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

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

Bible Study Helps

 

I love the beginning of a new Bible study semester. Every September, men and women gather at churches or in homes to study and discuss God’s Word. New friendships will be made, and prayer requests will be lifted up. Some will bake scrumptious goodies that will delight hungry tummies. The best part is diving into a book of the Bible or a particular topic and understanding how God’s Word applies to life today. Do you like the start of a new Bible study season?

As new groups are coming together or old groups are meeting again after summer break, I’d like to offer some Bible Study Helps, such as 5 ways to find application in the Bible and 4 tips for writing and teaching Bible Studies. These are found on a new page on our website. ...

 

 

small group Bible studies, women’s Bible studies, men’s Bible studies, Bible Study Helps, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

To DVD or Not DVD: That is the Question

In this series on Bible studies, I can’t leave out this question: What are the pros and cons of using a DVD-driven study? I have seen it work well and not-so-well. So what makes the difference? When you’re considering whether to use a video-driven study, these pros and cons may help. If you’re creating your own study, these lists may help you to decide whether to make videos to go with your book. ...

 

 

DVD Bible studies, small group Bible studies, ideas for women’s ministry leaders, To DVD or Not DVD: That is the Question, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

A Teaching Strategy that Works: Test Case

Last Tuesday I introduced three keys to an effective strategy for teaching the Bible: give your group the what, why, and how of any Bible passage. What is Scripture telling us to do or know about the Christian life? Why is this important to live out and remember? And how do we practically apply this to our everyday lives?

... Let’s take Philippians 4:8, and test our What, Why, and How strategy.

small group Bible studies, women’s Bible studies, Bible teaching, lesson plans, how to teach the Bible, Philippians 4:8, A Teaching Strategy that Works: Test Case, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies