Grace for Every Downpour

by Katy Kauffman

 

One day when I was on my way to a college class, I encountered a downpour unlike any other I can remember. My windshield wipers couldn’t move fast enough for the onslaught of water. I thought about pulling over and waiting it out, but I wasn’t sure where. 

 

Then I saw a pickup truck ahead of me. Its flashers were on, and it became my guide as we traveled thirty-miles per hour down the highway. I could see just enough road around the truck to make sure the driver was staying in his lane. I rounded curves as he did, and we made it out of the torrent alive and in one piece.

 

I’ve never thought of Jesus as a truck driver, but if there is anyone who can drive the highway of life and help us arrive at our destination in one piece, it’s Jesus. He knows how fast or slow to travel, and He’s ready for when an onslaught of surprises, temptations, or troubles come our way. He has the grace to see us through it.

grace, adversity, trials, suffering, Grace for Every Downpour, Calming the Storms Within, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Shelter in the Storm

by Patty Luellen Nicholas

 

Sometimes we know a storm is heading our way and are able to make preparations. Sometimes it takes us by surprise, but either way, when the storm hits, we need shelter or we will be swept away.

 

The storm rages, the seas swell, the winds howl, and we hunker down. We have all been through life’s storms. You may be in a raging storm right now. Whether it is financial, or a health crisis, or a child who is on a very wrong path. Perhaps your storm is a job or boss that is unbearable. Perhaps you are experiencing persecution of some kind.

 

Maybe you are like me and have faced the loss of loved ones.  

loss, grief, adversity, trials, suffering, Shelter in the Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Patty Luellen Nicholas, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Hushing an Emotional Upheaval

by Katy Kauffman

Sometimes it’s a change in our circumstances that stirs our emotions into an inner storm. Sometimes it’s a lingering difficulty. The eye of the hurricane revolves around an unsolved problem, an unmet need, or an unanswered prayer. The winds increase and thunder resounds as we allow fear, doubt, and anxiety to clash with despair. The emotional upheaval affects every part of our lives, and we wonder how it can be fixed. Will it ever be fixed?  

 

Of course, having an emotional reaction to a trial is nearly uncontrollable—it’s going to happen. But once we get our bearings and remember that the Calmer of any storm is with us, we realize we have a choice to make.

 

Hushing an emotional storm starts with specific choices on our part and climaxes in God’s work. It begins with a determination to trust God in spite of what we can see, in spite of what we feel. God won’t force us to have peace within—we have to be willing to receive His peace. Often we have to let go of anxiety, fear, and doubt. As He works in our hearts and we cooperate with that process, peace calms the raging storm. We can persevere with grace as we wait to see what God will do in our circumstances.

Emotions, adversity, trials, suffering, Hushing an Emotional Upheaval, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Jewell: From Tragedy to Victory

by Katherine M. Pasour


Despair shrouded the bedroom in deep shadows. The hospital bed engulfed a tiny figure gasping for a breath that tortured lungs couldn’t provide. I crept in on silent feet, not knowing what to say or do. The emaciated woman bore little physical resemblance to the vibrant, active, cheerful Jewell that I knew.


Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel. Proverbs 20:15 NIV*


Jewell and her husband John were the first to welcome my family to church more than thirty years ago. After we joined, they became our mentors, guiding our journey spiritually and modeling how to be servants for our Lord. Jewell sang in the choir, served in a variety of leadership roles, visited the sick and home bound, and cooked for all occasions. With John, she worked tirelessly in numerous capacities including leading the youth group, organizing the “Lend a Hand” program, taking a major role in mission projects, cleaning and maintaining the church and more, more, more …


I never saw Jewell lose her temper. She didn’t gossip or slander—she lived by the Fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful mentor and role model.


Jewell exemplified how to live out God’s purpose on earth.


One would expect that such an amazing person, a Christian example for all who knew her, would be blessed by God to live a joyful and happy life.


But, sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way. God may have a different plan.

storms, adversity, Parkinson’s Disease, legacy, Jewell: From Tragedy to Triumph, Katherine M. Pasour, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Building Faith through the Storms of Life

by Jennifer DeFrates

A few years ago, preparations for hip surgery revealed a giant mass in my abdomen. Test after test and specialists all over two states said removing it might kill me, estimating a fifty percent chance of dying during the procedure.  


One night, I remember rocking my then three-year-old daughter to sleep wondering how my death would affect her life and my family. Choking back sobs, I prayed that if my death were necessary in God’s plan for my family, then I would trust Him. But I didn’t want to let go of this life just yet.

storms, adversity, faith, trusting God, Calming the Storms Within series, Building Faith through the Storms of Life, Jennifer DeFrates, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Calming the Storms Within

A New Blog Series


by Katy Kauffman


The wind shook me. It shook what I held dear. It nearly tipped my sanity over the edge. The rains drenched my hope. They weighed down my joy and settled my emotional state into a pattern of gloom and sadness, with relief sprinkled in.


It was an inner storm—the kind you can’t run away from. The kind that can twist and swirl inside as violently as a tornado. I grew weary and longed for peace. Longed for some quiet. Would it ever come?

trials, adversity, peace, grace, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

4 Truths to Warm Your Soul This Winter

by Katy Kauffman


Pain. That’s what I associate with winter, even in North Georgia. If I’m not careful, the cold can bring pain to my hands and head, and it can cause sinus infections that last for weeks. The cold temperatures translate into four or five layers of clothing; a colorful array of gloves, scarves, and hats; regular doses of hot chocolate; and watching movies underneath my snuggie (a soft, blue blanket with sleeves).


I’m a sunshine girl, so I also have to guard my attitude from turning as gray as the clouds above. Yesterday the fresh snowfall lit up my study with a radiant white light. It’s nice when God gives us some sunshine in the midst of a cold winter.


The soul has its winters too. We go through periods of isolation, coldness, or seclusion. Life’s trials can weather us, causing our joy to fade or our strength to diminish. But He who releases heaven’s storehouses of snow also shares with His children treasures of joy, peace, and grace. Do you need a little more warmth this winter?

winter, God’s love, adversity, joy, peace, 4 Truths to Warm Your Soul This Winter, 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

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

From the Valley to the Pit – A Guest Post by Josie Siler

My feet crunched on the rocky path that wound through the valley as I contemplated the mysterious embrace of a dense fog; and that’s when it happened—I fell into a pit. It wasn’t a pretty fall either; it was a face first nose dive into a deep, dark hole filled with all sorts of creepy-crawlies that wanted to eat me alive.


I stumbled to my feet and assessed the situation. I tried to remember those glorious days spent at the top of the mountain, but the effort was like trying to capture the fog between my fingers. Was I really on the mountaintop just a few short weeks ago? Maybe, like the fog, it was a dream or a deception. 


Was the fog there for me to enjoy its beauty or was it there to blind me to the pit? Is it foe or friend? I’m not sure, but I know this pit is the last place I want to be, and the fog brought me here. 


 

desperation, hope, adversity, deliverance, prayer, From the Valley to the Pit, Josie Siler, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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