LIFE as a Strategy for Victory


by Katy Kauffman


It attacked my baby tree. It wasn’t enough that this woodpecker had attacked the new metal vent caps on the roof. Now he was going for my precious baby tree. I call it a baby, because this fifteen-foot tree is special to me. For thirteen years, he didn’t grow much, and then last year, poof! His branches went a bit wild, finally growing, and I didn’t have the heart to trim them.


I watched as the woodpecker attempted to drill a hole in this tree. But then, he looked at the tree and flew away. I realized it was the life of the tree that made the woodpecker retreat. Instead of finding rotten wood to carve a home out of, he found life.


Our spiritual enemy Satan tries incessantly to find a weak spot in our lives. In our thinking, our desires, our relationships, our fortitude. He wants to drill a hole in our joy and peace. While he can never inhabit a believer’s heart, he and his forces will do everything they can to harass a child of God. The beautiful but pesky woodpecker taught me something about spiritual victory—it’s the life in a soul that makes the enemy retreat. It’s Jesus’ life within us that enables us to be overcomers. Mark Chapter 9 illustrates this in another way.

victory, life, spiritual warfare, temptation, closeness to God, LIFE as a Strategy for Victory, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Loving Brownies a Little Less


by Katy Kauffman


I was doing fine until Valentine’s Day weekend. After committing to eat fewer sweets and more apples, I bombed. Valentine’s Day ruined my plan, even though apples sat in the refrigerator drawer. Two sets of brownies that were made for Bible study night, defeated good sense. As a treat for my friends, we cut out brownie shapes with cookie cutters and decorated them with white icing and red and white sprinkles. Of course, I had to eat the negative space—the brownie pieces left over from using the cookie cutters. All good chefs eat their own food, right?


Have you ever intended to cut back on something, but then your plans were derailed by a surprise? A sale at Macy’s. Beautiful desserts at a party. Netflix releasing a favorite TV show. “Resistance is futile,” to quote Star Trek.


More serious things pull against our self-control and wisdom. An unkind word spoken by someone else. Unfairness at work. Someone being mean to a person we love. We try to be self-disciplined and walk according to God’s will (not our own), but walking in victory is sabotaged by either something we want or a knee-jerk reaction to a surprise situation. How do we resist the urge to respond in an ungodly way?

victory, desires, values, selfishness, anger, food, Loving Brownies a Little Less, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Desire’s Ambush


by Katy Kauffman


Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.


Terrified and half-asleep, I lifted my head from the pillow and looked around the room. Who was in my room, and how were they making that noise?


Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.


The metallic pounding seemed to come from above.


Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.


A woodpecker.

victory, selfishness, desires, Desire’s Ambush, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Victory’s Default Setting


by Katy Kauffman


My excitement morphed into frustration. After opening the box and pulling out a new but reasonably priced phone, I couldn’t wait to download some apps. They were calling to me from Google Play. I tapped “Install” and waited. Nothing happened. I tapped again. No downloading commenced. So I googled.


The problem was that Google Play’s default setting was to wait for WiFi in order to download the apps. I had to adjust to a new set of defaults. Sometimes we think we know how something works, but like my small battle with technology, we don’t understand everything that’s in play. Like default settings.


Do you know what victory’s default setting is? I thought I did, but after winning a certain spiritual battle, I relapsed. I fell into the same wrong pattern of thinking, and I was frustrated with myself. Hadn’t I learned better? Wasn’t I tired of the same old struggle?

victory, God’s word, closeness to God, spiritual battles, struggles, Victory’s Default Setting, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Say Something


by Katy Kauffman


I wanted to say something. On Christmas Eve one year, I played an angel with some of my friends in our church’s live nativity. The three of us angels greeted Mary and Joseph when they arrived in Bethlehem, circled around them as with God’s love and protection, and stood in reverent joy celebrating Jesus’ birth.


We saw the shepherds come to worship the tiny King. Then the wise men came and knelt before the manger, placing their crowns on the ground before Him. All the while songs about Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection played in the background. While we stood on stage, the pastor talked about the significance of the birth of Christ, His life, and His death for each of us. He closed our Christmas Eve communion service with this declaration—“Jesus is alive!”


No wonder the angels praised God the night Jesus was born. I bet they couldn’t help it. As I stood on stage, I wanted to sing or to proclaim—“Here He is!!” The angels had been anticipating the moment of Jesus’ birth for centuries.

Christmas, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

He Calls Himself the Son of Man


by Becky Hitchcock


“Good morning, Pastor,” I once wrote in an email before dawn.


My pastor had encouraged the church to read the Gospel of Mark. The action-packed narrative reads like a novel. It led me to other places in the Scriptures, too. Many of which I hadn’t considered in a long time.   


“I’m impressed with Jesus calling Himself the Son of Man.” I further wrote, “He seems to like this title, and I like how the Savior identifies with my humanness. He garbed Himself with flesh. He became like me to save me from sin. He now sits at the right hand of God, the Father, and intercedes for me. Anyway, my rambling comes from listening to my pastor who said to read the Gospel of Mark. See – I was listening – just wanted you to know.”


Daylight came all too soon that morning. I closed my Bible and laptop to meet the demands of the day. Yet the notion of the Savior calling Himself the Son of Man stayed with me.

Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Pride, Humility, Mark, He Calls Himself the Son of Man, Becky Hitchcock, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

What Would You Ask Jesus For?


by Katy Kauffman


“What do you want me to do for you?”


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? What “Christmas present” (special gift) would you ask Him for?

prayer, delighting in God, overcoming selfishness, What Would You Ask Jesus For?, Mark, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Celebrate the Hero This Thanksgiving


by Katy Kauffman


My mind constantly wants to make up adventure stories. They often include a journey through a land that looks like New Zealand. (Are you a Lord of the Rings fan?) Galactic courage and warfare like to eek their way into my consciousness. (Do you love the new Star Trek movies like I do?)


Yet there is a story recorded in an adventurous, truthful, and relevant book that steals my attention. And it’s not just for Christmastime or Easter. It’s for every day of the year.

faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Celebrate the Hero This Thanksgiving, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Extraordinary Moments


by Mary Holloman


Tears poured down his cheeks, not unlike the streams of rain making their relentless trek down the window panes. A certain three-year-old had his heart set on playing outside with Daddy, who’d just gotten home from work. But a storm had materialized out of nowhere, forcing me to deliver the terrible news: we had to stay inside.


After the initial stages of denial and anger, my son wiped the tears from his eyes and stared out the window. He crossed his arms and said under his breath, “I will stop the rain.”


Ok, I thought, that didn’t sound menacing at all.

faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Extraordinary Moments, Mary Holloman, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Refuse Hardness of Heart with a PASSION – Part 2


by Katy Kauffman


I entered the semi-dark balcony and searched for the right spot. Most everyone had left the church sanctuary that particular Sunday morning, but I needed to pray. I found a seat, and told God what was on my heart.


I had seen people on television walk into chapels and cathedrals when they desperately needed help. They would slide into a pew and not say anything out loud. They would only look to the front of the sanctuary, their prayer written on their faces. I did the same.


I looked to God in that desperate moment. I wanted to connect with Him in a place where week after week His people sought wisdom from and fellowship with the Almighty. Have you ever been so desperate for Jesus’ help that you sought Him in a place that was special to you?

hardness of heart, fear, obstacles, faith, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Refuse Hardness of Heart with a Passion, Part 2, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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