God's Roadmap

Sharing God's roadmap of grace to avoid the pitfalls and potholes of life.

"Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart" (Proverbs 3:3).


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fulfilling the Great Commission

by Barbara Latta

Lessons on hitting the mark in life through archery.
A mission trip to the northern part of Tennessee called us to go. Our church, The Church of Joy, partnered with New Salem Baptist Church and the call of Jesus to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and preach the gospel to every creature was answered by a group of Georgia disciples.

Sunday morning worship included a message about reaching out to those around us. Giving money is necessary for missions, but going out to do the work changes more than the lives of those we minister to. It changes us, as well.

In Acts 20:35, Paul was quoting Jesus when he said it is more blessed to give than to receive and this week we experienced that blessing. Watching children of all ages gather to play games, listen to Bible lessons and feed their tummies with snacks and lunch made our hearts swell with compassion. Ministering at the Scott County Christian Care Center dug the wants of hurting people into our souls as we gave food to hungry families.

Seeing the needs first-hand grabs your heart and connects to the call Jesus gave. He commissioned His followers to go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). That means we start where we live and the love of Christ goes wherever we go. We walk in His footsteps and become His hands and His voice.
Scott County Christian Care Center volunteers.

We had to leave after a few days but the needs will still be there. Visions of the wondering eyes of the boys and girls who came to Kid’s Camp and the lonely faces of people who came to the care center don’t leave after we come home.

When we experience such vast lack we can become overwhelmed and feel as if we haven’t done enough. We say good-bye to those we came to love and the question, “What can I do now?” burns within our minds. But Jesus said if we give a cup of cold water in His name we have ministered His love (Matthew 10:42).

Now that we are home we can continue the mission by:
  • Meeting the needs of those around us (our Jerusalem).
  • Praying for those we left behind that the seeds we planted will be harvested (our Judea).
  • Supporting the ministry of the Christian Care Center financially and in prayer (our Samaria).
  • Support ministries that go around the world through giving and prayer. If the opportunity arises, we can go to these regions, as well  (The uttermost parts of the earth).

Feeding hungry kids with food and God's Word.
Our work for the kingdom will not end as long as we are on this earth. Until Jesus returns, we are to be about our Father’s business (Luke 19:13).

Share your thoughts and experiences with reaching out to those in need.

TWEETABLES




Sunday, July 9, 2017

Flipping the Switch on the Darkness of Condemnation

 by Barbara Latta

Darkness is the catalyst that propels us toward light.

Several years ago my husband and I toured some caverns in the state of Virginia. The
Without light nothing can be seen.
stalactites and stalagmites were impressive and the constant dripping of water told the story of how these rock columns were formed. When all the tourists were in place, the park ranger told everyone to be perfectly still. He turned out the light and the darkness that pervaded the space was as thick as a solid brick wall. Nothing could be seen, not even my hand one inch from my face. 

The thought shot through my mind that without light we couldn’t get out of this hole in the ground. After a few seconds of total darkness panic had almost set in. Soon the guide clicked on multi-colored lights that had been strategically placed inside the cave and the moist cavern walls reflected the light like a rainbow. Sighs of relief were heard through the group as the lights came on. This darkness had been physically felt.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Revolutionary War Almost Ended in Mutiny

by Barbara Latta

The Country that Almost Wasn't

George Washington thwarted a mutinous attempt. 
When thinking about George Washington and the Revolutionary War we think of winning battles, crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Newburgh Conspiracy, so called because the Continental Army was housed at Newburgh, New York in 1783,  is not one of the popular topics of discussion in our historical recollection of our country. But the Revolutionary War almost ended in mutiny.

The Articles of Confederation did not allow for taxation. Congress did not have a way to finance the war and relied on the states to make voluntary payments known as requisitions. Since the financial distribution was voluntary, payment was seldom made and the military suffered. Lack of supplies and no pay for the soldiers created unrest among the ranks.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Hardest Thing for a Christian to do is Rest

by Barbara Latta

Once we make the decision to give our lives to Christ a new life begins (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Church attendance is important
 but won't earn God's favor.
We know we have been saved from sin but then we receive well-meaning advice from older Christians.

