The Light in My Soul: A Poem for This Week

by Katy Kauffman

Next week is an exciting week. We release a double issue of Refresh and launch our new Bible study compilation, Heart Renovation. I hope you consider joining us for the book release party on Facebook! The blog post I wanted to share with you (last week, actually) is not quite ready yet, but it will be a good one. So I would like to share with you a poem I wrote at the beginning of last year. See if it resonates with your own soul, and share your thoughts in the comments below. God bless you this week. 

 

Quiet fills the room where I sit and work and pray.

The world stands still, but I’m at a loss for what to say.

I know many hurt, God; they need someone like You.

Help them to hold on to what is good, lovely, and true.

The Light in My Soul, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

On the Other Side of the Storm

The Storms of Life

by Katy Kauffman


Relief, calm, renewed strength, and often, understanding—when I have come to the other side of a storm, these treasures have been waiting for me. A relief that the worst has passed. A calm that comes with the nearness of God’s presence. Renewed strength for whatever challenges lie ahead. And an understanding of why.


Although why is a question that may not be fully answered on this side of heaven, God often gives us some of the why now. We can look back at a storm in our lives and see what good came out of it (Romans 8:28). We can trace God’s hand of provision and protection (Matthew 6:25-26, Romans 8:32, Psalm 91:1-2). We can remember what He taught us—priceless lessons we may not have learned otherwise (James 1:2-4). We can cling to Him (Deuteronomy 30:20) in new ways because He taught us how to trust Him better.

adversity, storms of life, closeness to God, hope, On the Other Side of the Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

A Celebration of Breaking the Chains and the Selah Awards

by Katy Kauffman


It’s pretty hard to make a writer speechless, but it happened this past week. Again and again, I saw God at work at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and I am still amazed at how God brought writers together at just the right moments to connect with and encourage each other. As a faculty member, I met with writers and heard ideas about their books and articles, and I ate with them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Friendships were kindled, books were started, and business cards were swapped. And then there were the Selah Awards.


On the fifth-year anniversary of  Lighthouse Bible Studies, our first compilation, Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage, won an award as a finalist in the Bible Study category. Eleven of us traveled up the stage to pose for the picture you see above. We represented a broad range of writers and their backgrounds, writers whose stories and principles are forever captured in Breaking the Chains—we are Bible study teachers and speakers, short story writers, agents, editors, business professionals, church leaders, ESL teachers, moms, dads, grandparents, and more.

Breaking the Chains, The Selah Awards, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman

Have Your Way, O LORD: A Poem


This week I want to share the following poem with you as we are preparing to release our new Bible study compilation, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character. Just like a homeowner has to open up his house to a renovation team, we have to open our hearts to God for Him to work in us and conform us to Christ’s likeness. This poem was first published in the Fruit of the Spirit issue of Refresh, which was the basis of Heart Renovation.

 

“Prepare the way of the LORD,

Make His paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled

And every mountain and hill brought low;

The crooked places shall be made straight

And the rough ways smooth.”

Luke 3:4-5 NKJV

 

I can dream, but I don’t know

Of all the beauty You want to show,

Of who You are and what You can do

In a life that’s totally committed to You.

Godly character, Have Your Way, O LORD, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

An Upcoming Release: Heart Renovation

 

Whoo-hoo!! God gave us a double blessing this week.


Just as we were finishing our group’s new compilation, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, we learned that our 2017 compilation is a finalist in the Selah Awards at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage is a finalist in the Bible Studies category. What a blessing!


Our new compilation will be released next month. Heart Renovation is written by thirty authors and has sixty article-length Bible studies. This encouraging and insightful book is a warm-hearted powerhouse of a study on growing in Christlikeness. It is full of strategies that help us to implement the principles of heart renovation and to overcome its hindrances. The book has already affected my heart, and I can’t wait to share it with the world!

Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, Bible Studies, group Bible study, godliness, Christlike character, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Peace in My Father’s Hands

by Dorcas Asercion Zuniga


We left the store just in time. The once blue sky was overtaken by gray clouds. I climbed into the front passenger seat and buckled my safety belt, while my husband, Zee, secured our son in the back. The first drops of rain hit the windshield right when Zee got into the driver’s seat.


As we pulled out of the parking lot, the rainfall quickened. By the time we hit the main road, the clouds opened their floodgates. Even at the highest speed, the windshield wipers barely put a dent in the watery curtain that blocked our visibility.


