Delighting in God’s Welcome

by Jeannie Waters

Required: a foot stool, a pillow, one glass of ice-cold lemonade, a plate of homemade oatmeal cookies, and a hug 


My precious mother believed these items were required to help guests feel like family in her country home. Refusing a foot stool was futile as she thought, “You must be tired.” And the pillow? “Why, you’d be much more comfortable with a pillow at your back,” she would insist.


Crossing her threshold comforted the hearts of all who entered. Visitors experienced a sense of coming home, of stepping out of a hurry-scurry world where fighting for acceptance was commonplace. At Sadie’s, they felt instant love and appreciation.

God’s family, love, the character of God, Delighting in God’s Welcome, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Jeannie Waters, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Just Because

by Becky Hitchcock

Because is a great word. With a fun blend of consonants and vowels, it’s easy on the ear. 


Yet it has depth. It indicates the why of something. The motive. The reason for a particular thing. The word thrills me actually. It makes me recall something historically and spiritually profound. It allows me to ponder a great demonstration and sacrifice on behalf of a great cause. 


The word because helps me ponder the Savior.


It takes me to the beginning of our beginning. The Scriptures are chock-full with details of God’s passion for all creation. His creation. All things were made by Him and He liked them. He called them good. In fact, He is so delighted He talks to Himself.


Let Us make man in Our image.
Genesis 1:26 NKJV


And so, from the dust of the earth, He brought forth mankind. He breathed life into us. He gave us the ability to speak, reason, and choose. He gave us a beautiful garden to tend and enjoy. He gave us delicious foods to partake. Moreover, we had the privilege of His company.  

gospel, Jesus, salvation, Because, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Becky Hitchcock

Overcoming the Impossible: God’s Strategies for Victory

by Katy Kauffman

Have you ever felt like you were in an “impossible” struggle with no way out, no way to win the victory? I have. More than once. The battlefield of the mind tends to be one of the best campgrounds of “impossible,” but also one of the best places for God to do His rescuing work. We can’t escape our own minds, and Satan enjoys sending us harassing—even debilitating—thoughts. But God makes a way for victory in every struggle whatever battleground the enemy chooses.
 

How does God help us to win? Below are some strategies He has taught me, strategies that show me God is good. He understands the pull of selfishness on our hearts and the oppression Satan seeks to batter us with. His own Son endured Satan’s temptations and harassment, and won. Jesus is our High Priest who intercedes for us and our Shepherd who guides us on dangerous paths. In His goodness, God has given what we need to navigate and overcome challenges (2 Peter 1:3). His wisdom reveals what strategies will bring victory, His power enables us to execute them, and His love keeps our hearts hopeful and expectant of the good He will work.

spiritual battles, struggles, the character of God, victory, hope, Overcoming the Impossible: God’s Strategies for Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Almighty: A Poem Based on Psalm 18

I will never get over the thrill of reading Psalm 18 and cherishing God as our Champion and Hero. This week as I design the July issue of Broken but Priceless: The Magazine, I would like to share with you a poem that fits into our Delighting in God’s Goodness series. I hope that this poem, which has appeared in Broken but Priceless and on my blog, blesses you this week and reminds you of Who fights for you.

 

Why do I cower so much in the night

And depend on my failing wisdom and might?

My enemies may be too strong for me,

But my God is the powerful One, the Almighty.

 

I will cry out to Him when danger draws near.

I will call on His name when my heart beats in fear.

O God, rescue me from the onslaught of attacks.

Calm my heart and remind me of the facts—

 

You are greater than any strong enemy.

You ride on the wind and walk on the sea.

You light coals on fire with one single breath.

The earth shakes when You’re full of wrath.

 

the character of God, spiritual warfare, refuge, The Almighty: A Poem Based on Psalm 18, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Is God Still Good When Life Hurts?

by Denise Roberts

Dad was diagnosed with cognitive decline five or so years before his death. Although the doctors never put a name to it, the reality was Alzheimer’s disease. We had seen the signs.

An engineer by trade, he could no longer troubleshoot the systems he helped design and install. The man, who in my opinion, could do anything, and who had practically rebuilt an old home as a hobby, was unable to install an electrical outlet.

Naturally quiet, he became more withdrawn from conversations.

Anyone who has traveled this path with a loved one knows how difficult it is to witness your loved one fade away.

When the neurologist confirmed what we suspected, my prayers began in earnest. For healing, yes. But really for more.

the character of God, adversity, sorrow, hope, Is God Still Good When Life Hurts?, Denise Roberts

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

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