WARNING: I May Be Sitting Next to You in Class….

I love technology.

Last week, my teaching leader pulled up the Bible on her cell phone.

My friend uses her IPad to find Bible passages.

All about it.

However, last week, someone in my group also used their phone–but not to pull up the Bible.

This woman pulled up my blog and read my answer VERBATIM.  From her phone!

Admittedly, she was called on because she hadn’t spoken and I, at least, discovered she hadn’t done the lesson.

But she pretended she had by reciting my answer.  Which was an answer that was personalized.

Normally, I don’t mind this.  But then I had to be quiet the rest of the time, afraid I’d give myself away.

Because, yes, I do use my answers in class.  After all, they are my answers.

Lately, I’ve been more wary though since I would bet half of the women in my group read my blog.  So, I try to only answer the obvious ones where we all have the same answer. You know the ones:  where the answer is the devil or Jesus Christ, etc.

Otherwise, I may give myself away–or you all may think I’m just cheating off of this site!

But I know for a fact this woman was!

I don’t mind if you use my answers.  I’d prefer you print it off ahead of time though.  Then I know you at least looked at the questions.

This woman hadn’t even read the question (or my answer) until that very moment.

So if you don’t want others (or me) to know you haven’t done the lesson, at least paraphrase my answer.  Pause and read it first and then put it in your own words.  Or write it in your own words.

With the popularity of this blog and the number of people who subscribe and read it daily, odds are there are several of you in your group.

And I love that!

I love how you all contribute to questions I have or others have and how we are all growing together in God.  It’s fabulous!  It’s why I do this!

And I am honored and blessed if you learn from me or even use my answers.  This is not an attempt to knock the woman who used my answers last week in class.

This is just an encouragement to do your lessons and see what God has for you.  You all read what God has (or recently doesn’t have) for me.  Discover His word in your life.

And from the changes BSF seem to be making, it’s okay if you come to class and admit you didn’t do it.  Someone else can share what they learned and you can learn from them. You won’t be looked down upon like in years past (at least from what I’m seeing in my group) and what I pray for.  We are all busy.  But you made it to class.  And you will learn. Just not as much as if you had done the lesson.

But we all have those days where the dog puked, the kids are sick, the car broke down, you moved, you spent an hour on the phone trying to resolve a bureaucratic nightmare, etc.  All those unforeseen events that take away time…

And God will meet you right where you are….

But remember….You never know who’s in your class…

There’s only one of me.  But there are thousands of you!

47 thoughts on “WARNING: I May Be Sitting Next to You in Class….

  1. I try to answer all the questions and then look at your answers. Sometimes I pencil in a valid point or observation .I use your blog like another classmate, sometimes you pull out something I didn’t see or sometimes I see it differently. But to copy verbatim would not help me grow.I do wish you were in my class, I think we would be friends!


  2. Wow! Great story, although you were penalized for her cheating! You also make a good point about others knowing she cheated because they had also read your answers. You wrote your blog with much more grace than I could have. Good for you, AtoZ!


  3. I read your answers only after I’ve answered the questions and so far I’m ahead of you since I’ve finished Lesson 10 and ready to start on Lesson 11! I treat you as a fellow classmate, read your answers, compare to mine, but I never change mine (occasionally I will add a scripture that I didn’t think of or find). I want MY answers, not someone else’s. Most of the time, we’re on the same wave length, and that encourages me. You do a good work and I hope you will continue.


  4. Funny you mention this… Yesterday in class, a woman read from her phone, acting as if she was reading her lesson and it was your answers… It really bummed me out, these women could be getting such greater fulfillment by completing their own lessons. I get there’s times we can’t get to our lesson but come on people, don’t fake it! God knows your heart just like he knew Cains….just sayin! Hmmm I wonder if you we’re sitting next to me? 🙂


  5. Thank you for your blog. I can tell you put a lot of work into your research and your answers. I, too, know of at least one woman in my discussion group who uses your answers, almost verbatim.