The pressure building up inside my chest was stifling.

adversity, storms, peace, trials, Peace in My Father’s Hands, Dorcas Asercion Zuniga, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Sailing into Disaster

 

by Katy Kauffman with guest author Beebe Kauffman

Sometimes we sail into a storm with people who won’t listen to God’s warnings. They think everything will be fine or they listen to the wrong advice. The apostle Paul experienced this when he was sailing to Rome as prisoner under a certain centurion’s care. The centurion’s name was Julius.


Paul perceived that the ship, its cargo, and its passengers would be lost at sea, but Julius listened to the ship’s helmsman and owner rather than to Paul (Acts 27:9-11). So they kept sailing. When a head wind, or possibly a northeaster, caught them, they did everything they could to survive. God’s plans for Paul overrode both the storm and the centurion’s stubbornness. He had a plan for Paul, and the application we discover in Acts Chapter 27 encourages us as we face our own storms and head winds today.


The following excerpt is taken from Beebe Kauffman’s upcoming release, A Whole Lot of Wonderful—Application for Today of the Gospels and Acts. In this book, each chapter of the New Testament has been given a theme as you see below for Acts 27, and each paragraph has been given a statement of application. Let these principles soak into your heart and direct you to trust God when you go through a storm of this kind.

storms, adversity, trials, listening to God, Sailing into Disaster, A Whole Lot of Wonderful—Application for Today of the Gospels and Acts, Katy Kauffman, Beebe Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Grace for Every Downpour

by Katy Kauffman

 

One day when I was on my way to a college class, I encountered a downpour unlike any other I can remember. My windshield wipers couldn’t move fast enough for the onslaught of water. I thought about pulling over and waiting it out, but I wasn’t sure where. 

 

Then I saw a pickup truck ahead of me. Its flashers were on, and it became my guide as we traveled thirty-miles per hour down the highway. I could see just enough road around the truck to make sure the driver was staying in his lane. I rounded curves as he did, and we made it out of the torrent alive and in one piece.

 

I’ve never thought of Jesus as a truck driver, but if there is anyone who can drive the highway of life and help us arrive at our destination in one piece, it’s Jesus. He knows how fast or slow to travel, and He’s ready for when an onslaught of surprises, temptations, or troubles come our way. He has the grace to see us through it.

grace, adversity, trials, suffering, Grace for Every Downpour, Calming the Storms Within, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Shelter in the Storm

by Patty Luellen Nicholas

 

Sometimes we know a storm is heading our way and are able to make preparations. Sometimes it takes us by surprise, but either way, when the storm hits, we need shelter or we will be swept away.

 

The storm rages, the seas swell, the winds howl, and we hunker down. We have all been through life’s storms. You may be in a raging storm right now. Whether it is financial, or a health crisis, or a child who is on a very wrong path. Perhaps your storm is a job or boss that is unbearable. Perhaps you are experiencing persecution of some kind.

 

Maybe you are like me and have faced the loss of loved ones.  

loss, grief, adversity, trials, suffering, Shelter in the Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Patty Luellen Nicholas, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Hushing an Emotional Upheaval

by Katy Kauffman

Sometimes it’s a change in our circumstances that stirs our emotions into an inner storm. Sometimes it’s a lingering difficulty. The eye of the hurricane revolves around an unsolved problem, an unmet need, or an unanswered prayer. The winds increase and thunder resounds as we allow fear, doubt, and anxiety to clash with despair. The emotional upheaval affects every part of our lives, and we wonder how it can be fixed. Will it ever be fixed?  

 

Of course, having an emotional reaction to a trial is nearly uncontrollable—it’s going to happen. But once we get our bearings and remember that the Calmer of any storm is with us, we realize we have a choice to make.

 

Hushing an emotional storm starts with specific choices on our part and climaxes in God’s work. It begins with a determination to trust God in spite of what we can see, in spite of what we feel. God won’t force us to have peace within—we have to be willing to receive His peace. Often we have to let go of anxiety, fear, and doubt. As He works in our hearts and we cooperate with that process, peace calms the raging storm. We can persevere with grace as we wait to see what God will do in our circumstances.

Emotions, adversity, trials, suffering, Hushing an Emotional Upheaval, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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