I Want to Stay with You

I Want to Stay with You


A Bible Study Devotion from Faith, Courage, and Victory


by Katy Kauffman


Reverend Phil seemed seven feet tall to me when I was a child. He could have been a captain at sea or a firefighter or a police chief, but he was a pastor. One Sunday night, his deep voice caught my attention as he unfolded the story of a wild and violent man whose encounter with Jesus changed everything.


A demon-possessed man roamed the tomb-filled hills of the Gadarenes. Everyone feared him, and no one could tame him. They managed to shackle him, but he broke the chains. Then Jesus came to the area—the one Man who could unshackle his heart. When the man saw Jesus, he knew who He was, and he was afraid of Him. He said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me” (Mark 5:7). Jesus didn’t hurt him; He helped him. The man had many demons in him, and Jesus sent them all out of the man into a nearby herd of pigs. The pigs “ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned” (Mark 5:13 NKJV).


When the people of the area came out to see what had happened, the man who had been demon-possessed was sitting, clothed, and in his right mind. That made the people afraid. Those who had been there told the people what happened to the pigs. The people of the area wanted Jesus to leave. Reverend Phil’s characterization of their attitude toward Jesus, was memorable. It was as if they said to Him, “We don’t care where You go or what You do, as long as You leave here.” The healed man’s reaction was just the opposite: “I don’t care where You go or what You do, as long as I can go with You.”

victory, faith, closeness to God, loneliness, relationships, knowing God, I Want to Stay with You, Courage, and Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Who Me?


A Bible Study Devotion from Faith, Courage, and Victory


by Katy Kauffman


The Brazil mission team needed someone to share the gospel in the tent meeting that night. They elected me, the youngest. I was scared. I had shared the gospel in classrooms on another trip, but never in front of a big crowd. 


Earlier in the week, we had invited people to come to the tent meeting, and that night the tent was packed. I sat with my mom in the middle of the crowd, and waited for my time to speak. Although it was dark outside, the joy and brightness inside the tent stirred my soul. One of our team members gave her testimony, and another sang. While our team leader was preaching, I turned to my mom like I had so many times before, hoping for a pep talk. I told her I was scared to share, and all I can remember her saying is, “Ask God to help you.”

victory, faith, doubt, sekf-image, serving God, Who Me?, Courage, and Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

A Pow in the Gut

by Katy Kauffman


I was standing at the three-point line on the basketball court. Our team was playing defense under the other team’s goal. One of their players shot the ball, but it didn’t go in. Instantly I started running. As point guard, I needed to get to our side of the court in case one of our girls caught the rebound.


Tiffany was built for sports. She could run, shoot, and throw the ball with amazing power. When she caught the rebound, I knew she would be throwing it in my direction. By the time she launched the basketball, I had made it to our side of the court, near the three-point line. When the ball reached me, it had such power that it went through my hands and landed in my gut. “Pow!” The noise reverberated through the whole gym, and as if on cue, the crowd said in unison, “Oooh!”

victory, power, strength, suffering, adversity, A Pow in the Gut, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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

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