Be Strong

by Katy Kauffman


There were three reasons why Joshua could have been dismayed by God’s call to be the next leader of Israel: over a million Israelites, hundreds of square miles to conquer, and fearsome enemies. His assignment was to lead the people across the Jordan River to possess the land which God had promised to give them. Joshua was supposed to fill Moses’ shoes as a spiritual leader of the people, a people who had stubbornly resisted Moses’ leadership and the leadership of God.


For the great task set before Joshua, God told him three times to be strong and of good courage (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). Joshua would need strength to overcome weakness, courage to overcome fear, and faith to overcome doubt.


Where would Joshua’s strength, courage, and faith come from? The LORD Himself. God reassured him, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5). God’s Word would also help Joshua to lead the people. Success would come from observing God’s law, which explains how to love God and one another. Joshua had the LORD and the Word to strengthen him for the journey ahead.


When our journey seems long or the task ahead seems difficult, we have God and His Word to keep us going. He says to us, “Be strong and of good courage. I am with you.” He renews our zeal and energizes our spirits for the work and ministry He calls us to. God gives us a special resource in Christ to do our assignment, a resource that the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy, his son in the faith, to tap into.

grace, Jesus, strength, ministry, perseverance, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Listening for God’s Voice: An Excerpt from The Power to Make a Difference

by Katy Kauffman
 

How do you want to make a difference in the world? Through your writing? Teaching a small group? Loving your family?


So often we need to hear from God in order to make a difference. We need Him to give us direction or answer a question, so we can move forward. We need Him to heal a hurt, so we don’t feel weighed down.


I have often wanted God to shout an answer, but there’s power in the quiet. In learning how to hear His voice, I’ve discovered that it’s the stillness that allows me to hear Him the clearest. And it’s not a shout that powerfully shapes my life and effectiveness for His kingdom. It’s the gentle whispers of a loving Father. Have you heard His whispers too?


In this excerpt from our new book, The Power to Make a Difference, which releases today, I share about hearing God’s voice. A song glided over the mountains …


The Power of God’s Voice


A song glided over the mountains and slipped through the window of my hotel room, or so I thought. As I woke up in one of my favorite places on earth, the Blue Ridge Mountains, I strained to hear the melody of some faint sound. Where is that coming from? Can the mountains really sing?


I turned on the light and almost decided the mountain tops possessed some magical quality. And then I discovered it. The new alarm app on my tablet was quietly urging me to wake up. The volume was turned down so low I didn’t even realize it was speaking to me.

The Power to Make a Difference, hearing God, listening to God, prayer, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: Gushing or Dynamite?


by Beebe Kauffman


Visual effects. That’s what I liked best in high school chemistry class. The experiments that made a little puff of smoke, the ones that turned the smoke purple, or the ones that temporarily went awry and exploded into a little ball of fire. (The teacher always had a miniature fire extinguisher on his desk. He knew how adventurous our class members were.)


A demonstration concerning displacement involved a measuring cup, water, and a fist. Plunge your fist into a measuring cup full of water, and what happens? The water gushes out. Two things can’t occupy the same space at the same time. It was a simple demonstration, but the principle stayed with me.


Our hearts and minds can be filled with what isn’t good for them—fear, anxiety, selfishness, greed, and so forth—and get caught in the seemingly fixed ruts of wrong thinking and bad habits. But when we take in God’s word and commit ourselves to follow Scripture’s instructions and practice its wisdom, some of what is bad for us gets displaced with what is good, with what builds our spiritual health and well-being. “Displacement.” Faith in the truth and faithfulness to God’s ways are indispensable to it.

victory, struggles, Breaking the Chains: Gushing or Dynamite?, Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage, Beebe Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

More Moving Vans—But This Time, They Belong to My Children

by Julie Lavender, Contributor to Heart Renovation


Why do I have such a difficult time learning a lesson from God?


You see, I’m struggling with change in my life right now. Change that I don’t want or like. I’m approaching an empty nest in what feels like fast-forward, as my third child completes his masters degree and will move to another city in four months, and my fourth child will move into an apartment for college in mere weeks. Children one and two packed up their possessions and vehicles almost four years ago now for faraway cities.


I don’t want my babies to leave me, Lord. I’ve spent twenty-nine years raising the four of them, and I just didn’t know it would be this difficult to send them off on adventures of their own.

Heart Renovation, Julie Lavender, Change, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Contributing to a Compilation

by Jeannie Waters, Contributor to Heart Renovation


Questioning the Call


Doubts assailed me as I stood on the mountain. After driving six hours, I’d arrived for my first Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Fear tainted my excitement as I considered that maybe I’d made a mistake by coming. 


