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, August 12, 2018

Pedophilia...Is this the next sin accepted as normal?

by Barbara Latta

A recent TED talk given by Miriam Heine in Germany has introduced the concept that pedophiles are born that way and we should all find a way to accept them.
Pedophilia.. is this the next sin accepted as normal?

I have often wondered when something like this would invade society after government policies forced acceptance of homosexuality as a “norm” and required shared restrooms in public places and legalized marriage of people of the same sex.  

When the gate is opened it leaves no boundary that would stop other sinful behavior from being accepted by society.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Best Defense for Offensive Situations

by Barbara Latta

Have you ever found yourself listening to offensive reports on TV or radio and argued back at the electronic device? At times, I have fallen into this trap even though talking back to it doesn't change anything. Every media outlet carries offensive opinions and angry outbursts from people who are upset about something that doesn't please them.
The best defense for offense

Our ears and eyes can soak up negativity and the constant stream going into our minds can have a lasting effect if we are not careful to stop the flow. Even when we think we are not affected, a mood change can be a key we are letting poison control our emotions.

We do have the power to flip the switches on news spouting technology, but we can't turn off the opinions of others. Refusing to live in offense is a choice we make, but the power to make that choice requires discipline in the Word of God. These situations can be used as opportunities for growth when handled according to God's principles.

Here are some instructions from the Lord to help us grow:
  • Realize your worth does not come from someone else's opinion or actions. Our value comes from God not the news media, entertainment or politics.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV).

  • Anchor your personality in Christ and take possession of the inheritance He gave you. We have an inheritance that is far superior to anything this world can give. 

In him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11 NKJV).

  • Realize the words are a reflection of the condition of the heart of a person who probably does not know God.

They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of their heart (Ephesians 4:18 ESV).

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV).

  • Realize allowing offense into your life doesn't change the situation, but it can change you into an angry and bitter person.

Do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you for many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 ESV).

The best defense for offense is found in Philippians 1:11, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Allowing the fruit of the Spirit to bloom when the opportunity for offense comes will stop the progression of the atmosphere of anger to thrive in our sphere of influence. We can't control other people, but we can control our response to them. When we stand strong and avoid being drawn into negativity, we are growing in maturity and spiritual strength.

How do you handle offensive situations?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Swimming with Sharks

by Barbara Latta

A popular resort activity is diving with sharks and feeding them. People pay money to get
Swimming with Sharks
into the water with an animal that has the capacity to eat them. I am not one of those tourists. When I have been in the water I am constantly looking for anything that might want to feed on me. Once while snorkeling in the Caribbean I was enjoying the clear water and view of tropical reef below me. A school of fish rushed underneath, and I was thinking, “Wow, what a wonderful sight!” until I had another thought, “What if something is chasing them?” My wonderment changed to fear even though I didn’t see any predators around.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

God Knows Our Pain and He Says It’s Okay to Cry

by Barbara Latta

My mom, Johnnie Watson and
her great granddaughter, Keira. 
Death was never God’s intention. Mankind was designed to live forever but sin intervened and thwarted God’s plan. But because of God’s foreknowledge, He built in a way to save man from himself.

Death is a transition from a life held bound by the physical to a glorified, spiritual body that can do anything. We rejoice knowing our loved one is no longer held by the chains of this earthly life. But we still need to cope with the void left behind by their absence. It’s a ripping away of the soul because we have ties with those we love. It hurts. We know they are happy, but we grieve for ourselves because it’s painful to be without them. They are gone, but death leaves a shadow.

Last week my mom passed from this earthly life to her heavenly home. She felt the embrace of Jesus as she entered the gates of heaven and was reunited with my dad and other loved ones who have gone before her.

While I allow myself to grieve, I will not wallow in mourning. I allow myself the memories, but not the despair of regret.

Remembering the joy that is before the loved one who has departed from this earth will bring us comfort if we will dwell on that fact instead of our loss. The separation is only temporary.

Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He knew the pain of Mary and Martha and God knows our pain, too. He says it’s okay to cry, and thankfully, one day He will wipe away our tears.

Feel free to share your thoughts about grief.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Have You Ever Doubted God?

 by Barbara Latta

I don’t like snakes, but I know people who do. They like snakes because these people are experts and know the nature of the reptile. This knowledge keeps the handler from getting
caught off guard by any attacks.

Adam and Eve were placed in a perfect environment. God walked and talked with them and gave the couple everything they needed for physical enjoyment and nourishment. They lacked nothing.

Then a snake appeared.

Yes, God had created the snake also, but it wasn’t created as a deceiver. Satan entered the animal. Adam and Eve had walked and talked with God and should have been familiar
Have you ever doubted God?
enough with His nature to recognize a voice that was not His. They were caught off guard by the attack because they didn’t listen to the voice of God.

Subtlety, lies, deception. Whispered words through the leaves of a tree that held luscious food.

The voice of doubt was introduced into the Garden. He didn’t come at them as something ugly and scary. The animal was beautiful because when God created snakes they weren’t slithering on the ground lying in wait to grab prey. Since the couple had lived in the garden, they had fellowshipped with God. Adam had named all the animals. Mankind was God’s highest creation. His intelligence was beyond what we can comprehend today because sin has degenerated humanity. Maybe Adam and Eve also fellowshipped with the animal kingdom. I often wonder about that because Eve didn’t seem to be surprised that snake was talking to her. But the words he said were different than anything she had heard before.
The words that went into her mind caused her to doubt the words her Creator had said.

Sin began with doubt.

She reached out and took the fruit. She saw it, held it, and believed the lie. She took a bite and mankind fell. All because of doubt.

Adam had the power to cast the snake out of the Garden. God had told the man He made to take dominion and subdue. But because Adam didn’t do that, doubt is the snake that is still in the garden. Doubt didn’t leave the earth but took hold and continues to deceive people.

Have you ever doubted God?

Sin began with doubt.
I have when I worry. Worry means I am not trusting God.

I doubt when I fear. Fear is not of God because fear causes torment.

I doubt when I don’t forgive. Christ has forgiven me, so He has given me the power to forgive others. When I don’t, it means I am doubting His power in me.

When I get angry, I am doubting God’s power to give me self-control.

The voice of doubt will say, “Maybe my kids will stray, maybe we won’t have our needs met; if God loved me this bad thing wouldn’t have happened.” The voice of doubt plants seeds to cause us to stray from our heavenly Father.

Yes, sin began with doubt and continues as the weapon Satan uses. If he can get us to doubt God’s Word, we fall prey to temptation.

But believing God chases doubt away.

For worry - Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV).
For fear - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
For unforgiveness - Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Colossians 3:13).
For self-control - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
For anger - So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
For loneliness - I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b).
For provision - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

Our Garden of Eden is the place where our soul fellowships with God. Where He walks with us in the cool of the day and tells us of His love.

When God is in the garden of our soul, the snake leaves and has no power.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Do You Know the Reasons for the Revolutionary War?

by Barbara Latta

Some theologians have declared that American resistance to British rule was unscriptural and that the founding fathers acted in disobedience to the Bible by fighting. However, by

Do you know the reasons for the Revolutionary War?
doing so they are using selective reasoning and taking scripture out of context to support their views.

Over the centuries, the British monarchy became a self-appointed god. James I introduced the Divine Right of Kings which states that kings stand in the place of God, representing him to the people and Complete Submission and Non-Resistance to Authority, which states that kings have an allegedly divine position and are not to be resisted ever for any reason. This principle was carried out to the point of torture and murder of those who stood for biblical rights according to scripture.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Faith Stumble - Trusting God Through Impossible Circumstances

Today's post is by guest blogger, Liz Petruzzi. I met Liz at the Asheville Christian Writer's Conference a few years ago. I know you will enjoy as she shares from her heart.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
God works everything out for good.

