The Power of One


by Katy Kauffman


The Pakistani mountain called “K2” has been nicknamed the “Savage Mountain” because “for every four climbers that reach the summit, one dies trying.”1 Many feel it’s more difficult to climb than Mt. Everest, which is only 800 feet taller.2


In 1953, a group of American mountain climbers gave up on their attempt to conquer the summit when one of them developed blood clots. Secured by ropes, the team descended the mountain. One of the climbers lost his footing on an icy slope and fell,  bringing five of the team with him. But one man held his ground. Pete Schoening thrust his ice axe into the slope. The axe held fast, securing the rope and saving the climbers attached to it.  

mountain climbing, K2, making a difference, The Power of One, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Sharing the Miracle of Heart Renovation


by Jennifer DeFrates, contributor to Heart Renovation

 

For a long time, God wasn’t real for me. I grew up believing in God and loving Him, but somewhere along the way, I lost sight of Him.

 

In high school, I had some very serious events affect how I saw myself and God. To me, the Bible became an authoritarian set of rules about how to behave and what was acceptable to God. I felt that being a Christian was about what I did or didn’t do, not who I was.

 

I even tried to walk away from my faith for a time. I was tired of living with the guilt of never being good enough for God based on my broken understanding of who He is, but God never let me go. He occasionally broke through my hard heartedness to remind me that I belonged to Him. However, I was never ready to hear Him clearly until I was ready to know Him truly.

Heart Renovation, Spiritual Growth, marriage, Humility, Jennifer DeFrates, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Celebrating the Beauty and Strength of Love

by Katy Kauffman


A blue dress and Cinderella shoes. I’m ready for Saturday. This weekend one of my best friends will marry her prince. Seven bridesmaids dressed in blue chiffon will walk before her down the aisle. I’m privilege to be one of them.


In honor of my friend who is like a sister to me, this week I am sharing a passage from Scripture that shows the richness of love. How it acts, how it doesn’t act. How God treats us, how He desires we treat others. This kind of love I see between my friend and her soon-to-be husband. I see it exhibited in the group of friends that we call family. As we celebrate their union this weekend, we can all celebrate the beauty and strength of the love of God.

love, Celebrating the Beauty and Strength of Love, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

More Moving Vans—But This Time, They Belong to My Children

by Julie Lavender, Contributor to Heart Renovation


Why do I have such a difficult time learning a lesson from God?


You see, I’m struggling with change in my life right now. Change that I don’t want or like. I’m approaching an empty nest in what feels like fast-forward, as my third child completes his masters degree and will move to another city in four months, and my fourth child will move into an apartment for college in mere weeks. Children one and two packed up their possessions and vehicles almost four years ago now for faraway cities.


I don’t want my babies to leave me, Lord. I’ve spent twenty-nine years raising the four of them, and I just didn’t know it would be this difficult to send them off on adventures of their own.

Heart Renovation, Julie Lavender, Change, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Contributing to a Compilation

by Jeannie Waters, Contributor to Heart Renovation


Questioning the Call


Doubts assailed me as I stood on the mountain. After driving six hours, I’d arrived for my first Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Fear tainted my excitement as I considered that maybe I’d made a mistake by coming. 


Is this God’s plan or my idea? Why do I want to write anyway? Is my motive pure?


I’ve dreamed of this venture for years. Friends assure me my efforts are publication-worthy, but what do they know? I wonder if an agent would agree? Are my pieces good, excellent, or none of the above?


Writing for God . . . Wow! What a blessing! Did He choose me for this type of kingdom work? Wait. That couldn’t possibly be true. I’m a fair judge of writing and mine is okay—well, maybe good—but certainly not great. No, I’m not a great writer. I dare not write in God’s name if He’s not asking me to do so.

Heart Renovation, Jeannie Waters, writing, writing for a compilation, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Heart Renovation—God’s Work, Our Cooperation


Hidden problems. Unseen damage. The Bible warns us for our good about harboring certain attitudes in our hearts—pride, fear, guilt, bitterness, rebellion, unforgiveness, and the like. These attitudes of the heart cause damage. Sometimes we don’t realize it, or if we do, we don’t know the full extent of the damage. But God knows. He sees, and He cares. He uses various methods to get our attention so together we can address the root causes of the problem and reverse its effects.


Repairing the Hidden Problems of Character


In our new Bible study that releases today, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, we talk about the hidden problems that ambush our spiritual growth.


God arms us with the tools and wisdom needed to tear out what harms our lives and replace it with what builds us up in Christ. Our authors identify specific steps for how to deal with hidden sin and move forward with God’s renovation of our hearts.

Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman

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

Pages