When You Talk about Scripture, Do You “Scrapbook” It?


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28


Just like the Biltmore itself, my contest entry exuded vintage and fairy tale. The contest at the annual Scrapbook Expo called for entries, and I answered with careful attention to detail.


Three pictures from the Biltmore grounds and gardens were taped to a piece of 12” square parchment-colored paper that had mauve flowers and a fairy tale story printed on it. The edges of each picture were brushed with taupe paint, and paper flowers were accented with gold and cranberry glitter, topped with copper charms. Pewter corner accents, a quote about love, and even a peacock feather filled in the empty spaces. I finished the page by lightly painting the edges of the square paper with chocolate brown paint. Scrapbooked.


It would have been much easier to submit an entry that had my three pictures taped to a plain background. I could have attached a tag to the page to show where the pictures were taken, and let it go. But I would have missed out on the opportunity to add interest and appeal. To make the presentation sparkle.


When we write or teach about Scripture, we have the opportunity to “scrapbook” it. Sure, we could simply state a verse in the middle of our writing or lesson, add a simple explanation, and move on. But we would miss the opportunity to add more interest and appeal. To make the presentation sparkle.

The Scrapbooked Bible Study, writing, teaching Scripture, lesson plans, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Threatened by the Proverbs 31 Woman


by Evelyn Wells


I sat, accused, feeling trapped in my pew. Once again it was Mother’s Day, and the pastor was preaching about the Proverbs 31 Woman. I could see her, clothed in righteousness. She had her finger pointed at me, as she screamed, “YOU! Who do you think you are? Why are you here, today of all days?”


I hung my head in shame, as I listened to the enemy whisper in my ear. “You’ve dishonored your upbringing and shamed your family. Do you think God wants you as His child? I think not.”


I knew I had been forgiven of all my sins. According to Scripture, they were buried in the sea of forgetfulness. Jesus paid for them and remembered them no more. But I didn’t remember that. I felt like a complete failure, defeat weighing heavy on my shoulders. My marriage had ended in divorce. My children and I were on our own, and it was hard. Hard financially and in other ways, as well.


The Proverbs 31 Woman looked nothing like me. She was a woman of excellence; her life was full of outstanding accomplishments, while I did well to provide for my sons. Cherished by her husband, she is described as being far more precious than jewels. I felt so unworthy.

Proverbs 31, Godly character, Evelyn Wells, Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Grunt, Don’t Grunt


by Katy Kauffman


Grunt. Don’t grunt. Grunt. Don’t grunt. I wondered which way it is.


Do we “grunt” to be more like Christ, or is it a work He performs in us? What’s our part? What’s His? These questions usually come to mind when I hear someone say, “Jesus was won the victory for us. Rest in that victory.” Yes, Jesus’ death defeated sin’s power over us and set us free from sin’s penalty of eternal separation from God. But in my daily Christian life, I feel the tug of war between good and evil, between what I want and what God wants for me.


So grunt? Philippians 2:12 (NKJV*) teaches, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” We have a part to play in our spiritual growth, and it’s going to take some fierce respect and love for God because we are in a fierce spiritual battle. As Satan’s kingdom wars against God’s, as the world’s ways war against God’s holy principles, as our sinful nature competes for supremacy with the Holy Spirit’s leadership, we are called to fight. To “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) and to flee what’s evil and pursue what’s good (1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22).

Spiritual Growth, Godly character, Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Grunt, Don’t Grunt, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Power of One


by Katy Kauffman


The Pakistani mountain called “K2” has been nicknamed the “Savage Mountain” because “for every four climbers that reach the summit, one dies trying.”1 Many feel it’s more difficult to climb than Mt. Everest, which is only 800 feet taller.2


In 1953, a group of American mountain climbers gave up on their attempt to conquer the summit when one of them developed blood clots. Secured by ropes, the team descended the mountain. One of the climbers lost his footing on an icy slope and fell,  bringing five of the team with him. But one man held his ground. Pete Schoening thrust his ice axe into the slope. The axe held fast, securing the rope and saving the climbers attached to it.  

mountain climbing, K2, making a difference, The Power of One, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Sharing the Miracle of Heart Renovation


by Jennifer DeFrates, contributor to Heart Renovation

 

For a long time, God wasn’t real for me. I grew up believing in God and loving Him, but somewhere along the way, I lost sight of Him.

