God’s Eraser

by Katy Kauffman

Each child’s heart is like a journal. The adults, teachers, and peers in a child’s life write on it. Kind words, playful words, or hurtful ones. Their actions jot down notes about the child’s worth and identity—you’re valuable or you won’t amount to anything, you’re needed or I don’t want you around, you can do great things with God’s help or you’re a failure before you start.

If we have negative words and actions written on the journals of our hearts, we may think that there’s no reversing it. No eraser can eliminate the stain. But God can.

words, criticism, Pain, healing, hope, the character of God, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, God’s Eraser, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Overcoming the Impossible: God’s Strategies for Victory

by Katy Kauffman

Have you ever felt like you were in an “impossible” struggle with no way out, no way to win the victory? I have. More than once. The battlefield of the mind tends to be one of the best campgrounds of “impossible,” but also one of the best places for God to do His rescuing work. We can’t escape our own minds, and Satan enjoys sending us harassing—even debilitating—thoughts. But God makes a way for victory in every struggle whatever battleground the enemy chooses.
 

How does God help us to win? Below are some strategies He has taught me, strategies that show me God is good. He understands the pull of selfishness on our hearts and the oppression Satan seeks to batter us with. His own Son endured Satan’s temptations and harassment, and won. Jesus is our High Priest who intercedes for us and our Shepherd who guides us on dangerous paths. In His goodness, God has given what we need to navigate and overcome challenges (2 Peter 1:3). His wisdom reveals what strategies will bring victory, His power enables us to execute them, and His love keeps our hearts hopeful and expectant of the good He will work.

spiritual battles, struggles, the character of God, victory, hope, Overcoming the Impossible: God’s Strategies for Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Is God Still Good When Life Hurts?

by Denise Roberts

Dad was diagnosed with cognitive decline five or so years before his death. Although the doctors never put a name to it, the reality was Alzheimer’s disease. We had seen the signs.

An engineer by trade, he could no longer troubleshoot the systems he helped design and install. The man, who in my opinion, could do anything, and who had practically rebuilt an old home as a hobby, was unable to install an electrical outlet.

Naturally quiet, he became more withdrawn from conversations.

Anyone who has traveled this path with a loved one knows how difficult it is to witness your loved one fade away.

When the neurologist confirmed what we suspected, my prayers began in earnest. For healing, yes. But really for more.

the character of God, adversity, sorrow, hope, Is God Still Good When Life Hurts?, Denise Roberts

Door Post Verses: Hope

by Katy Kauffman

   What do you dream of? For your family, yourself, this country?

   What do you hope will happen in the next year? I have some secret dreams. When I pray about something I’m hoping for, I ask God to provide it and then I picture Him sticking it in His pocket. (Does God have pockets? Surely so.) I know He will provide what I’ve asked for if it’s His will, but I also know it will be in His way and timing.

   Trusting God’s method and timing can be hard when we’ve waited a long time or when a lot hinges on receiving the answer. But why would we doubt what the God of the universe—who loves us perfectly and has all power and wisdom—can do? 

 

 

hope, dreams, Door Post Verses: Hope, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Symphony of the Sea: You Can’t Stick It in a Pocket

by Rosemarie Fitzsimmons

Wading along the water’s edge at the farthest point of Cape Cod while waves gently lap my toes, I breathe in deeply, grateful for a brief opportunity to escape land-locked Northern Virginia for a trip up the coast. I close my eyes, letting memories from my childhood wash over me as the warm morning sun caresses my soul and the breeze kisses my hair. It’s like a hug from the earth.

It’s been years since my last beach vacation. A displaced Rhode Island native, I need regular infusions of coastal exposure because long absences sap my energy. I’ve been away too long.

As a writer, I’m unable to leave my work behind completely. That’d be like a photographer leaving behind the camera. However, on this trip I also carry with me worries about the next steps in my fledgling career. Where has the time gone? Over the past few months, I’ve been slogging through deadlines and paid assignments as if I were in the wet marshland we saw a few miles back ...

 

 

hope, renewal, serving God, Rosemarie Fitzsimmons, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Stop Asking Questions – A Guest Post by Adria Wilkins

The unexplainable happened. My son was no longer getting the oxygen he needed to live. 

In 1999, we had a child born with spina bifida and multiple medical problems. His name was Blake. We had around-the-clock home health care. Blake had a tracheostomy, a surgically created hole into the windpipe, and was on a ventilator 24 hours a day. He was doing well and had not been in the hospital for a year. 

On that day, Blake’s trach tube came out and the nurse couldn’t get it back in. Emergency medical services rushed to the house and were able to reattach it. Because of the lack of oxygen for several minutes, Blake was left brain dead. 

Even though he was breathing again with the help of the ventilator, his brain was gone. We took him off life support just before his third birthday. I ask many questions about what happened that day, but never felt like all were answered.  

 

 

joy, suffering, adversity, hope, grief, the grieving process, Adria Wilkins, Joy Box Stories

Breaking the Chains: One Way to Overcome Depression

The water was a brilliant blue and green. On my birthday this year, I visited my first New England beach. If you know me well, you know I love the beach. I even collect sand. Right now, my desk is littered with jars of sand, needing to find a permanent home. Every beach I remember visiting (I got started young) has made a home in my heart.

When my family discovered Nahant Beach outside Boston, I didn’t know I was going to discover the prettiest water that I remember seeing. The shallow water danced under the sun with a magical green tint, and as the shoal grew in depth, the water grew to a postcard-worthy blue. Gorgeous. It wasn’t until later that I realized I needed help seeing the brilliant colors of the water.

 

 

depression, hope, the right perspective, God’s perspective, Breaking the Chains: One Way to Overcome Depression

Free to Bloom

I bought them on faith. Back in April, beautiful tulips called to me as I approached the self-checkout at Kroger. I love to smell the flowers that grace grocery stores. If I can smell their sweet scent, I have to restrain myself not to buy them. I had to see if these tulips smelled good. They did.

I noticed that some had already bloomed. They were a gorgeous hot pink with white edges. Other bunches had partly opened blooms. So I went for one of those sets. Although the “sell buy” date on the sticker told me that maybe I shouldn’t spend three dollars to take them home, I hoped that they would bloom eventually and live longer than the already bloomed flowers.  I believed in what they could become.

 

 

hope, renewal, growth, burdens, worry, God’s grace, Free to Bloom, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Confession

In the stillness of the night You hear my cry

You know the battle in my soul

I give the fight all I have and try

To bear the rigorous toll

 

You embrace me in my weakest moment

You remind me of Your great love

In my daily predicament

I know I have help from up above

 

 

adversity, trials, hope, faith, God's faithfulness, peace, fear, anxiety, brokenness, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: Hoping For a Happy Ending

by Tessa Emily Hall

 

Writing a book is therapeutic for me. I find enjoyment through weaving together the tough aspects of life into a story that brings meaning to these hardships. A story that wraps up in a satisfying, happy ending.

Because this is what we yearn for in life, isn’t it? We long for hope in the midst of tragic circumstances. We yearn for meaning in the midst of pain. A reminder that, despite how our “story” might look right now, it will turn out all right in the end.

In my YA novel, Purple Moon, Selena grew up in a Christian home. She grew up believing in Jesus and that He had the perfect “fairy tale life” planned for her. But as she grew older, this hope began to diminish.

 

 

hopelessness, hope, the character of God, Breaking the Chains: Hoping For a Happy Ending, Tessa Emily Hall, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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