Ann.)


We left off last week with Rebekah carrying out her deceptive plot to have her youngest and favorite son receive the blessing that tradition and her husband would have given to her eldest. This results in the lineage of Jesus coming down through Jacob rather than Esau.

Part of the intrigue of the Bible is frequently it doesn’t give us all the details… explain all the motives… or provide all the answers. It can leaves us pondering and questioning – and hopefully trusting God nonetheless. Although it was God’s will for Jacob rather than Esau to get the blessing and birthright, God did not force or even persuade Rebekah to deceive anyone or do anything immoral. That was her choice, her actions.

Every woman has the God-given ability to choose what she will or will not do - theologians call this having "free will." We might expect God to only use women's moral actions, but the reality is God also uses the immoral actions of women (and men) to advance His ultimate will. Reread that sentence a time or two.

Realizing that fact can help us understand history, the Bible, and the future. It can also help us understand how God works in our lives. As followers of Christ, we can make wrong decisions (selfish, controlling, or impatient decisions for example), and God can still bring about His will in our lives. But make no mistake about it - those decisions will cost us in terms of time, stress, heart ache, and/or our relationships. Just as it did for Eve, Sarah and Rebekah.

Better to pray and wait for God to open the doors than for us to beat them down and storm through them. Abiding in Him, His Word and prayer - as we are doing together these 6 weeks - will help us discern when to wait, and when to take action and walk in what He has prepared for us.

Switching gears now ... One hot July day in the early 1970s, an 8 lb. 2oz. baby girl came into this world, nameless. Her parents had discussed names but hadn't settled on one. Her mother thought perhaps “Leah” or “Leigh Ann.” But when her father held her in his arms for the first time, he looked into her face and said, “Well, I think she is pretty enough to be named Rachel.” And so I was. Named Rachel that is. I think the “pretty enough” designation is still up for debate.

Today we’re reading my namesake – Rachel. Her story spans from Genesis 28 to the end of Genesis 35. If you’re up for it, you can read all six of those chapters. You’ll learn about what happens to Rebekah’s sons Jacob and Esau along the way. Or...

**To read just the portions that deal directly with Rachel, click here to read her selected readings online. (Gen. 28:10-17, Gen. 29:1-24, Gen. 30:1-24, Gen 31:3-20, 25-35, 43-55, Gen. 35:1-20)

Post your “I did it” here once you’ve finished, and if you’re willing, also tell us where you live – your country or your state.

PS. Some of you asked what the women’s names mean. Eve’s name means “Life Giving Mother.” Sarah’s name means “Princess.” Rebekah’s name means “Loop” or “Tie.” And Rachel’s name means “Little Lamb” and you’ll see in the reading that she was a shepherd.

192 comments:

  1. I did it-I live in Baton Rouge, LA

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  2. I did it...I'm reading in Bon Air, VA

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  3. I finished the reading.
    I live in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada and I'm so glad to be a part of this wonderful bible study. Thanks Rachel

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  4. I did it - looking forward to Monday's discussion! Dublin, OH

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  5. I did it! Looking forward to the discussion.

    I live in North Carolina.

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  6. I did it in Baton Rouge, LA- also

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  7. Can't get my google/blogger to work..but I am reading it now, from Carrollton, Georgia!
    Brandi

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  8. I did it and can't wait till tomorrow! Brooklyn, NY

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  9. i did it. i'm reading in pittsburgh, pa.

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  10. I did it - from Leander, Texas
    ~ Christi

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  11. I did it - North Carolina

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  12. I read all of it! Tomah, WI

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  13. i did it.. greenville sc

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  14. I did it - Sydney, Australia.

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  15. i did it NY

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  16. I am done....Lake Wylie, SC
    Stacy

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  17. I read it...from Southern IL

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  18. I finished the reading on Rachel. Looking forward to the discussion. To our own Rachel (Olsen), thank you so much!! This bible study is such a blessing.

    Much Love in Christ,
    Dana in Southeast Missouri

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  19. I did it...Declo, Idaho

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  20. I did it! Jocelyn in Washington, DC

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  21. I did it. Fascinating story. Hawaii

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  22. I read it too!

    Mary in Chantilly, VA

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  23. I did it -- Sidney, OH
    Tiffany

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  24. I finished the reading.
    Thanks from Trinidad,W.I.

