Unity Is at the Heart of Christ’s Desire for the Church


Obstacle to Christianity: Legalism


by Lyneta Smith


I love traditions. Every fall, I find the cutest pumpkins and pumpkin-spiced candles to cozy up my home. I also buy a couple sugar pumpkins to bake and puree to make pumpkin pie from scratch. All afternoon, the smell of ginger and cloves mingles with bright orange pumpkin puree, tantalizing us with promises of fresh whipped cream and buttery crust.


I love this ritual so much that my family would probably try to get me psychiatric help if I were to forgo it.


Humankind is naturally drawn to traditions—we find comfort, stability, and security in conventions for everything from the way we celebrate holidays to the way we worship.

legalism, obstacles, unity, faith, the word of God, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Unity Is at the Heart of Christ’s Desire for the Church, Lyneta Smith, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Enrich the Soil of Your Heart


by Joanna Eccles


Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark


The harvest is worth the effort to cultivate good soil. Too often, I sabotage myself by falling into common traps that prevent God’s seed from taking root and thriving. The parable of the sower in Mark 4 highlights some common impediments to growth, but ends with the harvest. How do we avoid the pitfalls of having bad soil? Developing fertile ground requires digging into God’s Word so His truths feed our hearts.

Word of God, obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Enrich the Soil of Your Heart, Joanna Eccles, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Day Helplessness Lost Its Power


by Katy Kauffman


Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark


Her skin grew paler with each passing hour. Jairus laid his daughter’s hand back down on the bed, and stood. He looked into his wife’s pleading eyes, and said, “I’ll find Him.” He kissed her on the forehead and headed for the door. He looked at them over his shoulder as his wife knelt beside the bed. He had to find Jesus.


Jairus traveled up and down the dusty streets until the buzzing of a crowd drew him toward the water. People came from everywhere, also drawn to something, or someone, by the edge of the sea. As he approached the multitude and started weaving his way among the crowd, they noticed him—a ruler of the synagogue—and parted, allowing him to pass.


Cries came from weary souls in the crowd. “Jesus, Jesus! Help me!” The very cry of Jairus’ soul. Then Jairus saw Jesus and fell at His feet.  

helplessness, obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, The Day Helplessness Lost Its Power, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Day Hopelessness Had No Chance


by Katy Kauffman


Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark


The clanging of his chains had become a part of him, as much as the hosts that lived within him. Night and day he roamed the hills, the links of his chains scraping with every jostle and jump. The sound was nothing compared to the torrent of cries and shrieks in his soul. They wouldn’t leave. But they gave him incredible strength. Enough might to break the chains that terrified people had used to try to subdue him.


How fitting that he lived among the tombs. He longed for the relief that the departed souls may have found. They were no longer trapped inside their bodies, like he was. Even though he was here as the only living man among the dead, he was dead inside. Dead to hope, dead to peace, dead to life.

hopelessness, obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, The Day Hopelessness Had No Chance, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Silencing the Questions of Fear


Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A New Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark


by Katy Kauffman


It was pouring outside my car and inside. I drove home forty-five minutes in the rain, as tears fell freely down my face. I didn’t want to go home, but I had to sleep. Fear gripped my heart that something bad was going to happen again, and I didn’t want to leave the hospital.


Before I left my loved ones in the hospital overnight, I stood in front of the Coke machine, asking God for something. Some kind of peace. Some kind of assurance that if I went home, everything would be okay. “He’s in safe hands,” came the soft answer. Even with that, I let the bottled up emotions spill out on my trek home.

fear, obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Silencing the Questions of Fear, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall


Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A New Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark


by Katy Kauffman


Have you ever encountered an obstacle in your path so massive, it seemed like a giant sequoia tree? In Yosemite National Park, a giant sequoia stood for about 2,100 years. Then something as simple as snow, and a tunnel, brought it down.


In 1881, two men carved a tunnel into a tree named “Wawona,” a giant sequoia standing about 230 feet tall. Meant to be a tourist attraction, the twenty-six foot tunnel was wide enough to drive through, and it inspired tourists, including President Theodore Roosevelt, to stop and take a picture with the legendary tree. But the tunnel weakened the tree, and in 1969, snow sitting on the tree’s crown made it collapse. The ancient giant fell.

obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall, 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

The Light in My Soul

by Katy Kauffman


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.

 

I think about Your heart, Your love, Your plan, Your ways.

How You’re always with us in good and not so good days.

You see what we can’t—victory springing to life.

The peace that arrives when we let go of inner strife.

 

hope, faith, truth, God’s light, poetry, The Light in My Soul, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Forward: A Poem for the New Year

by Katy Kauffman


"And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you.
He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you;
Do not fear nor be dismayed."
Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

 

On this cold winter’s evening,

I think about this year’s plight.

Days it was hard just being,

Trying to have enough might.

 

Now the journey continues,

New joys but also trials.

Challenges, difficult news.

What will be in future miles?

 

New Year’s, faith, trusting God, God’s guidance, Forward, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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

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