Door Post Verses: Forgiveness

by Lauren Craft

Have you ever tried carrying a week’s worth of groceries from your car to your house? If you can shoulder the bags all at once, you’ll avoid making multiple trips, right? Not quite. When I’ve tried this, something is usually dropped. A potato slips out of my hands, an apple rolls under my car, or a milk carton lands on my front lawn.

More than anything, though, carrying too much is exhausting. My muscles ache and my breaths become labored. This reminds me of how it feels when resentment weighs me down. Its heaviness sucks joy and peace out of me, leaving unpleasant, sinful thoughts in their place.

Recently, I was upset with several people in my life. They’d made comments that seared like an electrical shock to the heart. I tried to clear the resentment on my own, telling myself, “I’ve made mistakes too” and “They probably didn’t mean to hurt me.” 

 

 

forgiveness, healing, freedom, grace, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Strength

by Katy Kauffman

2 - Strength Verses.jpg

What do you love about the book of Psalms? The heartfelt cries of David and others, the promises of comfort, or the chronicle of how God faithfully helped those who were in distress? What I love the most about Psalms is what I learned about God. I “saw” that He was both loving and formidable, that He cares when one of His own suffers, and that He has the power to crush every enemy that comes against us. 

 

 

strength, endurance, Bible verses, Door Post Verses: Strength, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses

by Katy Kauffman

I wanted the eagle so badly I felt like crying. The gorgeous picture of an eagle descending through dark storm clouds—his wings in the shape of a v—made me think of God swooping down to rescue one of His children. I really wanted the picture for my room, but the frame and mat didn’t match my colors. My tender, preteen heart didn’t want to leave the eagle picture behind.

My mom told me that if God wanted me to have the picture, He would provide it with the perfect frame and mat. I reluctantly left the art store, and eventually the eagle shifted to the back of my mind. Then I found it. Hanging in a Christian bookstore, I discovered my eagle encased by a midnight blue marbled mat and fruitwood frame. Perfect. God provided not just the perfect picture but the perfect verse to go with it—a verse that has seen me through dark storms. 

 

 

Scripture, Bible verses, truths, promises, Door Post Verses, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: God Is Greater

A Recap

 

Although we battle spiritual enemies every day, our God is greater than any enemy we face. He who parts the seas and stops the mouths of lions, can empower us to win our spiritual battles. He who calms the storms, can calm our circumstances or the storms in our hearts. He who heals and raises the (spiritually) dead, can heal us and breathe life into relationships, dreams, zeal, and joy. God is greater than anything that troubles us, and He has given us the principles we need to be overcomers.

So what battle are you facing right now? In our series Breaking the Chains, 6 guest bloggers and I have covered 13 forms of spiritual bondage. We’ve shared stories, Scripture, and practical principles for breaking the chains of the spiritual enemies listed below. Click on a phrase to visit that post ...

 

 

Breaking the Chains series, overcoming spiritual bondage, overcomers, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: 9 Ways to Overcome Depression

A nagging at the heart. A heavy fog. A stabbing pain. Although spiritual depression comes in different forms, its effects are usually the same—lost zeal and sense of purpose, subdued energy, sadness, a weakened desire to do routine things, and even doubts about our usefulness to God and His plan.

Identify the Source

Whether I have sudden feelings of depression or they come on so gradually I don’t notice till I’m caught in a “fog,” I have to identify the cause of the depression. Sometimes it’s a prolonged, personal struggle. Sometimes it’s Satan trying to hinder me from living for God and serving Him. But as long as I don’t identify what’s going on, the fog, the nagging, the pain—it continues. 

 

 

depression, spiritual depression, healing, overcomers, Breaking the Chains, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Saying No to the Wolf

   I met my first wolf as a preteen visiting the city zoo in Paris, France. He was black, and I think he liked me. As I walked back and forth in front of his fenced habitat taking pictures of the wolves, he followed me. Head down. I got a kick out of this and started walking faster back and forth in front of him, hoping he would keep following me. He did. My mom called out for me to stop. I think she was wiser than I.

   Not too long after that, I encountered a different wolf. As a teenager, I began having tormenting, negative thoughts. After a while, my mom realized they were coming from a spiritual enemy. They hounded me until I understood they were based on lies and I could say no to them. It worked, and that wolf left.

   About fifteen years later, another wolf hounded me. In my late twenties, I experienced a spiritual battle that topped all of the others. 

 

 

spiritual battles, depression, Breaking the Chains series, Say No to the Wolf, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: One Way to Overcome Depression

The water was a brilliant blue and green. On my birthday this year, I visited my first New England beach. If you know me well, you know I love the beach. I even collect sand. Right now, my desk is littered with jars of sand, needing to find a permanent home. Every beach I remember visiting (I got started young) has made a home in my heart.

When my family discovered Nahant Beach outside Boston, I didn’t know I was going to discover the prettiest water that I remember seeing. The shallow water danced under the sun with a magical green tint, and as the shoal grew in depth, the water grew to a postcard-worthy blue. Gorgeous. It wasn’t until later that I realized I needed help seeing the brilliant colors of the water.

 

 

depression, hope, the right perspective, God’s perspective, Breaking the Chains: One Way to Overcome Depression

Breaking the Chains: The Art of Staying Positive

By Erin Elizabeth Austin

Judgmental. Harsh. Critical. As Christians, we are taught that we shouldn’t be negative in our outlook on life. We’re supposed to be happy, positive people who always see the glass as half-full, but that’s easier said than done. Personally, it’s something I only manage to accomplish when I regularly ask God for help.

Whether or not we like to admit it, I think most of us have the tendency to be a little cynical in the way we view what’s happening in the world around us. Because there is so much evil in the world, we’re taught that we shouldn’t trust others. As children, we learn not to talk to strangers. As adults, we’re reminded not to pick up hitchhikers on the street. We’re even taught as we grow up to stay away from people who dress a certain way because as a general rule that means they’re bad. And while it’s good to exercise caution in this day and age, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve become too critical and narrow-minded.

 

 

Critical spirit, criticism, bondage, freedom, judging others, Breaking the Chains: The Art of Staying Positive, Erin Elizabeth Austin, Katy Kauffman, Broken but Priceless Ministries

Breaking the Chains: Overcoming Legalism

Racing in a potato sack is an awkward feeling. Any burst of energy and a zeal to win must be harnessed, because if you try to run in a potato sack … splat. Down you go.  

At Field Day in elementary school, I learned what it felt like to move hindered. Bound. It wasn’t possible to run free like the wind. If I moved forward, I had to hold the potato sack at my waist and hop. And if I fell, I went down confined in my sack. Claustrophobic. I couldn’t wait to get out of that sack.

When we hold on to legalism, we move through life hindered. Bound. Our hearts may find security in adhering to rules, but we miss out on the freedom of focusing on a relationship with God. When we operate in life like God intended His children to, we can run like the wind. 

 

 

legalism, spiritual bondage, Galatians, Breaking the Chains: Overcoming Legalism, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: Escaping the Rut

Bad habits are like deep ruts that are hard to get out of. As we navigate our way through life, we may find ourselves traveling in an inescapable rut. Ruts can ruin our godliness, our relationships, and our spiritual health and strength. They can damage our joy, peace, and even our sanity. The more we say yes to these bad habits, the deeper the rut becomes. So how can we break free?

 

 

breaking bad habits, spiritual bondage, freedom, Breaking the Chains: Escaping the Rut, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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