 

In high school, I had some very serious events affect how I saw myself and God. To me, the Bible became an authoritarian set of rules about how to behave and what was acceptable to God. I felt that being a Christian was about what I did or didn’t do, not who I was.

 

I even tried to walk away from my faith for a time. I was tired of living with the guilt of never being good enough for God based on my broken understanding of who He is, but God never let me go. He occasionally broke through my hard heartedness to remind me that I belonged to Him. However, I was never ready to hear Him clearly until I was ready to know Him truly.

Heart Renovation, Spiritual Growth, marriage, Humility, Jennifer DeFrates, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Celebrating the Beauty and Strength of Love

by Katy Kauffman


A blue dress and Cinderella shoes. I’m ready for Saturday. This weekend one of my best friends will marry her prince. Seven bridesmaids dressed in blue chiffon will walk before her down the aisle. I’m privilege to be one of them.


In honor of my friend who is like a sister to me, this week I am sharing a passage from Scripture that shows the richness of love. How it acts, how it doesn’t act. How God treats us, how He desires we treat others. This kind of love I see between my friend and her soon-to-be husband. I see it exhibited in the group of friends that we call family. As we celebrate their union this weekend, we can all celebrate the beauty and strength of the love of God.

love, Celebrating the Beauty and Strength of Love, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

More Moving Vans—But This Time, They Belong to My Children

by Julie Lavender, Contributor to Heart Renovation


Why do I have such a difficult time learning a lesson from God?


You see, I’m struggling with change in my life right now. Change that I don’t want or like. I’m approaching an empty nest in what feels like fast-forward, as my third child completes his masters degree and will move to another city in four months, and my fourth child will move into an apartment for college in mere weeks. Children one and two packed up their possessions and vehicles almost four years ago now for faraway cities.


I don’t want my babies to leave me, Lord. I’ve spent twenty-nine years raising the four of them, and I just didn’t know it would be this difficult to send them off on adventures of their own.

Heart Renovation, Julie Lavender, Change, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Contributing to a Compilation

by Jeannie Waters, Contributor to Heart Renovation


Questioning the Call


Doubts assailed me as I stood on the mountain. After driving six hours, I’d arrived for my first Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Fear tainted my excitement as I considered that maybe I’d made a mistake by coming. 


Is this God’s plan or my idea? Why do I want to write anyway? Is my motive pure?


I’ve dreamed of this venture for years. Friends assure me my efforts are publication-worthy, but what do they know? I wonder if an agent would agree? Are my pieces good, excellent, or none of the above?


Writing for God . . . Wow! What a blessing! Did He choose me for this type of kingdom work? Wait. That couldn’t possibly be true. I’m a fair judge of writing and mine is okay—well, maybe good—but certainly not great. No, I’m not a great writer. I dare not write in God’s name if He’s not asking me to do so.

Heart Renovation, Jeannie Waters, writing, writing for a compilation, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Heart Renovation—God’s Work, Our Cooperation


Hidden problems. Unseen damage. The Bible warns us for our good about harboring certain attitudes in our hearts—pride, fear, guilt, bitterness, rebellion, unforgiveness, and the like. These attitudes of the heart cause damage. Sometimes we don’t realize it, or if we do, we don’t know the full extent of the damage. But God knows. He sees, and He cares. He uses various methods to get our attention so together we can address the root causes of the problem and reverse its effects.


Repairing the Hidden Problems of Character


In our new Bible study that releases today, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, we talk about the hidden problems that ambush our spiritual growth.


God arms us with the tools and wisdom needed to tear out what harms our lives and replace it with what builds us up in Christ. Our authors identify specific steps for how to deal with hidden sin and move forward with God’s renovation of our hearts.

Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman

The Light in My Soul: A Poem for This Week

by Katy Kauffman

Next week is an exciting week. We release a double issue of Refresh and launch our new Bible study compilation, Heart Renovation. I hope you consider joining us for the book release party on Facebook! The blog post I wanted to share with you (last week, actually) is not quite ready yet, but it will be a good one. So I would like to share with you a poem I wrote at the beginning of last year. See if it resonates with your own soul, and share your thoughts in the comments below. God bless you this week. 

 

Quiet fills the room where I sit and work and pray.

The world stands still, but I’m at a loss for what to say.

I know many hurt, God; they need someone like You.

Help them to hold on to what is good, lovely, and true.

The Light in My Soul, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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