Unity Is at the Heart of Christ’s Desire for the Church


Obstacle to Christianity: Legalism


by Lyneta Smith


I love traditions. Every fall, I find the cutest pumpkins and pumpkin-spiced candles to cozy up my home. I also buy a couple sugar pumpkins to bake and puree to make pumpkin pie from scratch. All afternoon, the smell of ginger and cloves mingles with bright orange pumpkin puree, tantalizing us with promises of fresh whipped cream and buttery crust.


I love this ritual so much that my family would probably try to get me psychiatric help if I were to forgo it.


Humankind is naturally drawn to traditions—we find comfort, stability, and security in conventions for everything from the way we celebrate holidays to the way we worship.

legalism, obstacles, unity, faith, the word of God, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Unity Is at the Heart of Christ’s Desire for the Church, Lyneta Smith, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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

Awake, Awake!


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

 

Awake, awake!

Put on your strength, O Zion;

put on your beautiful garments,

 O Jerusalem, the holy city!

Isaiah 52:1a NKJV

 

Awake to light, awake to hope!

Awake to strength replacing weakness.

Awake to beauty displacing misery.

 

Are you ready for the onslaught of good that will come?

Of God rising, His wings drowning out the cries of hopelessness.

Of God fighting, His sword clashing with the lies and schemes of the enemy.

 

poetry, hopelessness, adversity, trials, victory, spiritual warfare, Isaiah 51:1, Awake, Awake!, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

4 Ways to Disarm Satan’s Lies


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28


The lie shot through my mind, an arrow launched by the enemy. You’re not good enough to draw close to God. You have too much sin.


I knew that wasn’t the truth—God wants His children to draw close to Him. But I was missing an essential element of believing the truth—living it out. Many of my prayer times weren’t joyful celebrations of God’s goodness, but struggles and regrets over my lack of it. Satan’s scheme was working, and I needed rescuing.  


How do you respond to Satan’s lies and schemes? Do you recognize the arrows that he launches toward your mind and heart? Arrows that make you doubt God, His love, and your relationship with Him?   

prayer, prayers from the Bible, spiritual warfare, victory, Hezekiah, Isaiah 37, 4 Ways to Disarm Satan’s Lies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

When You Talk about Scripture, Do You “Scrapbook” It?


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28


Just like the Biltmore itself, my contest entry exuded vintage and fairy tale. The contest at the annual Scrapbook Expo called for entries, and I answered with careful attention to detail.


Three pictures from the Biltmore grounds and gardens were taped to a piece of 12” square parchment-colored paper that had mauve flowers and a fairy tale story printed on it. The edges of each picture were brushed with taupe paint, and paper flowers were accented with gold and cranberry glitter, topped with copper charms. Pewter corner accents, a quote about love, and even a peacock feather filled in the empty spaces. I finished the page by lightly painting the edges of the square paper with chocolate brown paint. Scrapbooked.


It would have been much easier to submit an entry that had my three pictures taped to a plain background. I could have attached a tag to the page to show where the pictures were taken, and let it go. But I would have missed out on the opportunity to add interest and appeal. To make the presentation sparkle.


When we write or teach about Scripture, we have the opportunity to “scrapbook” it. Sure, we could simply state a verse in the middle of our writing or lesson, add a simple explanation, and move on. But we would miss the opportunity to add more interest and appeal. To make the presentation sparkle.

The Scrapbooked Bible Study, writing, teaching Scripture, lesson plans, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Threatened by the Proverbs 31 Woman


by Evelyn Wells


I sat, accused, feeling trapped in my pew. Once again it was Mother’s Day, and the pastor was preaching about the Proverbs 31 Woman. I could see her, clothed in righteousness. She had her finger pointed at me, as she screamed, “YOU! Who do you think you are? Why are you here, today of all days?”


I hung my head in shame, as I listened to the enemy whisper in my ear. “You’ve dishonored your upbringing and shamed your family. Do you think God wants you as His child? I think not.”


I knew I had been forgiven of all my sins. According to Scripture, they were buried in the sea of forgetfulness. Jesus paid for them and remembered them no more. But I didn’t remember that. I felt like a complete failure, defeat weighing heavy on my shoulders. My marriage had ended in divorce. My children and I were on our own, and it was hard. Hard financially and in other ways, as well.


The Proverbs 31 Woman looked nothing like me. She was a woman of excellence; her life was full of outstanding accomplishments, while I did well to provide for my sons. Cherished by her husband, she is described as being far more precious than jewels. I felt so unworthy.

Proverbs 31, Godly character, Evelyn Wells, Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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