    I do my answers first and then use yours to see if we agree. If we don’t, then I go back to reading the question, the notes, and the scripture. Sometimes I’ll see your point, but will answer in my own words and thoughts; many times my answer and challenges are totally different from yours. Thank you again for your blog; it encourages me to do additional research on scripture.

    Love and Blessings

    Thane Miller


  6. This made me laugh out loud. I love it! I too am all about technology; I use my iPad as a bible, I’m an ACA at BSF and we do everything on our iPads. We have our leaders manual in our iBooks; its awesome! So clearly, I’m all for it. What you describe though, the way she did it, is kind of cheating in a way. At the very least she’s cheating herself.

    I’ve been in BSF for 12 years. What I say now is not as a boast because honestly who cares, haha, but it’s more to show that if one makes a commitment, no matter how busy life is, its possible….in 12 years I have never NOT completed a lesson, I’ve never NOT read the notes. Like many here, I’ve been raising two kids, worked, had a husband who is ill which has required constant medical care and a child with a medical condition that has required consistent medical intervention too, both of these conditions running simultaneously for 8 years and requiring hundreds of doctors appointments sometimes hours away. I’ve also volunteer a lot both at BSF, my church & in the public school system…my point: I’m a normal crazy busy mom but my lessons always come first.

    Getting into God’s word helps me endure, cope, grow & know my God in the face of the unthinkable. Can one get all that without completing their lesson and just reading the answers here? Sure…but I submit that they’re ripping themselves off, of all they can be experiencing, just a little. For me not doing my lesson is never an option that Ive allowed myself. Its a discipline. Now, my children are following in my footsteps, they’ve never not done their lesson either. This isn’t about “Gee, aren’t we something?” haha, its about encouraging people to utilize these amazing resources that we have available to us for free. You can do it if you make the time to. See what you can do yourself with God’s help! You’ll be amazed! As to how I use your blog, I have each day emailed to me, it’s there if I’m confused or want to read when I’m done. Your answers are you answers. Mine are mine…it feels like another discussion group to me reading your answers when I have a chance. I kinda feel that reading your answers in class would be the same as reading my neighbors sheet, lol.

    Now…I’m not the most disciplined at exercising, so please pray for me that I get better at that 🙂 that’s a discipline that I start and stop. I put taking care of my spiritual self first put everyone else before taking care of my physical self. Im not totally out of shape, but I’m not at my best. Maybe someone out there can share how they’ve made that a priority and we can learn from each other.


    1. This really proves the point that sin affects others. Instead of admitting, “I had a really rough week and didn’t get to my questions, I’m sorry,” she took the easy way out — in school it would be called cheating. God knows she cheated. You know she cheated. If others in your group read your blog they might recognize she cheated if they had written your answer down instead of their own. I wonder if she will come back — will she feel guilt in front of the other group members, knowing that you know, or they might know, especially since she obviously reads your blog. Will she fess up and receive the grace that God made available to Cain time and time again. Once I was in a group where a woman who always faithfully wrote down prayer requests admitted at fellowship that she had not been praying the way it may have appeared. My respect for her went up immensely as she shared openly, humbly, honestly and apologized. She received grace from the leader and the class members. Let’s pray that she would recognize her need, acknowledge it and receive the grace from her group leader and members that God would have given Cain had he chosen to admit and receive God’s grace rather than run away from God. Let’s pray that she won’t run away from BSF in shame. The grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient to cover all, let alone this minor miss-step.


  7. I’ve been thinking more about this. As soon as that woman reads your blog, she will know that you are in her class, and that she has been caught. What are your thoughts about this, AtoZmom?


    1. Don’t think she knew that I knew….Not too worried…Haven’t had anyone yet come close to guessing my identity…there’s just too many of us, I guess!!!