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  25. I did it...live in Kentucky
    BonnieM

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  26. From windy New Mexico...I finished. Can't wait until tomorrow.

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  27. I did it!

    Somerset, Kentucky

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  28. I've been a subscriber to the P31 newsletter since hearing Lysa speak last year; however, there are days, or in the case of last week, that I don't read the daily devotionals until several days after they are posted. I have to admit I have also deleted them without reading. I'm so glad I didn't delete your 3/10 invitation. It was the direction that I have been praying for. I often struggle with what part of the bible to read and why. When I do read or try to study God's word I often times end up frustrated as I don't "hear" or "feel" a message in what I've read. I say all this to say Thank you and "I did it" 3/10 through 3/16. It is amazing how much of Eve, Sarah, Rachel, Rebekah and Leah can be found in one's own life. I am excited for tomorrow's dicussion. I won't miss it!

    Prattville, AL

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  29. i finished the reading. the wonders of these stories ... all these years and they are still intriguing.

    Waxahachie, Texas

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  30. I did it...looking forward to tomorrow's discussion!
    I'm reading from Boone, CO

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  31. I did it in Knoxville, TN

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  32. Praise God, I read it! Josie from Ohio

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  33. I finished reading.
    Chandler, AZ

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  34. I did it...Staunton, VA

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  35. I got a late start, but I read 28-35.I'm looking forward to Monday's comentary and discussion. Thanks Rachel and all of you ladies for your honesty, transparency and insight.It is such an encouragement.
    Portsmouth,VA

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  36. I did it
    Chandler, AZ
    Who is the anonymous in Chandler?

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  37. Have completed the reading and looking forward to Monday's commentary from Rachel and everyone's comments.

    Pasadena, TX

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  38. I did it - I live in Suffolk England UK

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  39. I've read all of it. There's lots to think about and looking forward to the discussion.
    From South Africa

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  40. I did it - Sylvia, Illinois

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  41. I did it...

    Sheena Jeremiah from Malaysia

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  42. I finished the reading - from Mpls, MN

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  43. I did it!

    From Jackson, MI.

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  44. I did it in Holland

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  45. i did it.im enjoying this very much.
    claire.
    nairobi kenya

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  46. I did it- Gray, Louisiana (which is near Houma, La.)

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  47. I finally read it. Donna Pipes Granite Falls, North Carolina

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  48. I did it--Davenport, IA

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  49. I'm done with all the chapters.
    Lynn ... Milwaukie, OR USA

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  50. Did it....live in Phila., PA.

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  51. I did it....I live in Round Rock, TX

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  52. did it - Binghamton, NY

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  53. Finally read it all late Sunday night.I am certainly looking forward to the discussion on this one!
    Margaret
    North Carolina

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  54. Hi,
    I did it . Live and direct from Nigeria. Waiting for you to coe on Racheal with ur commentaries....
    God bless you all sisters from all over the world.

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  55. I did it. I live in Archbold, OH.

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  56. I read it - from Hollan, MI:)!

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  57. I read it! Thanks Rachel for this accountability. I Love it! I Live in Colorado. Kim

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  58. I live in Milton, Vermont, USA. I missed the reading on Saturday, but read them both today.

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  59. I read it...looking forward to the discussion.

    I am from Ohio

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  60. I did it , Winston Salem North Carolina

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  61. done now Monday morning.

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  62. Read it in New Jersey

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  63. done with the reading in Grafton Ohio

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  64. i read it!! i can't wait to hear what all the sisiters got out of it.
    Fairfield,Ca

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  65. I did it studying in Hampton, VA.
    Blessings everyone!

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  66. I completed the readings on Rachel.

    Laurieann from the city of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, Canada

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  67. I read it......Jersey Shore

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  68. I finished the reading. I live in Willowbrook, Illinois

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  69. I did it...Youngsville, NC

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  70. I did it- WA state.

