Door Post Verses: Forgiveness

by Lauren Craft

Have you ever tried carrying a week’s worth of groceries from your car to your house? If you can shoulder the bags all at once, you’ll avoid making multiple trips, right? Not quite. When I’ve tried this, something is usually dropped. A potato slips out of my hands, an apple rolls under my car, or a milk carton lands on my front lawn.

More than anything, though, carrying too much is exhausting. My muscles ache and my breaths become labored. This reminds me of how it feels when resentment weighs me down. Its heaviness sucks joy and peace out of me, leaving unpleasant, sinful thoughts in their place.

Recently, I was upset with several people in my life. They’d made comments that seared like an electrical shock to the heart. I tried to clear the resentment on my own, telling myself, “I’ve made mistakes too” and “They probably didn’t mean to hurt me.” 

 

 

forgiveness, healing, freedom, grace, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Strength

by Katy Kauffman

2 - Strength Verses.jpg

What do you love about the book of Psalms? The heartfelt cries of David and others, the promises of comfort, or the chronicle of how God faithfully helped those who were in distress? What I love the most about Psalms is what I learned about God. I “saw” that He was both loving and formidable, that He cares when one of His own suffers, and that He has the power to crush every enemy that comes against us. 

 

 

strength, endurance, Bible verses, Door Post Verses: Strength, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses

by Katy Kauffman

I wanted the eagle so badly I felt like crying. The gorgeous picture of an eagle descending through dark storm clouds—his wings in the shape of a v—made me think of God swooping down to rescue one of His children. I really wanted the picture for my room, but the frame and mat didn’t match my colors. My tender, preteen heart didn’t want to leave the eagle picture behind.

My mom told me that if God wanted me to have the picture, He would provide it with the perfect frame and mat. I reluctantly left the art store, and eventually the eagle shifted to the back of my mind. Then I found it. Hanging in a Christian bookstore, I discovered my eagle encased by a midnight blue marbled mat and fruitwood frame. Perfect. God provided not just the perfect picture but the perfect verse to go with it—a verse that has seen me through dark storms. 

 

 

Scripture, Bible verses, truths, promises, Door Post Verses, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: God Is Greater

A Recap

 

Although we battle spiritual enemies every day, our God is greater than any enemy we face. He who parts the seas and stops the mouths of lions, can empower us to win our spiritual battles. He who calms the storms, can calm our circumstances or the storms in our hearts. He who heals and raises the (spiritually) dead, can heal us and breathe life into relationships, dreams, zeal, and joy. God is greater than anything that troubles us, and He has given us the principles we need to be overcomers.

So what battle are you facing right now? In our series Breaking the Chains, 6 guest bloggers and I have covered 13 forms of spiritual bondage. We’ve shared stories, Scripture, and practical principles for breaking the chains of the spiritual enemies listed below. Click on a phrase to visit that post ...

 

 

Breaking the Chains series, overcoming spiritual bondage, overcomers, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: 9 Ways to Overcome Depression

A nagging at the heart. A heavy fog. A stabbing pain. Although spiritual depression comes in different forms, its effects are usually the same—lost zeal and sense of purpose, subdued energy, sadness, a weakened desire to do routine things, and even doubts about our usefulness to God and His plan.

Identify the Source

Whether I have sudden feelings of depression or they come on so gradually I don’t notice till I’m caught in a “fog,” I have to identify the cause of the depression. Sometimes it’s a prolonged, personal struggle. Sometimes it’s Satan trying to hinder me from living for God and serving Him. But as long as I don’t identify what’s going on, the fog, the nagging, the pain—it continues. 

 

 

depression, spiritual depression, healing, overcomers, Breaking the Chains, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Symphony of the Sea: You Can’t Stick It in a Pocket

by Rosemarie Fitzsimmons

Wading along the water’s edge at the farthest point of Cape Cod while waves gently lap my toes, I breathe in deeply, grateful for a brief opportunity to escape land-locked Northern Virginia for a trip up the coast. I close my eyes, letting memories from my childhood wash over me as the warm morning sun caresses my soul and the breeze kisses my hair. It’s like a hug from the earth.

It’s been years since my last beach vacation. A displaced Rhode Island native, I need regular infusions of coastal exposure because long absences sap my energy. I’ve been away too long.

As a writer, I’m unable to leave my work behind completely. That’d be like a photographer leaving behind the camera. However, on this trip I also carry with me worries about the next steps in my fledgling career. Where has the time gone? Over the past few months, I’ve been slogging through deadlines and paid assignments as if I were in the wet marshland we saw a few miles back ...

 

 

hope, renewal, serving God, Rosemarie Fitzsimmons, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

When Words Fail Me - A Guest Post by Josie Siler

Although I’m a writer, I can’t seem to find the right words to describe God’s creation. It’s magnificent, splendid, brilliant, outstanding, stunning, grand, impressive, unparalleled, unique, supreme, glorious, and so much more.

God’s handiwork is indescribable. That’s why I take pictures! Through photography I can show others small glimpses of the glory of God. Romans 1:20 (NLT) says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” We learn things about God and get to know Him through the things He has made. 

 

 

Photography, God’s creation, nature, chronic illness, Broken but Priceless Ministries, Josie Siler, When Words Fail Me, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Don't Quit

Today as I design our August issue of Refresh, I want to share with you a poem that’s helped me. Written by Jill Wolf, it’s an encouragement to keep going and keep trying.

What assignment has God given you to do? Don’t stop short of completing it.

What amazing good is God working in your life? Don’t give up on the process.

What blessings can you give to those around you? Don’t rob them of a surprise joy.

What promises are you waiting on God to fulfill? Don’t be afraid they won’t happen.

Keep trusting, keep working, and keep waiting.

 

 

endurance, commitment, Don't Quit, Jill Wolf, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Healing

The ache I’ve felt in my soul
The desire to be made whole
The longings that have gone unmet
The pain I want to forget

A Healer I’ve needed and prayed for
The Calmer of the stormy roar
My Hero in difficult battles
The Releaser of chains and shackles

 

 

Pain, anguish, depression, adversity, healing, The Healing, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Responding to Fear and Disorder

Disorder and violence seem predominant in the news today, and we can be tempted to fear what will happen next. I heard the following message online recently, and it encouraged me greatly. Below are some of the notes I took. May they bless you in these uncertain days.

How To Respond in Times of Fear and Disorder
by Johnnie Moore  (speaking at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California)

Our fear must be kept subservient to our faith.
Fear causes us to only see the problem, and it blinds us to an opportunity for God.
We fear so much because our faith is so little.
Christians aren’t people of fear. ...

 

fear, disorder, response, faith, God, church, Johnnie Moore, Shadow Mountain Community Church, Beebe Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Pages