God's Roadmap

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10 NASB).

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Mind

by Barbara Latta

Spring gives us beautiful flowers and plants, soft rainy days and warm weather. This is the
Declutter your space and declutter your mind
time we come out of hibernation like a sleeping bear and the mood changes. I ache to get my fingers in the dirt and start the wee seedlings that will sprout into a beautiful garden. But I also see the things piled up over the winter months and spring cleaning lists start forming. I don't look forward to the work involved, but I do anticipate completing the goal of a more organized space. 

This year I chose two words as the focus of my life. One was to get a deeper revelation of the word love—as in the love of God.

The other was organize. I wanted to get my home and computer files de-cluttered and avoid the frustration of lost items. I was spending too much time trying to find things. A move last year didn’t help, because even with labeled boxes I was still on the hunt for items and frustration was mounting.

Organization expert Peter Walsh, author of Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight states that clutter could be preventing us from reaching our goals. “Clutter is anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living…that could be physical stuff …or any of those mental or emotional things that cripple you or put a hurdle between you and your goals…if you focus on the stuff you will never get organized because it’s not about the stuff.”

With that said, we need to examine our hearts and determine what is causing the pile-ups and messy stacks in our homes. Are we keeping things because of an emotional attachment, or are we following in Scarlet O’Hara’s footsteps and saying, “I’ll think about that tomorrow?” (I'm guilty!)

Keeping something we have no use for is creating clutter. Clutter in the space is also clutter in the mind. When spaces are neat and organized we will have more internal freedom which promotes clearer thinking.

Remember how much better you feel after cleaning out a closet or desk drawer? Just looking at that nice organized space fills us with the feeling of accomplishment.

Before bemoaning the fact of tackling the whole house or office, think baby steps. Start with one room and in that one room start with the desk, or file cabinet or dresser drawers. Matthew 25:23 tells us, You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things (NKJV). Starting small is the first step to organizing the entire space.

These tips are helping me as I start this project for the year:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Women's History Month - Remembering Heroic Women

By Barbara Latta

While the names of famous founding fathers come to mind when thinking of the Revolution,
Women's History Month 2018
the influence numerous women had on the outcome of the war goes unnoticed. Without these heroic females, battles would have been lost, more soldiers would have died and many messages not transported across enemy lines.

We will never know every act of the thousands of women who gave aid to husbands, fathers, sons and soldiers during the birthing of our nation, but Women’s History Month is an apt time to remember their brave sacrifices.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

3 Keys to Staying Positive When Negativity Surrounds You

by Barbara Latta

Shootings, natural disasters and political criticisms from each side bombard the airwaves
To survive meltdowns we must re-focus.
each time we click the power button on any device. Our world is falling apart, but that doesn’t mean we need to follow and disintegrate. But how can we stay positive in a negative world and combat fear when tragedies abound?

Jesus told us, These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33 NKJV). For us to survive the meltdowns happening every day we must find ways to re-focus our attention on what is truly important.

We live in a physical world and we have physical needs and physical attacks. But our reality is in the spirit world because that is who we really are. Worldly and material things will someday pass away, so when we focus mainly on what is happening to us in the physical realm we are neglecting the most important aspect of our being.

Here are 3 keys to staying positive when negativity surrounds you:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Sin-filled Life and a Christ-surrendered Life - Contrasting Two Billy's

by Barbara Latta

Violence, murder and theft – a life of corruption and pain filled the life of the young man
Contrasting two Billy's
known as Billy the Kid as we read last week on this blog.

He was born November 23, 1859 as William Henry McCarty and took on the alias William Bonney and became later known as Billy the Kid due to his youth. During his short life this young man is credited with the killing of eight men and numerous escapades of theft, including cattle rustling.

Only 22 years later, young Billy was sentenced to hang for his murderous exploits and after escaping jail was killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett on July 14, 1881.
His deceptive personality was charming one moment and violent the next which confused those he traveled with into not knowing which Billy they would have from one moment to the next.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Writing Your Own Obituary Reveals Dreams About Life

by Barbara Latta

I took a trip last weekend and spent some time with dead people.

As a lover of history, I enjoyed exploring the historic buildings in west Texas and across the
Billy the Kid had a reputation for lawlessness
and murder.
border into New Mexico. Reading the plaques mounted on crumbling brick brings pictures to mind of all the people who walked through the doorways and the events that transpired under the roofs of the now ancient wooden beams supporting the antique structures.

One such building in Mesilla, New Mexico housed the courtroom where Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to hang. He escaped the jail cell he was held in and that sentence was never carried out. He did, however, meet his demise when Pat Garrett later shot him. This young man was only 22 years old, and in that short lifespan he had made a reputation of lawlessness and murder.

Concordia Cemetery in El Paso is the burial place of over 60,000 people. Some were famous outlaws and murderers whose crime spree covered decades and left destruction in their wake. One of these was John Wesley Hardin, the man who is remembered for killing more people than any other gunslinger in the West. It is reported he once shot a man for snoring too loudly.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The True Nature of God is Love, Not Judgment

by Barbara Latta

Chocolate, roses, fancy dinners, and stuffed animals are the primary gifts given for
The true nature of God is love, not judgment.

Valentine’s Day. These are physical reminders of affectionate feelings for another person. But after the day is over, do we revert back to old ways and forget the loving things said and done because of a special holiday?

Our tokens of love are emotional. Feelings aren’t wrong, but we can’t depend on them to guide our lives. Sometimes we don’t feel like being loving, we would rather be grumpy or rude. But real love does the action without the feeling.

The true nature of God is unconditional love, not judgment. He loved us while we were still dirty, rotten sinners (Romans 5:8). He showed the one and only kind of real love when he gave Jesus to us as a gift wrapped in a little baby to grow into the man who would have all the foul sin of the world placed upon him. He placed the judgment of His wrath upon His own Son so it wouldn't fall upon us. 

That was action, not emotion.
Happy Valentine's Day from Jesus

Because He loved us, we can love Him (I John 4:10). And because He loved us, we can love others. Not with a feeling, but with a showing, a doing, a becoming what He made us to be.

Our works don’t bring us into a relationship with God. Faith does that. Receiving grace does that (Ephesians 8-9). But to bring someone else into that grace requires showing them the love of the Father. And that is where the action comes in. When we don't retaliate against someone who has mistreated us we are reflecting the true nature of God because that is what He did for us. He doesn't give us evil when we display evil. He empties Himself and pours out a love we can not experience through human emotion.

The valentine of heaven wasn’t a card sent through an angelic mailbox. It was blood running down a wooden cross to soak into the cursed earth. One drop would have been enough, but he used it all to show us He goes over and beyond and does much more than we need.  He paid the highest cost and we were given the freest gift.

Happy Valentine’s Day—from Jesus.

What does this love mean to you?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Walking Dead Gives Lesson on Life

by Barbara Latta

“Blood thirsty rogues and unrepentant cutthroats,” said Ezekiel as a crowd gathered around
Leave the dead girl in the grave

him. His comment was meant to describe those who were pursuing him and his band of followers.

This Ezekiel is not the biblical prophet, but a character from the TV series, The Walking Dead. I admit I have never watched an entire episode, but I have seen enough to know the humans are fleeing from zombies.

A dead body powered by an evil spirit in a post-apocalyptic world is out to suck the life out of those who are still alive. If a zombie bites or scratches a human, that human is doomed to become one of the walking dead. Wouldn’t you flee, too? A decaying, bloody skin-covered skeleton with all the characteristics of death wants your life.  Yeah, run!

The Bible says if we are born again, we are new creations. Then why do we sometimes act like we are friends with a zombie?