What’s at the Heart of Your Faith?


by Katy Kauffman


They called it the “boss.” In the center of a Roman shield was a round piece of metal or wood, and it wasn’t just for decoration. The boss acted as a weapon in close combat. Any opponent who could get close enough to a Roman soldier was in danger of being stunned with the heart of his shield. What’s at the heart of your shield?


In Ephesians 6, God pictures our protection in spiritual battles as pieces of Roman armor, and He uses a shield to picture our faith. 


Above all, taking the shield of faith
with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
(Ephesians 6:16 NKJV)


Our faith quenches Satan’s darts of fear, anxiety, and discouragement. When we compare God’s power, wisdom, and love to all that could go wrong, we know we have a Hero we can count on. He is always with us (Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5) and fighting for us (Exodus 14:14, Deuteronomy 20:4). Instead of giving in to a barrage of negative thoughts, we can stand behind our shield of faith and let the Word of God quench the fiery arrows meant to take us down.

faith, COVID-19, coronavirus, fear, worry, shield of faith, armor of God, What’s at the Heart of Your Faith, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

2020 Vision: Finding Strength in the New Year


Where do you find your strength? A busy schedule keeps me wondering whether I need to slow down, but that's not always possible. Having a constant pull on our attention can make us feel weak or divided, but even in the busy, God is present. 


So how can we find strength when life is constantly on the go and it's easy to feel worn out? I have something to share with you. A poem that has helped me to remember where my strength comes from.

 

strength, God, time with God, quiet times, 2020 Vision: Finding Strength in the New Year, 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

Listening for God’s Voice: An Excerpt from The Power to Make a Difference

by Katy Kauffman
 

How do you want to make a difference in the world? Through your writing? Teaching a small group? Loving your family?


So often we need to hear from God in order to make a difference. We need Him to give us direction or answer a question, so we can move forward. We need Him to heal a hurt, so we don’t feel weighed down.


I have often wanted God to shout an answer, but there’s power in the quiet. In learning how to hear His voice, I’ve discovered that it’s the stillness that allows me to hear Him the clearest. And it’s not a shout that powerfully shapes my life and effectiveness for His kingdom. It’s the gentle whispers of a loving Father. Have you heard His whispers too?


In this excerpt from our new book, The Power to Make a Difference, which releases today, I share about hearing God’s voice. A song glided over the mountains …


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 to Make a Difference, hearing God, listening to God, prayer, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

2020 Vision: Finding Peace in the New Year


by Katy Kauffman


It wasn’t until I was seventeen that I learned I didn’t have 20/20 vision. That defining moment came at the DMV when I took my eye exam to get my driver’s license. I looked in the viewfinder of the small machine and squinted at the letters on the bottom row. The inside of the machine was dark and the letters blurry.


“I think your machine is broken,” I told the lady behind the counter. She looked inside the machine and had me read the bottom row.


“Honey,” she said. “It’s not the machine. It’s your eyes!”

new year, peace, strength, 2020 Vision: Finding Peace in the New Year, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Merry Christmas from Lighthouse


Merry Christmas from all of us 
here at Lighthouse Bible Studies

Christmas, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Becoming Like Mary, One Day at a Time


by Katy Kauffman


I used to think being like Mary, the mother of Jesus, was unattainable. After all, God picked her to be the mother of the Messiah. What kind of godliness would it take to be qualified for such a role? I didn’t think I would ever attain that level of goodness.


But “perfect” isn’t what God was looking for. In Mary, He found willingness. She said yes to God and His plan.


Yes to being so young and becoming a parent to the Son of God in human form.
Yes to risking Joseph’s reaction to the news.

Christmas, Mary, Jesus, God’s will, willingness, Becoming Like Mary One Day at a Time, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Don’t Go Back


by Katy Kauffman


Have you ever felt the relief of freedom? I have. More than once. Whether I had struggled with something for days or years, breaking out of a detrimental habit or way of thinking brought with it a wonderful conglomeration of relief, joy, and peace. Freedom can also bring restoration, renewed relationships, right values, and clear thinking.


So why do we sometimes go back? Just like the Israelites were tempted to go back to Egypt, we may be tempted to pack up and leave freedom for what has grown familiar—bondage, struggle, and defeat. That decision was made by the Israelites when they were worried about having enough food (Exodus 16:2-3). They didn’t trust God to provide for them. They wanted to be slaves again rather than to trust God and flourish in the freedom He had provided. 


Freedom takes work. God hasn’t called us to bondage, but to be bondservants of Christ (Colossians 4:1, 12 NKJV). Jesus died to free us from sin’s enslaving power, and although He has provided this reality for all who have faith in Him, we still struggle with temptation, our sinful natures, and what’s “easy.” It’s easy to give into bondage again. It’s easy to give into sin instead of fighting it and saying no. It takes work to stay free in our daily walk with God, to live as He intends for us to live—in the relief of freedom.

victory, spiritual battles, freedom, Breaking the Chains, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Abide in My Love

This past weekend we enjoyed the 2019 Enrich Conference here in Georgia. My family hosted it, and we had such a good time talking about writing with other Bible study writers. We will be posting pictures on our Lighthouse Facebook page, and for now, I’d like to share this short poem with you, one that I wrote when I was seventeen years old.


How would you describe what it means to abide in the love of Jesus? I did my best to answer that question in this poem. Let each phrase sink into your heart. I’d like to hear your thoughts about John 15:9 in the comments below. Abide in His love. Always.


“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9 NKJV).


Abide where it’s safe.

Abide where you’re forgiven.

Abide where you can grow.

Abide with the One who loves you the best.

Abide in My Love, poetry, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Conquering the Uphill Battles


by Dorcas Asercion Zuniga


The walk down to the dining hall from our motel that first evening of our church retreat in the mountains of Lynchburg, Virginia was pleasant and filled with the anticipation of a wonderful meal. The only problem was we had to walk back to the motel—uphill.


For our return trip, my husband Zee and I chose the route with the stairs. Not so pleasant. The steps were so steep, and it didn’t help that my tummy was full. We decided after the next meal to take the road back up.


The paved path back to the motel was a more scenic route. But it was still a climb. During those postprandial journeys, my legs threatened to give out midway through our trek. The muscles in my lower back cramped up mercilessly. For the most part, I was able to push through the pain and reach our destination. But many times I needed to stop and wait for my weak, aching muscles to regain their strength.


During several of those uphill battles (for me anyway), Zee wanted to stop to take pictures. Those little rest periods revived my fatigued muscles enough to make the rest of the ascent more tolerable.


When I experience physical fatigue, the remedy is rest. What about mental fatigue?

spiritual battles, victory, waiting on God, hope, Isaiah 40:31, Dorcas Asercion Zuniga, Conquering the Uphill Battles, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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