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

A Sunrise of Strength

by Katy Kauffman


One morning my heart was sad. Although I was half-awake, I started focusing on the wrong thing, and I needed God’s help to refocus my attention and strengthen my heart. Even though I wanted more sleep, I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on the verse I needed.


Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion;
put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city!
Isaiah 52:1 NKJV


The “awake, awake!” part got my attention. But more importantly, this verse called on God’s people to put on strength. This passage in Isaiah talks about God restoring His people after they had been in captivity.


Is your heart help captive by something? Too often we let our hearts become captive to sorrow, fear, anger, or sin; and we are lulled into despair or apathy. We may think, Things will always be this way or I just don’t care anymore.

strength, God’s power, sorrow, despair, hope, Isaiah 52:1, A Sunrise of Strength, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

7 Bible Verses to Renew Your Strength

by Katy Kauffman


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.


Understanding the character and nature of God gives us strength. We know what we can count on Him to be and to do. We understand that He has great power and He is willing to use it on our behalf. When the book of Psalms—or any other book of the Bible—talks about God as our strength, we can be certain that we will have a strength that does not falter and an endurance that does not waver. The strength of God is our lifeline to handle our daily battles and to accomplish God’s will for our lives.

strength, endurance, Bible verses, 7 Bible Verses to Renew Your Strength, 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

7 Bible Verses to Reinforce Your Faith

by Katy Kauffman

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. How do you define it? Is faith believing God without evidence? Or is it believing the evidence that God gives?

faith, believe, believing God, 7 Bible Verses to Reinforce Your Faith, 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

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