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  71. done. I live in Marietta GA

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  72. I did it

    Fredericksburg, VA

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  73. I did it - I live in Clarksville, TN

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  74. I did the reading and am looking forward to all the comments. P31 and Rachel, along with the other blogs, have been such a huge blessing to me this year. I recommitted to doing a devotional at the start of the year. Now, if I can't get to the sites, I feel lost. I need to get my P31 fix daily. I am so excited about this study. As a mom who wants to set the example for my two daughters, learning about these women of the Bible, is awesome. I have been chatting with my 11 year old about some of the new info I have learned, from all of the comments posted, and she has come up with some of her own thoughts as well. It is not always easy to get her to chat about God's word. Thank you for taking the time to put this all together, it is so cool to see how many women are being blessed. May God Bless you back! :)

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  75. did it
    Debbie - New York

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  76. Oops, I am writing from Stoughton, WI. Near Madison. Have a Great Monday!

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  77. I finished the reading. Thanks for organizing this! Though I think Genesis 30 is key in the story, so if you read the abbreviated version, make sure to read it too!

    I'm in small town, IN :)

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  78. Louisiana LindaMarch 17, 2008

    I read it...live in Franklin, LA.

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  79. I completed the reading. I live in Dallas, Texas.

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  80. I read it - Yadkinville, NC

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  81. I finished reading... in Nebraska.

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  82. Did it!!

    Branson, Missouri

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  83. I did it- I live in Moore, OK

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  84. I did it!
    What drama between siblings! It's better than the soap operas! :)

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  85. I finished the readings...from Richmond, TX

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  86. I read it! Huffman, TX

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  87. I did it-Greenville,SC

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  88. I did it. I live in Salem, OR

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  89. I did it

    Tam - London,England.

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  90. I did it! Vancleave, Mississippi

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  91. I did it, Gulf shores ,alabama

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  92. I did it!
    Pat...reading in NYC

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  93. Done! Reading in McKinney, Texas

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  94. I read it, here in East Texas.

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  95. I just finished..I'm in North Dakota

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  96. Thank You, I did it. Looking forward to the discussion.
    Livermore,Ca (SF Bay Area)

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  97. I did it. I live in Minnesota.

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  98. Done - Baton Rouge, LA

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  99. Loved these readings. From Latrobe, PA.

    Rachel's story parallels Sarah and Rebekah's stories. They all were initially barren and all conceived after praying for God's blessing. They all acted deceptively. They all turned to the Lord in their own way.

    It is sad that Rachel died in childbirth. That should be a time of rejoicing in new life but it became a time of mourning.

    What a message to us. We all are sinners but we can rely on the love and mercy of the Lord to redeem us in time - God's time.

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  100. I did it and I live in Harrisonburg, LA.

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  101. I Did It,,,,, thanks :)
    Living in Tampa, Florida

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  102. I did it.....reading in Texas.

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  103. I did it! ... with a lot of interuptions! ... Kingston Jamaica in the West Indies

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  104. I did it! I live in Shirley, New York

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  105. I did it ... Richmond VA

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  106. I read it & I live in central OR.

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  107. i did it- fayetteville, ga

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  108. I read it!
    In His Graces~Pamela

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  109. I did it - I live in Dallas, TX

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  110. Read it!

    Wisconsin

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  111. I finished the reading. I am in Washington State. Thank you Rachel for this study.

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  112. I've finished!
    From Jamestown, CA (in the Sierra Foothills)

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  113. I did it...I just love this Study. I couldn't leave comment on Rebekkah, but I am catching up. I am also doing a blog spot because I just love this study. I love talking about the Lord!
    Donna

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  114. I did it. I live in Mississippi

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  115. I did it!

    Laurel from Bondurant, IA

    Anonymous in Granite Falls, NC - my mom lived there, and now lives in Hickory (Mt. View).

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  116. I did it.... I live in Columbia, South Carolina...

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  117. I Did It!
    Iowa

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  118. i DID IT! I live in Amarillo, TX

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  119. I did it - Guilford, CT

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  120. I DID IT. Thanks so much Rachel for allowing so many of us to take this walk.

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  121. I finished it. Thank you for all the time that you are putting into this Bible study.

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  122. I did it--Laura, from Michigan.

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  123. Hi Everyone! Genesis 30:1-24 was listed in our reading, but thanks, Jan. I read the entire text reading yesterday and had read it a couple times before. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I did it...I'm reading in Denver, Co.

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  124. I finished Rachel. I look forward to my time reading the Bible. Thank you for this bible study.
    Stephanie
    Indiana

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  125. I completed the reading. I am anxious to read your insights, Rachel!

    Kerri
    Binghamton, NY

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  126. I did it! Muscle Shoals, AL

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  127. I did it in Keller, TX.