You must go to church regularly.
You need to read your Bible every day.
Reading the Bible in the morning is best.
Reading the Bible at night is best because you need God on your mind before your sleep.
Give an offering every Sunday.
Examine yourself all the time in case you sinned.
Participate in the church.
God won’t fellowship with you if you have sinned so you must confess all the time.
Study your Sunday School lesson.
Quit all your bad habits.

The list could go on and on and can be confusing to a new Christian but trying to keep this list will not earn brownie points with God. Nothing will affect our relationship with God unless we let it. God does not relate to us on what we do and He doesn’t turn away from us when we don’t do what is right. But if we let our conscience condemn us, we can feel separated from Him because we feel unworthy to be in His presence. He is not the one who leaves, we are the ones who turn away.

I remember the Sunday School envelopes I would fill out as a child. Scores were applied to achievements such as attendance, studying the Sunday School lesson and attending worship. When I could check every box and made 100% I swelled with pride and thought surely God must be looking down from heaven with a smile on his face and putting a gold star next to my name on his roster. When I found out I didn’t earn God’s love and acceptance by what I do, I was set free from condemnation and guilt.

The hardest thing for a Christian to do is rest. We struggle to let go of works and simply accept grace.

Grace is God’s gift. No strings attached (Ephesians 2:8-9). The only requirement is to
God's gift of grace has no strings attached.
receive the gift. If we were in God’s favor because of reading the Bible, giving an offering or quitting bad habits, then our salvation would be based on us instead of Jesus. The good things we do benefit us and are a fruit of knowing God but are not how we know him.

Jesus paid the price. A very costly price. When we try to add to that sacrifice by our works we are saying Jesus didn’t do enough and we have to help Him out.

Resting in Him requires labor but a different kind of labor than our works tries to bring (Hebrews 4:9-10). We have to work to rest because most of our life on earth is performance based. Our humanity requires us to work at acceptance from employers, teachers and sometimes friends. We then approach God in the same way expecting to only receive favor from Him if we have been good enough.  

If you are struggling to earn God’s favor, rest in His grace and know you are accepted.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

TWEETABLES
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Earthly Dad and Heavenly Father – Childhood Memories and the Role of Joseph in Jesus’ Life

by Barbara Latta

My Dad
His arms covered in sawdust and sweat, my dad would come out of his shop after working on another piece of wood he had created into a work of art. He had many hobbies over the years including scuba diving, leathercraft and archery, but woodworking was his favorite. Photography was another at the top of the list that he developed into a sideline business. He was busy week after week recording on film the memories of weddings, graduations, school functions and sports. My brothers and I were among the subject matter for photo practice and our images filled up numerous photo albums. I spent a lot of time with him in his darkroom watching the magic of glossy paper immersed in chemicals become a black and white photo. Ah, the days of film. Eastman Kodak never dreamed the days of celluloid would end.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How Baby Boomers can reach Millennials with the Gospel

by Barbara Latta

The generation of Millennials and Gen Xers spans the period between the early 1980’s and
Millennials live on social media.
ending in the early 2000’s. Most Baby Boomers are afraid of them because older people don't know how to relate to the younger way of thinking so reaching Millennials with the gospel remains a challenge.

Millennials and Gen Xers grew up in a technological age while those in my generation groan every time a new gadget comes out that has to be learned. We do what we can get by, but Millennials and Gen Xers fight to be the first in line when a new advancement is released on the market.This group lives on social media. Their life would disappear without electronic connections. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

What has happened to a biblical worldview?

by Barbara Latta
The number of people with a biblical worldview has declined.

Social media is buzzing about the recent transgression of CNN’s Kathy Griffin. The deplorable act of holding up a bloodied effigy of President Trump can only be taken as a threat to his life. Many others in despair over the presidential election have taken similar actions with slurs and outrageous signs. Thankfully, enough viewers spoke up and she was removed from their lineup.  But she is already crying “victim” as if she were the one being attacked. Political correctness at its best.