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

Jesus, The Survivor of the Perfect Storm

by Katy Kauffman

I knew Jesus was strong, but this Easter week I “see” it ever more clearly. And I love Him all the more for it. If ever there was a perfect “storm”—a combination of turbulent circumstances and heart-wrenching emotion—it happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. And it happened because of you and me.

 

He loved us. But He loved His Father too, and didn’t want to be separated from Him on the cross. Bearing our sin meant that Jesus would have to be separated from the other two persons of God—the Father and the Holy Spirit. It meant that He whose essence is love, would bear all that was void of love—all of our sin, guilt, and shame. It meant that the One who had perfectly walked on this earth—never accepting a bad thought, harboring a bad attitude, or initiating a bad habit—would bear the consequence of every depraved thought, hateful feeling, and addiction.

Easter, Jesus, the cross, the Survivor of the Perfect Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Immanuel, Our God is with Us!

by Evelyn Wells

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:23 ESV


Many years before His birth, Isaiah foretold that Jesus would be born and that He would be called “Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” Jesus didn’t come to earth just to be our Savior, He came to become our Lord. He came as Friend, as God Himself. He is our Helper, our Sustainer, our Protector, and our Provider. He is our Healer, full of mercy and grace. He especially is our Love. He is most assuredly the God Who is with us.


As believers we find all this is true in different times, places, and situations. Through His Holy Spirit, Jesus dwells with us. No matter what we are going through, He is in our midst. Guiding us, comforting us, loving us.

Jesus, Immanuel, God’s presence, Our God with Us!, Evelyn Wells, 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

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

A Coach Who Plays the Game with You

by Katy Kauffman

I believe coaches and leaders can be divided into two categories. There’s the coach who shouts at the team from the side line, and then there’s the coach who runs the ladders with you. Which coach would you want?

I’ve had two basketball coaches who were the running type—Melissa Mathis and my dad, Rick Kauffman. Melissa became my church team’s coach the third year I played, and the next year Dad became her assistant. He took over coaching my last two years. Both of them loved to play scrimmage games with the girls, and my dad even ran ladders with us. Melissa was on the short side for a basketball player (like me since most of the girls passed me up in height), but she was fast.

coach, teamwork, God’s family, the church, Jesus, A Coach Who Plays the Game with You, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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