      And nothing about me really stands out…


  8. AtoZ….I feel sad now to think that when you needed prayers and encouragement after your best friend died, you couldn’t even mention it! People would know who you were….Yes, I can see where you would need to be careful about your answers or those who read your blog will think you have copied your own answers!! It could be quite hilarious if not sad at the same time. You do walk a tight rope my friend. My understanding from BSF is if you didn’t answer a question or have an answer you were to pass….or I have quietly told my leader, I got the front page done but nothing on the back and she would remember. Even if she didn’t remember I would just show my page and say no answer…..I am sorry the lady didn’t do that and hope she doesn’t read your blog and see she was caught. Another thing, it might make her realize “Hey, AtoZ is in my group now which one is she”….Blessings on all that you do and thank you again for your postings. They have helped me lots of times to understand more about a question that I could figure out.


  9. I do appreciate you lessons and use it to make sure that I am on the right track. I am usually in your ballpark with my observations and answers. I appreciate all that you don in making BSF easier to comprehend. Thank you so much for all that you do. Bettie


  10. Atozmom
    GOD knows everything. That woman didn’t learn anything from Bsf and God.
    Keep on your writing.
    I am honest. I did the bsf homrwork first then read your blog afterward.


  11. I like your andwers to most of the questions,but how could your personal andwers be the Same for someone els ?I used like four difference Bibles to do my lesion and yes I really do enjoys your blogg .I fine that you writing help me think about what I have stated for andwers …keep on writing …I pray your book get finish and publish


  12. I always answer all the questions on my own, but I do go back and read your answers after I finish. I am often surprised that we have a lot of the same answers, just worded differently. I, also, am surprised when we have a completely different take on our answers. I also get together with a friend on the phone the night before BSF and we talk about the different answers we have come up with for the lesson. (We are in the same group, but different classes.) Thank you for sharing your answers. Please know I appreciate having your input.


  13. I look at your answers when I’m stumped with the tone of the questions, usually when I don’t understand what it is they want from me and my buddy–Holy Spirit.


  14. I like to compare my answers with yours – when I first started BSF my group leader said it was ok to work with other BSF people on that weeks lesson.
    I found that the Lord will use everything – an it could be that the lady who
    read the lesson off of her cell phone will get something from it – that the Holy Spirit will use and from her time at the discussion and large group teaching.

    Perhaps we should pray that individuals in BSF will taking something from each lesson that will help them the rest of their lives regardless of how the lesson is completed.


  15. What’s so embarrassing about not doing your lesson? be honest. Dont fake it. Whoever you are, sister, we love you but try to fill in your own blanks or learn by allowing someone who wrote the answer to answer first. It’s not called plagiarism you give credit to your source. Atozmom, you can still share your personal answers or use a different personal answer to give in group because many people are going thru many of the exact same things as you. Who knows whos who, anyway. Yet, I understand, it’s very hard to try to live in anominity, forever. It’s like living a secret life as an intelligence operative. I couldnt do it, my problem is I probably over share more honestly than I want to.


  16. I have absolutely NO sympathy for you having to sit there & suck it up while someone else READ your answer as her own during discussion group – NO sympathy at all. IF you would be humble enough to admit that your blog is truly to elevate yourself & to presume your elevated self as any weaker person’s holy spirit by ‘providing’ them your ‘glorious’ (commentary derived) answers for their questions when they haven’t even tried to rely on God’s Word alone with the true Holy Spirit. Can’t you see that you willingly (& for your own perceived glory) are causing others to stumble in completing their own answers through their personal time spent with God’s Word. How can any class member move forward in true faith and knowledge of God’s Word when they fall into the trap of dependancy on the ‘provision’ of your answers rather than the provisions of God opening their heart and mind to understand His Word. You think you are being so awesome, but you are really being so aweful as you allow the ememy to use you in this format. You also self-agrandize when you have the audacity to ‘slam’ BSF for what you don’t happen to agree with. Really, why don’t you take the 1st exit door & find another study to suit you better? Of course, I KNOW I wont see this posted in the comment section. . . because you never allow posts that aren’t supportive of your self-agrandization & you’ve never posted one of my comments. Show yourself for who you really are; at least who you say you are… have the guts to take yourself off the grandstand of worldy ‘glory’ and STOP this part of your blog.


    1. Fay, you seem to be such a hate-filled pharisee! If you don’t like the blog, stop reading it! Possibly, you might even be the woman who got caught. That might explain your out of control rage. Those members who ‘fall into the trap’ of depending on her answers were fully capable of making that choice. Shame, shame on you!