Is this God’s plan or my idea? Why do I want to write anyway? Is my motive pure?


I’ve dreamed of this venture for years. Friends assure me my efforts are publication-worthy, but what do they know? I wonder if an agent would agree? Are my pieces good, excellent, or none of the above?


Writing for God . . . Wow! What a blessing! Did He choose me for this type of kingdom work? Wait. That couldn’t possibly be true. I’m a fair judge of writing and mine is okay—well, maybe good—but certainly not great. No, I’m not a great writer. I dare not write in God’s name if He’s not asking me to do so.

Heart Renovation, Jeannie Waters, writing, writing for a compilation, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Heart Renovation—God’s Work, Our Cooperation


Hidden problems. Unseen damage. The Bible warns us for our good about harboring certain attitudes in our hearts—pride, fear, guilt, bitterness, rebellion, unforgiveness, and the like. These attitudes of the heart cause damage. Sometimes we don’t realize it, or if we do, we don’t know the full extent of the damage. But God knows. He sees, and He cares. He uses various methods to get our attention so together we can address the root causes of the problem and reverse its effects.


Repairing the Hidden Problems of Character


In our new Bible study that releases today, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, we talk about the hidden problems that ambush our spiritual growth.


God arms us with the tools and wisdom needed to tear out what harms our lives and replace it with what builds us up in Christ. Our authors identify specific steps for how to deal with hidden sin and move forward with God’s renovation of our hearts.

Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman

A Celebration of Breaking the Chains and the Selah Awards

by Katy Kauffman


It’s pretty hard to make a writer speechless, but it happened this past week. Again and again, I saw God at work at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and I am still amazed at how God brought writers together at just the right moments to connect with and encourage each other. As a faculty member, I met with writers and heard ideas about their books and articles, and I ate with them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Friendships were kindled, books were started, and business cards were swapped. And then there were the Selah Awards.


On the fifth-year anniversary of  Lighthouse Bible Studies, our first compilation, Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage, won an award as a finalist in the Bible Study category. Eleven of us traveled up the stage to pose for the picture you see above. We represented a broad range of writers and their backgrounds, writers whose stories and principles are forever captured in Breaking the Chains—we are Bible study teachers and speakers, short story writers, agents, editors, business professionals, church leaders, ESL teachers, moms, dads, grandparents, and more.

Breaking the Chains, The Selah Awards, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman

An Upcoming Release: Heart Renovation

 

Whoo-hoo!! God gave us a double blessing this week.


Just as we were finishing our group’s new compilation, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, we learned that our 2017 compilation is a finalist in the Selah Awards at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage is a finalist in the Bible Studies category. What a blessing!


Our new compilation will be released next month. Heart Renovation is written by thirty authors and has sixty article-length Bible studies. This encouraging and insightful book is a warm-hearted powerhouse of a study on growing in Christlikeness. It is full of strategies that help us to implement the principles of heart renovation and to overcome its hindrances. The book has already affected my heart, and I can’t wait to share it with the world!

Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, Bible Studies, group Bible study, godliness, Christlike character, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

A New Release: Breaking the Chains


I was chained. You wouldn’t have been able to hear clanging links as I walked by, or see the chain that was metaphorically wrapped around my heart and mind. But for years, I struggled with chains of my own making. When I realized that they were hindering my walk with God, I wanted to be free. I just wasn’t sure how to do it.

Have you been there? Even children of God battle bad habits or detrimental ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Jesus died to set us free from sin’s power in our lives, but we can still walk hindered. We can let fear, anxiety, anger, loneliness, and so forth hinder what God wants to do in our lives and how we relate to Him and other people. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can break free and stay free. The strategies to do it are in our new book.  

Breaking the Chains, spiritual bondage, spiritual warfare, spiritual battles, victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Bible Study Helps

 

I love the beginning of a new Bible study semester. Every September, men and women gather at churches or in homes to study and discuss God’s Word. New friendships will be made, and prayer requests will be lifted up. Some will bake scrumptious goodies that will delight hungry tummies. The best part is diving into a book of the Bible or a particular topic and understanding how God’s Word applies to life today. Do you like the start of a new Bible study season?

As new groups are coming together or old groups are meeting again after summer break, I’d like to offer some Bible Study Helps, such as 5 ways to find application in the Bible and 4 tips for writing and teaching Bible Studies. These are found on a new page on our website. ...

 

 

small group Bible studies, women’s Bible studies, men’s Bible studies, Bible Study Helps, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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