Refresh Bible Study Magazine: Christmas Issue


It's crunch time. Shopping for Christmas presents and groceries. Last minute laundry and decorating and preparations. So much to do with not enough time!


Come away for five minutes, and let your soul be refreshed in the awe of Christmas. Our team of writers has contributed to a Refresh issue that will help you to celebrate the Savior in this busy season--in this busy weekend!


Click on the link below and let the magazine load for a couple of minutes. Then scroll to the Contents page, and click on any article title to immediately start reading. It's our prayer that the articles and devotions you find will connect your heart more strongly to God and His word, and make your Christmas celebration even more joyful. From all of us at Lighthouse Bible Studies and the Refresh team of writers, Merry Christmas!


Click here to view and download our 2017 Christmas Issue!

 


 

Christmas, Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman

Unexpected News

by Julie Coleman


The day I went into labor with my third child ended with quite the surprise. What we assumed would be one baby turned out to be twins! The midwife didn’t discover little Joseph until I had his sister Melanie in my arms. “Wait, there’s another head!” she informed us. I burst out laughing. Are you kidding me? A second baby? How wonderful was that?


Then the reality of the logistics of the situation hit me. Just moments ago, I had delivered my daughter “naturally,” my first childbirth experience without the aid of an epidural. “Wait a minute,” I said in a panic. “How are we going to get this baby out? Because I’m not going to do THAT again.”

Christmas, faith, God’s promises, Unexpected News, Julie Coleman, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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

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