    2. I completely agree with Fay…well, maybe not COMPLETELY, as it is a little harsh. 🙂 I stumbled upon your blog by accident doing a search for the REAL BSF site because I lost the link. The amount of content that came up just in the Google search made me curious. I believe you are doing a real disservice to BSF members everywhere by giving anyone an option to ‘cheat’. Although it isn’t stressed as much this year, in the past it has always been mentioned that it isn’t wise to use commentary for your BSF lesson until after the lecture. Your blog is commentary. It should be every BSF member’s desire to be fed strictly from God’s Word as we go through the lesson every week. I respectfully suggest that folks who are coming to discuss the questions here or elsewhere outside of their discussion groups are only feeding the desire for ‘instant friendship’ that has plagued the human race since the invention of the chat room. I respectfully ask you as a fellow Christian, a fellow laborer, a fellow mom, and a fellow BSF class member to stop making your answers available to the internet world. You may also consider that the questions are for BSF members ONLY and, although maybe not legally since you aren’t actually making copies of the printed material, you may be bordering on infringement of the purpose clearly stated throughout BSF. I ask you to search your heart and ask the Lord to show you where you might be sharing things that are best shared within the limits of BSF’s purpose to help BSF members accountable to God alone for their personal study. BSF is in no way some kind of ‘secret organization’, but the purpose is very clear in enrolling members–to know CHRIST in HIS fullness. It is NOT BSF’s purpose to just get a ‘good’ or ‘right’ answer. You really should consider that you just may be causing a fellow believer to stumble, as Fay said. I think it’s a great idea to share what you’re learning through God’s Word! But your sharing is making it too easy for others to simply read your blog and neglect God’s Word. Please think seriously about that.


      1. BL, as someone who “stumbled” here, you have not been here since the beginning. I take no responsibility for those who “cheat.” I have answered this “complaint” from those like you so many times my head spins. And I am in no way “infringing” as these are my copyrighted answers from my intellectual property.

        Please read the following posts in my sidebar as answers to your “complaints” as I am tired of answering these.



        Since you took the time to write a lengthy comment, please take the time to read my sidebar as it will answer all your “complaints.”

        I do not appreciate all these comments from those who “stumble” here.

        You have a right to “un-stumble” here as well.

        I don’t force you or anyone to read. If you don’t like it, leave. And stop condemning me and those who do with your self-righteousness.

        BSF knows I exist. Haven’t been contacted ONCE by them. But I have been numerous times by those who claim to speak for them (such as yourself).

        Perhaps you should read some of the comments from others who say how helpful this site is. Perhaps this world is not all about you and what you think about my site.


      2. BRAVO on your latest post, Atozmom! If those people don’t appreciate your blog, they don’t have to read it You gave her a better answer than I ever could! I woud like her and the few other naysayers to realize that the huge majority of us don’t cheat. Shame on her for her small-minded attitude!


      3. I agree, if BL had taken more than a moment to peruse your blog she would have realized that:

        a) you were calling people out if they aren’t putting in the work, suggesting that they’re ripping themselves off. You do this to share your input for those who want/need it when their questions are done. After all aren’t we as Christians supposed to deal with sin conceived in the heart and police our own actions? How can discussing God’s word be a stumbling block? Maybe it gives a newbie the confidence they need to tackle the lessons because it helps them understand the questions. (I do heartily recommend folks trying to do it on their own first).

        b) that the vast majority of people who come here, do so when their questions are complete to contrast and compare their answers because of a hunger to know even more about their God. It’s a 5th step in the BSF process if you will.

        Or c) they may even come, as was in my case, when I was staying in the hospital with my father for 5 weeks and doing my lesson but still longing to get feed back over the questions I had answered. With no one to do discussion group with, it was a lifesaver, spiritually and emotionally.

