When Your Birthday Wish Comes True

Tomorrow I turn 35. It’s a little shocking to be 5 years away from the big 4-0, but I’m not worried. Most everyone I meet thinks I am around 22 or younger (some say 12), so I can turn 35 with a smile. Not just because I inherited a baby face from my dad, but because my birthday wish has already come true.

birthday, fellowshipping with God, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, When Your Birthday Wish Comes True, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Delighting in God’s “Eye”

God has said, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8 NKJV). How does that guidance work?

I loved playing point guard on defense. In the years I played basketball, my job was to stop the forward momentum of the other team’s leader. I could anticipate which direction she would pass the ball by which way her face pointed—where her eyes were looking.

It’s the same with God. Although we can’t physically see Him, we can anticipate which way His face is pointed by what His Word says.

wisdom, God’s guidance, following God, Delighting in God’s “Eye, ” Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Delighting in God’s Training

by Lauren Craft

Does anyone like me? The footsteps and laughter of second graders filled the playground, but I stood there with a void in my heart. My family had just moved in the middle of the school year, and I missed the smiling faces of my friends.

At recess with my old class, I invented a game everyone loved: I pretended to be a film director and cast my classmates as actors in my adventure stories. It made them feel like movie stars.

On my last day, my teacher seated the class down on the rug where she normally held up vocabulary flash cards. Instead of beginning a lesson, she announced that it was party time. A goodbye party for me!

With this new class, I felt like a bug crawling on the jungle gym. Everyone already had their circles of friends, though I tried to push my way in. When I asked one girl for her phone number, she wrote down a set of digits on my notebook. Then I overhead her say to a friend, “It’s a fake number.”

It wasn’t just the girls. During class one day, I asked the boy seated next to me a question about a reading assignment. He squinted, saying, “You gotta figure it out yourself.”

That was more than twenty years ago, and the scar has long healed. I’ve learned to be thankful for that time because it made my heart a little bigger. In future school years, when a new kid joined, I was always welcoming. At my job, I’m quick to invite new coworkers out to lunch. If I see a woman sitting alone at church, I gravitate toward her and introduce myself.

I know it’s not just me. God gives this character training to you, me, and everyone. And He often does it through trials, just like my move in second grade. Whether He’s the one that caused the hardship is rarely clear, but what matters is that He uses those sufferings to sculpt us into the people He wants us to be. He sees our life from beginning to end, so He knows exactly what strengths we’ll need to fulfill His plans.

adversity, character, Delighting in God’s Training, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Delighting in God's Constant Presence

I expected sleepy sunlight to greet me when I pushed back the curtains, but instead, fog camped on the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Almost 500 Christian writers converged on Ridgecrest, a beautiful conference center nestled on the side of a North Carolina mountain.

Some of us took pictures of the fog and its accompanying rain-filled clouds. Others wished they had umbrellas to trek across the campus to stay as dry as possible. It wasn’t until the last morning of the conference that the fog lifted and I saw the personal relevance of our ethereal friend.

God’s presence, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Delighting in God’s Constant Presence, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Delighting in God’s Goodness: A New Series

The goodness of God surrounds our families like a mighty fortress and comforts our hearts like a warm blanket. The goodness of God makes gray days sunny and sunny days brighter. The goodness of God gives us reason to hope in the midst of a storm and to sing, “It is well with my soul.”

Because God is good, we always have hope.

Because He loves us, He has a good plan for our lives (if we’ll follow Him).

Because He has flawless character, we can trust Him that His ways are best.

Delighting in God’s Goodness, the joy of the Lord, the character of God, Psalm 37:4, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Recap

Since last September, we’ve been looking at verses that you can hide in your heart and display in your home. It would be hard for me to pick my favorite topic. But God knows how to deliver grace to our hearts at just the right time with just the right Bible verse. Have you seen Him do that?

 

 

Door Post Verses series, Bible, Bible verses, Door Post Verses: Recap, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Faith

How many times have we stood on the edge of the unknown and we knew we should move forward in faith? Has it happened recently to you? We hesitate to enter the unknown because we can’t see how things will turn out. We can’t see the safety net either—God’s invisible hand. Human reasoning tells us to run back the way we came, to depend on what we can see, and to trust in our own abilities. But a still, small voice tells us to jump in faith. We recall how God has helped us in the past. We remember when He taught us to fly.

I can’t count how many “unknowns” I’ve stood before, unsure of what was ahead. But I do remember that each time I jumped in faith, either God caught me or He taught me to fly. When I have depended on Him, He has never let me plummet into darkness. He was the light I needed and the hand that upheld me.

 

 

faith, believe, believing God, Door Post Verses: Faith, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Finding True Refuge

A Guest Post by Denise Roberts

Katy here. Today is the first time Denise Roberts has written a guest post for me. She has written for Refresh, and she leads the women’s ministry at her church. I know you will be blessed by her post in our Door Post Verses series.

Scriptures:
Psalm 61:3
Psalm 62:5-8
Psalm 91
Proverbs 30:5
Matthew 11:28-30

My family moved in 2000 for my husband’s dream job. We left behind best friends and a home we loved. This was not a move I wanted, and I made life very difficult for my husband and children. In the midst of believing that life was unfair, I took refuge in anger and bitterness. Maybe that sounds odd. We often think of refuge as a place of tranquility, peace, beauty, and protection. A safe place for wild animals or birds. A place to ride out a storm.

But isn’t it possible that sometimes we take refuge—seek shelter—in things or people who we think help us feel protected and safe but actually don’t?

My heart was hurting and in the absence of knowing where to go for true shelter, I sought escape and protection in resentment and wall-building against my loved ones. This type of refuge masqueraded as protection against the hurt, but all it really did was cause more isolation.

 

 

God is our refuge, the character of God, Door Post Verses: Finding True Refuge, Denise Roberts

Door Post Verses: Prayer

A Guest Post by Trina Dofflemyer

Bible Verses on Prayer from Jesus’ Life:*

Luke 5:16
Luke 11:1
Luke 11:2-4
Matthew 5:44
John 12:28

Gene Tunney, an American world-champion boxer in the early twentieth century, once said, "To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise." I certainly want that glow of good health, but the exercise? Not so much!

I enjoy the health benefits from forcing myself to tie on my walking shoes and put in my three miles at the park. I have more energy, I sleep better, and my clothes fit better. When I fail to practice the discipline of exercise, the opposite is true.

Practicing the spiritual disciplines can be a similar battle. The purpose of practicing the spiritual disciplines is to become more like Jesus. Prayer is one of the most important of these disciplines. When we pattern our prayer disciplines after the life of Jesus, we become more like our Lord and Savior in character and heart. 

 

 

prayer, pray, the life of Jesus, Door Post Verses: Prayer, Trina Dofflemyer

Door Post Verses: Joy

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

Joy is a word we see everywhere during the Christmas season. I have joy ornaments hung on my tree. We sing Joy to The World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and many other songs with the word joy. During the holiday season, the air we breathe seems to have molecules of joy. Why? Because we are celebrating the birth of our King—the Word made flesh dwelling amongst us. Joy is not just for December—it is obtainable all year—when one knows the source of unshakable joy.

Joy is defined by Jesus—joy is rooted in a relationship with Him. He alone can fulfill our every desire and need. Jesus said, I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:11 NIV*). Jesus had just taught, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5). We are the branches. The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit—joy is one of the manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit. When we abide, or remain in Christ, there is fullness of joy. The unchanging joy of Jesus flows through us. We enjoy what Jesus enjoys—a relationship with the Father.  So why do we lose our joy at times?

 

 

joy, Door Post Verses series, Cherrilynn Bisbano, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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