Sometimes routine things turn into a journey.

A marathon.

A desert.

A marathon through the desert.

The unexpected happens in a moment.

In 2012, my son, Joey, who has special needs including Autism, had outpatient, arthroscopic knee surgery.

An unimpressive surgery.

A surgery that happens every day.

A surgery that took almost a year to arrange.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Best Father in the World

by Barbara Latta

I grew up in the sitcom era of family programs where the mom stayed at home and the dad went to work every day. Mothers like June Cleaver (from Leave it to Beaver in case you are too young to know!) vacuumed in her pumps and pearls and the table was set with the best china while the family discussed the events of the day that needed solving. Whatever trouble the kids had gotten into were dissolved amid the talk that took place later in the den with Dad.

The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best and The Brady Bunch gave us Dads who were the strong disciplinarians when needed, but had the gentle touch of an understanding counselor when emotions got a little too out of hand.

The Simpsons, Roseanne, and Married with Children, to name a few, portray the male figure as a weak, indecisive comical figure with bad habits. The unfortunate fact is too many families are like these TV characters. The attitudes of society have been formed by Hollywood and life has taken the example into real living.

While the 50’s and 60’s generation of TV dads was still unrealistic as far as achieving the iconic pedestal they were placed upon, the values represented said a lot about society. More families of that era stayed together, kids didn’t shoot each other at school, students respected teachers and churches were the foundation of the town.

I’m not saying every dad from an earlier time was perfect or that all dads of today are modeled after Homer Simpson. But the downhill spiral of morals in entertainment has affected family life. There are more domestic violence and child abuse cases today than ever before.

The reputation of God as our Father has suffered from these inclinations, as well. If God is ever mentioned in a TV show or movie, He is mimicked or cursed. Because of this mindset, those who did not have a good relationship with their earthly dad cannot comprehend how God can be a loving Father. The human traits of an abusive parent are translated to God and a relationship with Him is not sought.

God sent Jesus to exhibit to us what being a Father was like. Jesus told His followers, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9) No one could be more loving or accepting than the One who created us all.

If you don’t know the best Father in the world, now is the time to get introduced and start a relationship that will last for an eternity.

Have a happy Father’s Day celebrating the daddy that can fill your heart with everything good; nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing incomplete.

He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

Join the conversation and share your Father's Day thoughts. 

God sent Jesus to show the world what a Father was like (click to tweet)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

3 Keys to Controlling the Tongue

by Barbara Latta

Eyes may be the windows of the soul, but the mouth is the door that releases the soul’s contents.
3 Keys to Controlling the Tongue

Paul’s instruction to us under the influence of the Holy Spirit is, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6 NKJV).

Most of us grew up hearing taunts spit at us by other children on the playground. The usual response would be “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” While that sounds like a clever retort, nothing could be further from the truth. A wound made by a stick or stone can heal and later is forgotten, but words can stab at our hearts leaving a painful opening in our soul.

Wounded people wound others, and this can cause us to form barriers against relationships and violent responses can be the result. We can apologize for thoughtless comments, but the hurtful words remain behind and can’t be taken back.

Here are 3 keys we can use to control our words:

  1. Control Thinking—Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.” Our speech will reflect what has been going on in our minds.
  2. Be Prepared—2 Timothy 4:2 tells us to preach the word and be ready in season and out of season. If God is our focus, His words are what we will speak.
  3. Practice Discipline—James 4:6 says our tongue can defile our body. Controlling our speech requires discipline, but if restraint is our goal we have completed the first step. It will take practice, but if we will start small by thinking before we open our mouths, we are on the road to successfully keeping our tongue under wraps.

Wars have been started because of words. Peace has been accomplished through the spoken or written word. History has been altered because of rash, impulsive comments and treaties signed when control was exerted.

Roy Williams, University of North Carolina basketball coach, said, “Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears. Words cause men and women to willingly risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words.”

