Listening for God’s Voice


by Katy Kauffman


The Power of God’s Voice


A song glided over the mountains and slipped through the window of my hotel room, or so I thought. As I woke up in one of my favorite places on earth, the Blue Ridge Mountains, I strained to hear the melody of some faint sound. Where is that coming from? Can the mountains really sing?


I turned on the light and almost decided the mountain tops possessed some magical quality. And then I discovered it. The new alarm app on my tablet was quietly urging me to wake up. The volume was turned down so low I didn’t even realize it was speaking to me.


The Power of God’s Volume


There have been times in my life that I wanted God to blare an answer to my question or trumpet the timing of His plan. But I’ve discovered that it’s the quiet moments that take His soft reply and sear His answer on my heart. He doesn’t need to shout. He simply needs to whisper. Do we realize He is speaking to us?

 

prayer, God's guidance, small group Bible studies, The Power to Make a Difference, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

An Eagle of Love


by Katy Kauffman


I stared at the painting and tried to memorize every detail. Dark gray brush strokes created ominous clouds and morphed into blue and white patches. An eagle with its wings outstretched in a “v” shape descended out of storm clouds into the bright light of day. I was captivated by the light shining on the eagle’s feathers. He looked so real, so beautiful. His look of determination said that he was going to win, whatever the battle was.


This eagle picture was unlike any other I had ever seen, and my twelve-year-old heart craved it. I memorized the artist’s name—Laurie Snow Hein, a beautiful name. The painting was perfect, but its frame and mat weren’t right for my room. I lingered at the painting for a while, wishing I could take it home.


“If God wants you to have it, He’ll give it to you, and it will be perfect,” my mom said. I didn’t know how that would happen, but I tucked her words into my heart and left the store with some hope.

victory, love, faith, God’s gifts, An Eagle of Love, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

I Am Here: A Christmas Poem


by Katy Kauffman


I look at the world and wonder why

So many hurting, so many die.

My heart grieves and trembles with fear.

I hear a whisper say, “I am here.”

 

hope, faith, Jesus, Christmas, I am Here: A Christmas Poem, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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

Devotional Thoughts for the Artsy Soul


by Katy Kauffman


Autumn inspires the artist with a warm palette—a captivating array of oranges, reds, and browns. With splashes of yellow and purple.


With our brushes, pens, and cameras, we capture trees that make an appearance just once a year. With our stamps and markers, we send Thanksgiving cards to loved ones, and with our hearts and Bibles, we jot down thoughts of gratitude and peace.


Every autumn, God paints His landscape for us to admire. But that’s not the only thing He paints. With a masterful eye and a gentle touch, He paints the picture of our lives, adding layer to layer each year.

Art, God’s work, beauty, brokenness, healing, Psalm 107, Katy Kauffman, My Artsy Tribe, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Soap Bubbles for the Soul


An excerpt from Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character
by Katy Kauffman


I walked onto the beach and stood in awe. It wasn’t the white-capped waves that captured my attention or the small flock of pelicans that flew nearby. It was the soap bubbles.


The ocean was edged with soap bubbles, or what looked like them, as if God were cleansing the waters. White foam stood at attention along the beach, a reminder of what “clean” looks like. I played tag with the waves for a little bit, and then stepped into a foamy mound. My toes didn’t feel it as much as my heart did. Clean. A sense of being made new, washed, set right. “Clean” is a refreshing word, and it is a reality usually achieved through hard work and care. It takes hard work to keep a house clean. How much more our hearts.

Godly character, purity, sin, choices, Soap Bubbles for the Soul, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

What’s Your “Battle 5” Plan?


by Katy Kauffman


Step 1 – Suit up.
Step 2 – Find the trigger.
Step 3 – Enter the arena.
Step 4 – Hide.
Step 5 – Find higher ground.


Every time I played laser tag in a castle-like arena, I knew I needed to find higher ground. My tactical position from the towers allowed me to spot unsuspecting friends and zap their “armor.” Flashing red lights and little warning sirens told me I had hit my mark.


Why is it that I’m better at playing laser tag than winning some of life’s spiritual battles? It’s because I forget my battle plan. Years of struggles have taught me that to win some battles, I need to cling to God.

victory, strategies, spiritual warfare, negative thoughts, shield of faith, What’s Your Battle 5 Plan, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

I Want to Stay with You

I Want to Stay with You


A Bible Study Devotion from Faith, Courage, and Victory


by Katy Kauffman


Reverend Phil seemed seven feet tall to me when I was a child. He could have been a captain at sea or a firefighter or a police chief, but he was a pastor. One Sunday night, his deep voice caught my attention as he unfolded the story of a wild and violent man whose encounter with Jesus changed everything.


A demon-possessed man roamed the tomb-filled hills of the Gadarenes. Everyone feared him, and no one could tame him. They managed to shackle him, but he broke the chains. Then Jesus came to the area—the one Man who could unshackle his heart. When the man saw Jesus, he knew who He was, and he was afraid of Him. He said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me” (Mark 5:7). Jesus didn’t hurt him; He helped him. The man had many demons in him, and Jesus sent them all out of the man into a nearby herd of pigs. The pigs “ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned” (Mark 5:13 NKJV).


When the people of the area came out to see what had happened, the man who had been demon-possessed was sitting, clothed, and in his right mind. That made the people afraid. Those who had been there told the people what happened to the pigs. The people of the area wanted Jesus to leave. Reverend Phil’s characterization of their attitude toward Jesus, was memorable. It was as if they said to Him, “We don’t care where You go or what You do, as long as You leave here.” The healed man’s reaction was just the opposite: “I don’t care where You go or what You do, as long as I can go with You.”

victory, faith, closeness to God, loneliness, relationships, knowing God, I Want to Stay with You, Courage, and Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Who Me?


A Bible Study Devotion from Faith, Courage, and Victory


by Katy Kauffman


The Brazil mission team needed someone to share the gospel in the tent meeting that night. They elected me, the youngest. I was scared. I had shared the gospel in classrooms on another trip, but never in front of a big crowd. 


Earlier in the week, we had invited people to come to the tent meeting, and that night the tent was packed. I sat with my mom in the middle of the crowd, and waited for my time to speak. Although it was dark outside, the joy and brightness inside the tent stirred my soul. One of our team members gave her testimony, and another sang. While our team leader was preaching, I turned to my mom like I had so many times before, hoping for a pep talk. I told her I was scared to share, and all I can remember her saying is, “Ask God to help you.”

victory, faith, doubt, sekf-image, serving God, Who Me?, Courage, and Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

A Pow in the Gut

by Katy Kauffman


I was standing at the three-point line on the basketball court. Our team was playing defense under the other team’s goal. One of their players shot the ball, but it didn’t go in. Instantly I started running. As point guard, I needed to get to our side of the court in case one of our girls caught the rebound.


Tiffany was built for sports. She could run, shoot, and throw the ball with amazing power. When she caught the rebound, I knew she would be throwing it in my direction. By the time she launched the basketball, I had made it to our side of the court, near the three-point line. When the ball reached me, it had such power that it went through my hands and landed in my gut. “Pow!” The noise reverberated through the whole gym, and as if on cue, the crowd said in unison, “Oooh!”

victory, power, strength, suffering, adversity, A Pow in the Gut, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Pages