The Streets of Bethlehem

by Katy Kauffman



 

Bethlehem, your streets are filled tonight

With travelers and donkeys, tired and anxious.

They look for a warm place to stay.

Rooms fill up quickly as lamplight glows in windows.  

 

Bethlehem, your streets are filled tonight

As one couple seeks a place to sleep.

The girl is near her time, her betrothed knows it.

But they don’t walk here alone.

Christmas, Jesus, hope, The Streets of Bethlehem, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

What Does God Want This Christmas?

by Jeannie Waters


The brown paper sack of cornmeal was the most unusual Christmas present I’d ever received. Terry, a shy first grader, placed the unwrapped gift on my desk. I knew that his grandparents sold homemade cornmeal; I suspected giving a bag away was a sacrifice.


I cringed when a saucy little girl in the class wrinkled her nose, pointed to the cornmeal, and asked, “What is THAT? That’s not a Christmas present!”


Noticing Terry’s downcast eyes and slumped shoulders, I cradled the sack in my hands and responded, “It’s cornmeal that Terry’s grandpa made. Now my family can have the best cornbread in town!” The boy’s clear blue eyes peered up at me, and a slight smile brightened his face when I added, “Thank you so much, Terry.”


That sack of cornmeal was a sacrifice, the best Terry had to offer.

Christmas, gifts, love, What Does God Want This Christmas?, Jeannie Waters, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Thankful for True North

by Katy Kauffman


I kept losing North. It was 27 degrees outside, and although I was wearing 5 layers, I started to lose feeling in my fingertips. Cars kept crossing our intersection, and I had to keep up with where North was. A few weeks ago, I helped my dad and a team test light levels in a downtown area, and I was in charge of the grid map and showing them which spot to test next.


The red building, I thought. That’s it.


In the middle of a cluster of buildings, a mini sky scraper glowing with red lights served as my compass. Whenever I lost my sense of direction, I looked in every direction to find my red marker. Thankfully the marker never moved as we tested several spots in the intersection.


As we travel through life, our path doesn’t stay in a simple straight line. Sometimes we have to meander on an ever-curving path down into a valley or hustle up a steep, rugged path on a mountain. It can be easy to lose our sense of direction, and we wonder which way to go. Which way is North.

Jesus, the cross, hope, guidance, storms, adversity, Thankful for True North, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

3 Ways to Influence the Most Unlikely People

by Lyneta Smith

Pop quiz!


Who said the following about the Most High God?


“How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and His dominion is from generation to generation.”1


Bonus points if you get it on the first try without Googling.


Abraham?


Job?


Daniel?


It sounds like something any one of these mighty men of faith would say, but instead it was one of the most ruthless and brutal leaders in the known world. He evoked fear and trembling over people from every language (Daniel 5:19).

Humility, influence, God’s sovereignty, 3 Ways to Influence the Most Unlikely People, Lyneta Smith

The Whole Picture: A Guest Post by Dorcas A. Zuniga

My first experience with anesthesia was the summer I had my wisdom teeth removed. It wasn’t good. I remember getting to the bathroom and feeling dizzy. What happened after that is still a blank. From all accounts, I fainted as I entered the kitchen.


My three-year-old nephew, John Mark, was sitting with his older sister Stephanie on the stairs, just outside the kitchen doorway. When his mother asked him what happened to me, he said, “The feet that was going down, was going up.”

perspective, hope, adversity, trials, The Whole Picture, Dorcas A. Zuniga, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Make Haste: A Guest Post by Julie Lavender

I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
Psalm 119:60 KJV


“You’d better stop staring at that game; you’re going to make yourself sick,” I told my youngest on the short drive to a restaurant. My four children struggle with motion sickness to varying degrees.


“I’m okay; I want to beat this level,” Jessica explained about the hand-held device.


Minutes later when we pulled into the parking lot, I took one look at Jessica’s pallor and hand slowly rising to her mouth and said, “Get out of the car! Get out of the car! Get out of the car!”

God’s guidance, obedience, Psalm 119:60, Make Haste: A Guest Post by Julie Lavender, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

“What Do You Want Me To Do for You?”

by Katy Kauffman


The question is an inviting one, when it comes from God the Son. It’s a question that Jesus asked two of His disciples—What do you want Me to do for you? (Mark 10:36 NKJV*). They had no trouble answering—Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory (Mark 10:37).


There’s bold, and then there’s out of line. Can you imagine someone asking that of Jesus, especially a disciple? But Jesus didn’t scold them. He asked them if they would be willing to suffer as He would have to suffer. He knew they would be persecuted for His sake, but to grant their request was something only the Father could do (Matthew 20:23).


If Jesus came to you with that question—“What do you want Me to do for you?”—what would you tell Him? What secret dreams do you have? What desperate need?

prayer, dreams, our desires, delighting in God, What Do You Want Me To Do for You?, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

From the Valley to the Pit – A Guest Post by Josie Siler

My feet crunched on the rocky path that wound through the valley as I contemplated the mysterious embrace of a dense fog; and that’s when it happened—I fell into a pit. It wasn’t a pretty fall either; it was a face first nose dive into a deep, dark hole filled with all sorts of creepy-crawlies that wanted to eat me alive.


I stumbled to my feet and assessed the situation. I tried to remember those glorious days spent at the top of the mountain, but the effort was like trying to capture the fog between my fingers. Was I really on the mountaintop just a few short weeks ago? Maybe, like the fog, it was a dream or a deception. 


Was the fog there for me to enjoy its beauty or was it there to blind me to the pit? Is it foe or friend? I’m not sure, but I know this pit is the last place I want to be, and the fog brought me here. 


 

desperation, hope, adversity, deliverance, prayer, From the Valley to the Pit, Josie Siler, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Cheerful Satisfaction: A Guest Post by Patty Schell

Groans could be heard throughout the airplane as it bounced and dipped. Turbulence. It was going to be a long flight. Each jerk of the aircraft caused a new round of complaints from its passengers with one exception. From seat 27D could be heard squeals of delight. A small, blue-eyed, blond-headed mite of a girl cheered with joyous abandon. To her, this flight was more than she could hope for. Her “sit in your seat and just be quiet” ride had turned into an exhilarating experience. I couldn’t help but smile at her happiness. In the midst of a less than satisfactory situation, this little one had found great pleasure.


The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NET


Joy
Greek: chara (khar-ah’)
Meaning: Cheerfulness, Calm delight1


Joy’s very definition can make us smile. The idea of being full of cheer lightens our mood. But there is one more definition we should consider. Delight means an extreme level of satisfaction,2 and satisfaction means “a source or means of enjoyment”3: Contentment.

joy, contentment, fruit of the Spirit, Patty Schell, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Hope Rekindled

by Katy Kauffman

In honor of Paige Snedeker and her will to live, love, and serve God

Here I am, on the edge of despair.

I look hard for hope, but see none there.

Darkness grows thicker with each hour.

I look for one green leaf, one flower.

 

“Is this my lot?” I cry from within.

Where is hope in this land so barren?

I can’t change this poor body of mine.

Will my future still grow worse with time?

 

Hope Rekindled, Paige Snedeker, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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