        There will be “cheaters” every where, thats for people to deal with before their God. There will always be people who react based on their habits or preconceived notions too. Some long time BSF people kinda have this possessive mindset. (Im a long timer dont dont feel that way). The regulations that were in place, I think, are what leads to this kind of reaction. I think they are, as on organization, correcting it. (Which is why I took AtoZ to task a wee bit over the children’s program release form post. They’re changing for the better, I felt her perception was based on her Children’s Leader and her notions based on old procedures).

        Mediums, like this blog, are one more way to reach the next generation. Remember the “church” fought getting the bible into the hands of layman back when Martin Luther was translating it into German. Their intentions were honorable (they feared mass misinterpretation) but their methods were questionable. I humbly suggest that there is NOTHING wrong with folks using this medium to grow in God. We can’t control how people use it, nor should we. That’s between them and their God. We can pray that folks recognize the benefit of trying their lessons on their own first and coming here after their own discussion group to see what else they can learn about their God. 🙂


  17. I was saddened by your post that came in my email- calling out a fellow BSF group member that “shined a nice light on you by imitation”. Who knows why she did so, or why she didn’t paraphrase in her own words… the beauty of BSF is that we are Christians and forgiving – which includes not calling out those that might be taking shortcuts. I read your blog, and I sometimes agree and sometimes wonder what ARE you thinking, lol. But this calling out POST that you shared really bothered me, and thought you should have kept it to yourself. God Bless,


  18. As a group leader, I never called anyone out for not doing a lesson. Some would let me know beforehand and so I just never called on them. Others may just say they didn’t get it done and we’d move on to the next person. It was never a big deal. But I have to say, this did make me laugh. I have often wondered in my group and even in the leader meetings, who is reading your blog. I’ve not encountered any answers verbatim, but there have been a couple of challenge and personal questions that have come very close. You get out of BSF what you put into it. I like reading your responses. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t, but I can say I get a fresh perspective on things. And it makes me think and take a closer look sometimes at how I answer a question. If women (or men) don’t get their lesson, and rely on you for the answers, who does that benefit? Certainly not them. I enjoy reading your blog. And I wonder how the woman in your group has your blog entry about this too!


  19. last year was my first year at bible study and at BSF….i came across your blog last year and i have been encouraged by it ….i have been completing my lesson more regularly and find that having a resouce or two while doing the lessons is giving more depth…thank you for your time


  20. Wow, just got the email notification from the person (whose post doesn’t seem to show up here) I’m guessing her name s Fay based on other reactions. . . I had no idea you were subject to such hostility over answering some bible study questions on a blog AtoZ. Wow. That stinks. Where does that hostility and anger come from? God’s word NEVER returns void! Isaiah 55:11


    1. Ditto Michelle! – sorry AtoZ, that one was really ugly. AND, I really enjoy your blog, and like seeing the posts. It’s nice to see we agree on some of the BSF questions. I love BSF, but sometimes I wonder what were they thinking. That post was not from a good place.. It’s a process, and thank you for your Blog. As she so poignantly pointed out, if you don’t like the blog then don’t read it! LOL.


  21. I love your blog. I don’t always agree with you but you get me thinking. I prefer to answer my questions then read your blog. I do word things differently and paraphrase even the Bible. I have been in BSF 5 or 6 years . My church studies the Bible also. All answers should reflect an individual assessment of their own relationship with God and understanding of the Bible. You do great work and I love to read your personal comments. We are more alike than different.. Be Blessed Sister Oh oh thank you…


  22. I pray that you see the necessity of considering others’ counsel with grace and wisdom. If you “have answered this “complaint” from those like you so many times my head spins”, perhaps you should take it as a sign that maybe God is sending you a message. May He bless your study with His truth as you seek to glorify Him and Him alone. Thank you for your time in responding to my comment.


  23. It only takes one to mess up for the rest of us. I agree with several of the other comments that were made here. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and answers. God bless.


  24. I use your blog when I am struggling to find words… I do not copy your answers, they just give me a direction when I don’t have one though and that is helpful… Usually I can go back, re-read and then dig out my answer from there…
    I have a woman in my class this year though that reads your answers word for word too… It feels very awkward to me… I cannot even imagine what that felt like for you…


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