Hushing a Storm Within


by Katy Kauffman


Sometimes it’s a change in our circumstances that stirs our emotions into an inner storm. Sometimes it’s a lingering difficulty. The eye of the hurricane revolves around an unsolved problem, an unmet need, or an unanswered prayer. The winds increase and thunder resounds as we allow fear, doubt, and anxiety to clash with despair. The emotional upheaval affects every part of our lives, and we wonder how it can be fixed. Will it ever be fixed?  


Of course, having an emotional reaction to a trial is nearly uncontrollable—it’s going to happen. But once we get our bearings and remember that the Calmer of any storm is with us, we realize we have a choice to make.


Hushing an emotional storm starts with specific choices on our part and climaxes in God’s work. It begins with a determination to trust God in spite of what we can see, in spite of what we feel. God won’t force us to have peace within—we have to be willing to receive His peace. Often we have to let go of anxiety, fear, and doubt. As He works in our hearts and we cooperate with that process, peace calms the raging storm. We can persevere with grace as we wait to see what God will do in our circumstances.

storm, adversity, Emotions, peace, hope, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Don’t Be Afraid – Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Spring 2021


Fear is a bully. It can blind us to the truth and paralyze us from moving forward. It can rob us of heartwarming moments, unforeseen victories, and opportunities to make a difference in the world around us.


Courage is a great friend. It opens our eyes to the truth and rescues us from paralysis. When we choose courage, we experience adventures that have been orchestrated by God, we find in God what we need for every circumstance, and we quench the voices of anxiety, doubt, and what-ifs. Courage is quick to remember that God is always with us and for us.


How do we comply with God’s command, “Don’t be afraid”?

Refresh Bible Study Magazine, fear, faith, Courage, victory, spiritual battles, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Listening for God’s Voice


by Katy Kauffman


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 of God’s Volume


There have been times in my life that I wanted God to blare an answer to my question or trumpet the timing of His plan. But I’ve discovered that it’s the quiet moments that take His soft reply and sear His answer on my heart. He doesn’t need to shout. He simply needs to whisper. Do we realize He is speaking to us?

 

prayer, God's guidance, small group Bible studies, The Power to Make a Difference, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Wise Christians!


by Brad Simon


Imagine for a moment that you are sound asleep at night and a loud clap of thunder suddenly wakes you. You hear the wind outside rustling through the trees and rain begins to fall. The soft pitter patter of raindrops begins to lull you back to sleep, but then the wind and rain intensify. The howling wind blows around your house and the downpour of rain is deafening.


Then you feel it. Could it be? No, of course not. You were only dreaming, you reason. But there it is again. Your house is moving!

truth, faith, obedience, storms, adversity, victory, Brad Simon, Lighthouse Bible Studies

An Eagle of Love


by Katy Kauffman


I stared at the painting and tried to memorize every detail. Dark gray brush strokes created ominous clouds and morphed into blue and white patches. An eagle with its wings outstretched in a “v” shape descended out of storm clouds into the bright light of day. I was captivated by the light shining on the eagle’s feathers. He looked so real, so beautiful. His look of determination said that he was going to win, whatever the battle was.


This eagle picture was unlike any other I had ever seen, and my twelve-year-old heart craved it. I memorized the artist’s name—Laurie Snow Hein, a beautiful name. The painting was perfect, but its frame and mat weren’t right for my room. I lingered at the painting for a while, wishing I could take it home.


“If God wants you to have it, He’ll give it to you, and it will be perfect,” my mom said. I didn’t know how that would happen, but I tucked her words into my heart and left the store with some hope.

victory, love, faith, God’s gifts, An Eagle of Love, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

I Am Here: A Christmas Poem


by Katy Kauffman


I look at the world and wonder why

So many hurting, so many die.

My heart grieves and trembles with fear.

I hear a whisper say, “I am here.”

 

hope, faith, Jesus, Christmas, I am Here: A Christmas Poem, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Refresh Bible Study Magazine: Christmas 2020


In the midst of a difficult pandemic, we need some sparkle in our lives. Part of it comes from the Christmas lights, ornaments, and decorations in our homes.


Let your heart find even more sparkle, joy, and comfort in the 2020 Christmas issue of Refresh. Celebrate Jesus and the demonstration of God's great love for us, as you read this collection of Christmas messages. With a Christ-filled Christmas, we can persevere and look for ways to share God's love and goodness with those around us. Consider sharing one of the messages with your friends or family.


View and Download the Magazine Instantly


We now have two ways to view the magazine. One is the “magazine style” version we have always made. The other is a mobile-friendly version that makes the issue easier to read on a phone or tablet. Download both kinds if you like! They are both PDF files.


Magazine Style: https://bit.ly/RefreshChristmas2020

Mobile-Friendly Style: https://bit.ly/RefreshChristmasMobile

Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Christmas, Jesus, pandemic, joy, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Devotional Thoughts for the Artsy Soul


by Katy Kauffman


Autumn inspires the artist with a warm palette—a captivating array of oranges, reds, and browns. With splashes of yellow and purple.


With our brushes, pens, and cameras, we capture trees that make an appearance just once a year. With our stamps and markers, we send Thanksgiving cards to loved ones, and with our hearts and Bibles, we jot down thoughts of gratitude and peace.


Every autumn, God paints His landscape for us to admire. But that’s not the only thing He paints. With a masterful eye and a gentle touch, He paints the picture of our lives, adding layer to layer each year.

Art, God’s work, beauty, brokenness, healing, Psalm 107, Katy Kauffman, My Artsy Tribe, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Soap Bubbles for the Soul


An excerpt from Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character
by Katy Kauffman


I walked onto the beach and stood in awe. It wasn’t the white-capped waves that captured my attention or the small flock of pelicans that flew nearby. It was the soap bubbles.


The ocean was edged with soap bubbles, or what looked like them, as if God were cleansing the waters. White foam stood at attention along the beach, a reminder of what “clean” looks like. I played tag with the waves for a little bit, and then stepped into a foamy mound. My toes didn’t feel it as much as my heart did. Clean. A sense of being made new, washed, set right. “Clean” is a refreshing word, and it is a reality usually achieved through hard work and care. It takes hard work to keep a house clean. How much more our hearts.

Godly character, purity, sin, choices, Soap Bubbles for the Soul, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

What’s Your “Battle 5” Plan?


by Katy Kauffman


Step 1 – Suit up.
Step 2 – Find the trigger.
Step 3 – Enter the arena.
Step 4 – Hide.
Step 5 – Find higher ground.


Every time I played laser tag in a castle-like arena, I knew I needed to find higher ground. My tactical position from the towers allowed me to spot unsuspecting friends and zap their “armor.” Flashing red lights and little warning sirens told me I had hit my mark.


Why is it that I’m better at playing laser tag than winning some of life’s spiritual battles? It’s because I forget my battle plan. Years of struggles have taught me that to win some battles, I need to cling to God.

victory, strategies, spiritual warfare, negative thoughts, shield of faith, What’s Your Battle 5 Plan, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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