Refresh Your Heart with Joy and Peace


by Katy Kauffman


It drives me nuts when I can see the color of flowers in my garden, but I can’t quite get there. In late spring, we planted three azaleas and two hydrangeas in the backyard—the perfect view for a summer of flowers. Their home is a kidney-shaped flower bed filled with the blonde and red specks of cedar mulch. Blue, purple, white, pink, and green blooms have already enticed me to come visit them. But my journey to experiencing joy and peace up close in the garden, is hindered after a downpour.


During a prolonged, hard rain, a six-foot wide stream forms in our grassy backyard between the sidewalk next to the house and the new flower garden. When the waters recede, I still need stepping stones to get from the concrete to the flowers, or else my shoes will need a hosing.


The downpours of life can challenge our joy and peace. Disappointments, hardship, illness, the death of a loved one. Doubt, loss, anger, the tactics of the enemy, and so on.


Maybe you can see joy and peace from afar, but it seems like you can’t quite get there. You need some stepping stones to access them. Or you need some strategies to help guard the joy and peace that you already have.

Refresh Bible Study Magazine, joy, peace, Refresh Your Heart with Joy and Peace, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman, Beebe Kauffman

Refresh Bible Study Magazine: Christmas 2020


In the midst of a difficult pandemic, we need some sparkle in our lives. Part of it comes from the Christmas lights, ornaments, and decorations in our homes.


Let your heart find even more sparkle, joy, and comfort in the 2020 Christmas issue of Refresh. Celebrate Jesus and the demonstration of God's great love for us, as you read this collection of Christmas messages. With a Christ-filled Christmas, we can persevere and look for ways to share God's love and goodness with those around us. Consider sharing one of the messages with your friends or family.


View and Download the Magazine Instantly


We now have two ways to view the magazine. One is the “magazine style” version we have always made. The other is a mobile-friendly version that makes the issue easier to read on a phone or tablet. Download both kinds if you like! They are both PDF files.


Magazine Style: https://bit.ly/RefreshChristmas2020

Mobile-Friendly Style: https://bit.ly/RefreshChristmasMobile

Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Christmas, Jesus, pandemic, joy, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

2020 Vision: Finding Joy in the New Year


by Katy Kauffman


Icy delight falls in my backyard as I write this. All of the Christmas and winter paintings that we love each year are now a reality. Snow has found north Georgia, and my friends have already messaged each other with pictures of winter’s crowning beauty.


As the snow blankets grass, trees, and houses, I stop to pray.


Father, blanket my heart this year with a joy that lasts long after the snow melts. Help me to find delights each day that You have planted along the way. Keep my head in Scripture and my heart close to You. I want to stay wrapped up in Your love and Your truth.

joy, life with God, prayer, The Joy Box, Adria Wilkins, 2020 Vision: Finding Joy in the New Year, 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

Cheerful Satisfaction: A Guest Post by Patty Schell

Groans could be heard throughout the airplane as it bounced and dipped. Turbulence. It was going to be a long flight. Each jerk of the aircraft caused a new round of complaints from its passengers with one exception. From seat 27D could be heard squeals of delight. A small, blue-eyed, blond-headed mite of a girl cheered with joyous abandon. To her, this flight was more than she could hope for. Her “sit in your seat and just be quiet” ride had turned into an exhilarating experience. I couldn’t help but smile at her happiness. In the midst of a less than satisfactory situation, this little one had found great pleasure.


The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NET


Joy
Greek: chara (khar-ah’)
Meaning: Cheerfulness, Calm delight1


Joy’s very definition can make us smile. The idea of being full of cheer lightens our mood. But there is one more definition we should consider. Delight means an extreme level of satisfaction,2 and satisfaction means “a source or means of enjoyment”3: Contentment.

joy, contentment, fruit of the Spirit, Patty Schell, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Joy

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

Joy is a word we see everywhere during the Christmas season. I have joy ornaments hung on my tree. We sing Joy to The World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and many other songs with the word joy. During the holiday season, the air we breathe seems to have molecules of joy. Why? Because we are celebrating the birth of our King—the Word made flesh dwelling amongst us. Joy is not just for December—it is obtainable all year—when one knows the source of unshakable joy.

Joy is defined by Jesus—joy is rooted in a relationship with Him. He alone can fulfill our every desire and need. Jesus said, I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:11 NIV*). Jesus had just taught, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5). We are the branches. The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit—joy is one of the manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit. When we abide, or remain in Christ, there is fullness of joy. The unchanging joy of Jesus flows through us. We enjoy what Jesus enjoys—a relationship with the Father.  So why do we lose our joy at times?

 

 

joy, Door Post Verses series, Cherrilynn Bisbano, 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

Bible Application for Reading, Teaching, or Discussion Groups

1 Peter Chapter 1  Because of the greatness of your salvation, live a holy life.

v.1-2  God’s plan of salvation for all believers includes sanctification by the Holy Spirit, obedience (to what is good), and cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ.
v.3-5  The inheritance that God has given you because of your faith, can’t be taken away from you, and it won’t decay or fade away.
v.6-9  So let the joy of your salvation carry you through the trials of your faith. ...

 

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Bible Application for Reading, Teaching, or Discussion Groups

Build the House of God

In Ezra Ch. 6, the “house of God” (v.3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 16, 17, 22) was the temple, and it needed to be rebuilt because the Babylonians had destroyed it. Today the house of God is the church. Believers are its “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5 NKJV), and we “are being built together for a dwelling place of God” (Ephesians 2:22 NKJV).

Let’s apply the principles of this chapter to Christian authority in the church and to the building and completing of God’s “house” in present times. What should Godly authorities be doing in the church?

Ch. 6  Godly authorities see that the work of building God’s house is finished, all the way to the joy.

What should Godly authorities do?  ...

 

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Shine with Glory

I am really missing the sun. Every winter, I easily get the “gloomies.” I love to be outside, walking in the sunshine and listening to the birds sing. But in January, I am stuck inside, and my picture window reveals  gray clouds and straw-colored grass. But as I write this devotion, a smidge of sunlight is bursting through the clouds, as if to give hope. Thank You, God. There is always hope.

When we hear the evening news, watch our friends go through trials, or think about our own challenges, it’s easy to get the “gloomies.” Gray clouds dampen our joy and energy. But with God, there’s hope that the sun will shine again, that things can get better, and that we will have the grace to handle life’s challenges. It’s possible that our days can shine with glory because God is the One who is working in us and in our circumstances. When He works, miracles happen, and hearts are strengthened. Consider this quote from Beebe Kauffman’s book Isaiah: Setting Things Right.

winter, joy, Isaiah: Setting Things Right, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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