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  128. I read it! I seem to be getting things one day later, but at least I'm getting it.

    suz grapevine,tx

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  129. Looking forward to the discussion.

    Thanks,
    North Carolina

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  130. I read it! Thinking Spring in Rockford, MI :)

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  131. Well, it's Monday afternoon..read all the chapters and have a zillion thoughts.
    Rachel your doing an awesome job with our "little" group!
    God bless you all has you seek to serve.
    nested in Charlotte, Michigan

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  132. I finished all the readings and am finding this to be so helpful! Thank you!
    Newton, MA

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  133. I did it! Dallas, TX

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  134. I read it! (Still having trouble signing in, I have to reset my password EVERY time.) regardlesss, I did it. Glad to start up again this week, hope everyone had a nice weekend. From New Jersey, USA

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  135. Did it. There's a lot to keep straight. My analytical brain wants to be able to mentally be able to track all the lineage between Jacob/Isaac's family and Rachel/Laban...I'm going to go back and see the generational connection b/c I remember Rebekkah and Isaac being related when they "hooked up".

    Bonnie M...where at in Kentucky?

    I'm from Madison, Indiana...SE on the river.

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  136. I read it!
    Beaver Falls PA

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  137. I did it! - Colbert, WA USA

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  138. I did it!, I live in Charlotte, NC.

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  139. I finished.

    Tara from New Mexico

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  140. I did it - Santa Cruz, Bolivia South America!

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  141. I did it - I live in Donalds, SC

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  142. I did it. I live in Grenada, MS

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  143. Wow!! the ladies of the bible sure were a conniving bunch weren't they. And many of the great men of the bible came from their manipulations. It's hard for me to believe or understand God showing favour to men who slept with their wives' maidservants and having children with them. But I must take that leap of faith and trust the Lord. Obviously His way of looking at things and mine are very different. I thank the Lord that from all these manipulations came His son, Jesus Christ our Lord, our Saviour.

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  144. I did it - I live in Los Angeles, CA.

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  145. i did it from Virginia

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  146. I was out of town over the weekend so I'm a day late; but I did read about Rachel.

    I live in North Carolina.

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  147. I did it! Was at the E-Women's conference in Tulsa, OK this weekend (awesome, by the way!)...had to read a day late. Clinton, MO USA

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  148. I did it - Winter Park Florida

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  149. did it! - Philippines

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  150. did it! Baton Rouge, LA!

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  151. A day late, but I did it!
    ~ Laura from Lancaster, Ca

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  152. I am late reading, as its early Tuesday morning, but I did it! From Ohio...

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  153. I did it - I live in Raytown, MO

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  154. I did it....Connie - Canada

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  155. Cathy in Virginia completed the task...

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  156. I did it!

    Connie - Genoa IL

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  157. I did it! Greenville, Ohio

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  158. Done! I live in Bloomington, MN

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  159. i did it thank you Rachel im so excited to have joined .I live in Lubbock,Texas

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  160. i did it i live in new york city

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  161. I did it. I live in Ontario, Canada. Thanks for taking your time to do this study for (and with) us, Rachel!

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  162. I did it! I'm from North Carolina.

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  163. I read it all on Tues. March 18th. :o)what a story...talk about reasons for sister rivalry! Debbie in Goose Creek,SC

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  164. Finally read it...lol..been getting ready for a trip on thursaday, so been running behind.

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  165. I did it...Virginia Beach, VA

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  166. I did it- British Columbia, Canada

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  167. I did it! I live in San Jose, IL.

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  168. Catching up again...from Laramie, Wyoming

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  169. I did it! I live in Camby, IN.

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  170. I just read the scripture. I'm a little late because I've been out of town on Spring Break. I live in Richmond, Texas.

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  171. Ok i finished this reading- I read it to my children in the evening.
    Rio rancho NM

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  172. Read it. Thank you, Rachel!
    "until...the stone is rolled away"! Amazing to me how much happens at the Well!

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  173. I did it in Kettering (in England not Ohio)

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  174. I did it, sorry I'm so late... I live in Tampa, Florida

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  175. I read the story about Rachel on 3/17. However, I forgot to log my status.

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  176. I read it! I live in Pittsburgh, PA

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  177. A week late, but I did it!

    From Minnesota.

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  178. I did it from Sonora, TX

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