Refusing to Stop God’s Work


by Lauren Craft


The stench stung my nostrils. A second later, I saw the source. White smoke was seeping from the hood of my car. I would need to pull over, call for help, and miss dinner with my fellow missionaries.


We’d been training all day to evangelize at the huge multicultural festival happening the following day in a neighboring town. Finally, our training was done and a church was hosting us for dinner. I could always grab food somewhere else, but I would miss out on the encouragement and fellowship.


As I parked and turned the engine off, I took a deep breath. The last time my car had trouble was the weekend of a different multicultural festival a year ago. The enemy’s involvement was unmistakable. He didn’t like what we were doing. That made it even more important that we show up with smiles on our faces.

ministry, Satan, spiritual battles, victory, Nehemiah, Refusing to Stop God’s Work, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Sustaining the Victory over Negative Thoughts


by Katy Kauffman


It just wouldn’t die. I’ve always admired the ivy that creates a velvety green blanket on English cottages. Then we had some ivy of our own. Virginia creeper. But it wasn’t quaint; it kept creeping. Up the house and around the foundation. We cut it back again and again. Time passed, and there it was again, climbing up our house. We had to take it out at the roots.


That was tricky. The creeper apparently likes plants as well as we do. Its root system was so close to the roots of our favorite bushes, we had to be careful when we attempted to extricate the ivy from the ground.


When I was a teenager, an ivy branch of fear kept creeping its way into my mind and heart. It tried to squeeze the joy and peace out of my soul. It was a dreadful fear of not being able to control the thoughts that came to my mind. The fear first began when I remembered swear words from movies but tried to block them out. But then the negative thoughts grew, and I cried out to God to help me refuse them. God’s work in my heart taught me how to overcome negative thoughts, which is one of the lessons that is captured in Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage and a blog post titled 7 Ways to Disarm Negative Thoughts (on DiAnn Mills’ website). God gave victory, but it was a hard-won victory.

thoughts, fear, victory, Sustaining the Victory over Negative Thoughts, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Keep that Pot from Boiling Over


Sustaining the Victory of Setting Realistic Expectations
by Katherine Pasour


I’ve always been an over-achiever—probably a remnant of childhood insecurities. This creates an issue of setting my own expectations too high. But, a far greater danger to relationships with friends and loved ones is when I set unrealistic and unachievable expectations for others. To inflict further harm—if my hurt and anger at their lack of achievement leads to verbal outbursts, undeserved criticism, or the “silent treatment” punishment, I cause long term brokenness in our relationship.


Early in our marriage, my husband and I experienced a crisis. Many factors led to this fracture, one of which was my unrealistic expectations of how a husband should meet the needs of his wife. A pattern of unfulfilled expectations created conflict and pain. With each broken promise, the simmering pot of my frustration got hotter. Steam began to rise as anger fueled the fire. My pot boiled over into confrontation and accusations.


We expect people to keep their commitments. But, what is our role in whether goals we expect of others are completed? What is our responsibility in setting realistic expectations?

victory, arguments, marriage, Keep that Pot from Boiling Over, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katherine Pasour, Lighthouse Bible Studies

LIFE as a Strategy for Victory


by Katy Kauffman


It attacked my baby tree. It wasn’t enough that this woodpecker had attacked the new metal vent caps on the roof. Now he was going for my precious baby tree. I call it a baby, because this fifteen-foot tree is special to me. For thirteen years, he didn’t grow much, and then last year, poof! His branches went a bit wild, finally growing, and I didn’t have the heart to trim them.


I watched as the woodpecker attempted to drill a hole in this tree. But then, he looked at the tree and flew away. I realized it was the life of the tree that made the woodpecker retreat. Instead of finding rotten wood to carve a home out of, he found life.


Our spiritual enemy Satan tries incessantly to find a weak spot in our lives. In our thinking, our desires, our relationships, our fortitude. He wants to drill a hole in our joy and peace. While he can never inhabit a believer’s heart, he and his forces will do everything they can to harass a child of God. The beautiful but pesky woodpecker taught me something about spiritual victory—it’s the life in a soul that makes the enemy retreat. It’s Jesus’ life within us that enables us to be overcomers. Mark Chapter 9 illustrates this in another way.

victory, life, spiritual warfare, temptation, closeness to God, LIFE as a Strategy for Victory, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Loving Brownies a Little Less


by Katy Kauffman


I was doing fine until Valentine’s Day weekend. After committing to eat fewer sweets and more apples, I bombed. Valentine’s Day ruined my plan, even though apples sat in the refrigerator drawer. Two sets of brownies that were made for Bible study night, defeated good sense. As a treat for my friends, we cut out brownie shapes with cookie cutters and decorated them with white icing and red and white sprinkles. Of course, I had to eat the negative space—the brownie pieces left over from using the cookie cutters. All good chefs eat their own food, right?


Have you ever intended to cut back on something, but then your plans were derailed by a surprise? A sale at Macy’s. Beautiful desserts at a party. Netflix releasing a favorite TV show. “Resistance is futile,” to quote Star Trek.


More serious things pull against our self-control and wisdom. An unkind word spoken by someone else. Unfairness at work. Someone being mean to a person we love. We try to be self-disciplined and walk according to God’s will (not our own), but walking in victory is sabotaged by either something we want or a knee-jerk reaction to a surprise situation. How do we resist the urge to respond in an ungodly way?

victory, desires, values, selfishness, anger, food, Loving Brownies a Little Less, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Desire’s Ambush


by Katy Kauffman


Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.


Terrified and half-asleep, I lifted my head from the pillow and looked around the room. Who was in my room, and how were they making that noise?


Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.


The metallic pounding seemed to come from above.


Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.


A woodpecker.

victory, selfishness, desires, Desire’s Ambush, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Victory’s Default Setting


by Katy Kauffman


My excitement morphed into frustration. After opening the box and pulling out a new but reasonably priced phone, I couldn’t wait to download some apps. They were calling to me from Google Play. I tapped “Install” and waited. Nothing happened. I tapped again. No downloading commenced. So I googled.


The problem was that Google Play’s default setting was to wait for WiFi in order to download the apps. I had to adjust to a new set of defaults. Sometimes we think we know how something works, but like my small battle with technology, we don’t understand everything that’s in play. Like default settings.


Do you know what victory’s default setting is? I thought I did, but after winning a certain spiritual battle, I relapsed. I fell into the same wrong pattern of thinking, and I was frustrated with myself. Hadn’t I learned better? Wasn’t I tired of the same old struggle?

victory, God’s word, closeness to God, spiritual battles, struggles, Victory’s Default Setting, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies