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

Finding My Pace


by J.D. Wininger


One of my most treasured items is something I used many times in the military. It’s not my weapon, nor my lensatic compass (although I still have it). The treasured item I keep close is my pace counter. It has sustained me through many journeys in this life.


Made while in the US Army, my pace counter has logged thousands of miles in its lifetime. To understand its importance, it might help to understand how it works. Today, many use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to tell them how to reach their destination. Decades ago, when we had to watch out for errant dinosaurs, we used a map, compass, and pace counter. By knowing the distance between each step, which is terrain-dependent, a pace counter can tell you how far you’ve traveled. One side of the pace counter allows you to count how many steps you’ve taken, and the other side counts how many meters you’ve traveled.

Spiritual Growth, Bible study, prayer, victory, Finding My Pace, J.D. Wininger, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

14 Ways to Guard What God Has Built


by Katy Kauffman


They built the wall, but the danger wasn’t over.


The enemies of the Jews hated them. During the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, the enemy mocked them, plotted to attack them, and enticed Nehemiah four times to leave the work and meet them outside the city (Nehemiah 2:19, 4:7-8, 6:1-4). Relentless. The fifth message they sent was a letter that claimed Nehemiah and the Jews were rebelling against the foreign king who ruled them at the time. They persisted in trying to stop the work, but God’s people finished it, and the wall was restored. 


We have a relentless enemy today. Our spiritual enemy Satan doesn’t want to see us restored—redeemed from past mistakes, healed from hurtful words and actions, and set right in how we think and feel and act. Satan wants us to live bruised, beaten, and discouraged. Defeated.

spiritual warfare, victory, guard your heart, 14 Ways to Guard What God Has Built, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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