Refresh Your Heart with Joy and Peace


by Katy Kauffman


It drives me nuts when I can see the color of flowers in my garden, but I can’t quite get there. In late spring, we planted three azaleas and two hydrangeas in the backyard—the perfect view for a summer of flowers. Their home is a kidney-shaped flower bed filled with the blonde and red specks of cedar mulch. Blue, purple, white, pink, and green blooms have already enticed me to come visit them. But my journey to experiencing joy and peace up close in the garden, is hindered after a downpour.


During a prolonged, hard rain, a six-foot wide stream forms in our grassy backyard between the sidewalk next to the house and the new flower garden. When the waters recede, I still need stepping stones to get from the concrete to the flowers, or else my shoes will need a hosing.


The downpours of life can challenge our joy and peace. Disappointments, hardship, illness, the death of a loved one. Doubt, loss, anger, the tactics of the enemy, and so on.


Maybe you can see joy and peace from afar, but it seems like you can’t quite get there. You need some stepping stones to access them. Or you need some strategies to help guard the joy and peace that you already have.

Refresh Bible Study Magazine, joy, peace, Refresh Your Heart with Joy and Peace, Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy Kauffman, Beebe Kauffman

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

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

Lean In for a Little More P-E-A-C-E


by Katy Kauffman


I think they all had a confab and conspired to dislike me. They wait until I come close, and then they show their teeth. Dogs. Primarily, the big ones. I can’t count how many snarls, nips, and growls have been aimed in my direction simply because I wanted to overcome my fear and pet a big dog or stand in front of one without looking scared. They must know I’m a cat person.


I lose my peace just about every time I walk in my neighborhood alone. I know where they live. I listen for their barks and the slight jingles of their collars. I use my umbrella and prayers as a deterrent. Unless my dad walks with me.


If my dad and I go on a walk together, I don’t take the umbrella (although I still say the prayers). I stay close to him. More than once, he has pulled me behind him when a dog got “friendly.” I can trust him to look out for me, and I know he can handle surprises and ambushes.

peace, relief, victory, spiritual battles, focus, our minds, Lean In for a Little More P-E-A-C-E, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

What Does Your Peace Look Like?


by Katy Kauffman


It's a simple question to ask, but maybe a harder one to answer. 


My answer has been something like walking in the waves on the beach. Or sitting on the back patio in the sunshine and listening to the wind ruffling trees and the birds singing.


But recently, I've discovered a new answer. An acrostic for P-E-A-C-E. It's something I've been wanting to share with you, but then technology interrupted my, well, my peace.

peace, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Peace in My Father’s Hands

by Dorcas Asercion Zuniga


We left the store just in time. The once blue sky was overtaken by gray clouds. I climbed into the front passenger seat and buckled my safety belt, while my husband, Zee, secured our son in the back. The first drops of rain hit the windshield right when Zee got into the driver’s seat.


As we pulled out of the parking lot, the rainfall quickened. By the time we hit the main road, the clouds opened their floodgates. Even at the highest speed, the windshield wipers barely put a dent in the watery curtain that blocked our visibility.


The pressure building up inside my chest was stifling.

adversity, storms, peace, trials, Peace in My Father’s Hands, Dorcas Asercion Zuniga, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Calming the Storms Within

A New Blog Series


by Katy Kauffman


The wind shook me. It shook what I held dear. It nearly tipped my sanity over the edge. The rains drenched my hope. They weighed down my joy and settled my emotional state into a pattern of gloom and sadness, with relief sprinkled in.


It was an inner storm—the kind you can’t run away from. The kind that can twist and swirl inside as violently as a tornado. I grew weary and longed for peace. Longed for some quiet. Would it ever come?

trials, adversity, peace, grace, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

4 Truths to Warm Your Soul This Winter

by Katy Kauffman


Pain. That’s what I associate with winter, even in North Georgia. If I’m not careful, the cold can bring pain to my hands and head, and it can cause sinus infections that last for weeks. The cold temperatures translate into four or five layers of clothing; a colorful array of gloves, scarves, and hats; regular doses of hot chocolate; and watching movies underneath my snuggie (a soft, blue blanket with sleeves).


I’m a sunshine girl, so I also have to guard my attitude from turning as gray as the clouds above. Yesterday the fresh snowfall lit up my study with a radiant white light. It’s nice when God gives us some sunshine in the midst of a cold winter.


The soul has its winters too. We go through periods of isolation, coldness, or seclusion. Life’s trials can weather us, causing our joy to fade or our strength to diminish. But He who releases heaven’s storehouses of snow also shares with His children treasures of joy, peace, and grace. Do you need a little more warmth this winter?

winter, God’s love, adversity, joy, peace, 4 Truths to Warm Your Soul This Winter, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Be Still and Know: A Guest Post by Michelle Adserias

Today a gentle snow falls. Large clusters of flakes tumble earthward, holding hands and dancing to a muted tune only they can hear. It must be warmer today. I put on my coat and head down the snow-cloaked road.


It’s so quiet my crunchy footsteps resound irreverently across the wintry expanse. When I reach the hilltop, I stop. A profound stillness envelops me. I strain to hear something … anything. There’s nothing—not the rustle of crisp, brown oak leaves, not the cheerful call of the chickadees, not a whisper from the wind. My whole world pays silent homage to God.

nature, spending time with God, peace, Be Still and Know: A Guest Post by Michelle Adserias, Michelle Adserias, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Living His Peace

Do you have a “word” for 2017—some action or reality that you are shooting for? Like “seek,” “grace,” or “unity.” It’s funny that my 2016 word appeared the last week of the year.

Yesterday I realized that my word for this year is “peace.” I used paint pens this fall to draw a verse on a small piece of canvas (as seen above), a verse that I love every time I see it sitting on my desk.

 

 

peace, New Years, Living His Peace, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

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