Not only do we need to watch our words to others, we need to speak positively over ourselves. When we put ourselves down we poison our soul and start to doubt God’s power in our lives.

Focusing more on what God says will redirect thinking which will also redirect what comes out of the mouth.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

5 Ways to Stay Joyful in the Journey of Life

by Barbara Latta

Life happens. We all endure hardships in our lives and trying times can be overwhelming. God tells us to remain joyful at all times (Philippians 4:4). But how do we do that when circumstances weigh heavily upon our shoulders and each step we take may seem like we are going uphill against a pile of rocks?
5 Ways to Stay Joyful in the Journey of Life

The answer to every problem we face is grounded in the word of God and this is no different. Here are 5 ways you can stay joyful in the journey of life no matter what obstacle comes your way:

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial Day Tribute to Little Known Heroes

by Barbara Latta

Memorial Day Tribute to Little Known Heroes
Memorial Day is a time set aside to remember the sacrifice of those who have given their lives for our country. Almost 1.4 million military personnel have been killed in battle since the Revolutionary War. Heroes are recognized and decorated as they should be, but most of those who died remain nameless and faceless except to their family and friends.

While we can never list all the heroic actions and names of those who fought and died, here are some little known stories of those who saved the lives of their fellow soldiers while preserving the freedoms we enjoy every day.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Wisdom from Biblical Mothers

by Barbara Latta

Wisdom from biblical mothers
Mother’s Day is a time to honor and remember our mothers for their love and sacrifice throughout the years. As mothers ourselves, our children will be bringing gifts to honor us. When our offspring show us love their words are appreciated more than we can express.

But sometimes thoughts of all the mistakes we have made while raising our children attack us. None of us are perfect, but when we are focused on training our children in the fear of the Lord, God blesses our efforts. 
We can learn lessons from biblical mothers. Some listened to God and others didn’t, but we can discern wisdom from their lives and the consequences of their decisions, whether good or bad.

These women can show us the results of listening to God or ignoring His Word:

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Using the Potter to Reveal the Truth about Trials

by Barbara Latta

Using the potter to reveal the
truth about trials
Okay, you may be saying, not another story about the potter and the clay. If you have been in church for any length of time, you have heard sermons preached using Jeremiah and this illustration (Jeremiah 18).

This is not an attempt to re-preach that lesson; however, a recent illustration at my church showed me something else not usually seen in the potter and clay story.

A talented art teacher was our guest speaker and while he taught he created clay works of art on his potter’s wheel. Spinning the wheel with his foot, the talented hands worked the clay until the object in his mind formed on the plate. His statement that the clay is sometimes harder or softer sounds like us. Even though his hands were forming, the clay had to submit to the fingers pressing in on it. If the clay was too hard, the bowl he wanted to create did not turn out like he planned.

Creating a bowl was just the first step. If left in that state, the clay would dry but would be fragile. The artist held up a bowl that had been left in the air to dry and the edge had been broken off. When he tried to pick the bowl up by the rim, the clay, although dry, was not strong enough to withstand the pressure of his hands. The teacher flicked his finger against the rim of the bowl and the pottery made a dull klunking sound.

We all know pottery must be fired to complete the process. The next bowl on the table had been through one firing. The teacher flicked his finger against the rim and a ringing sound was heard. The firing of the clay had made the clay stronger and the sound happier.

However, that is not the final product. A second firing is necessary after a glaze is applied to create a beautiful color. But the second firing also created a more distinct and bell tone ring when flicked with the artist’s finger.

A lot of teaching has been used to say that when we go through “firings” of life we become stronger. That is not exactly true. If it were, we would all be the strongest of Christians because we all go through trials and difficulties in our lives. What makes us stronger is that when we go through those “firings” we overcome them. But if we succumb to the
Become ash or a singing vessel.
trial we become a pot of crumbled ash. Clay pots that go through firings can come out broken and useless. The difference is in the strength of the clay. Become ash or a singing vessel.

When we stand on the Word of God to withstand temptation, discouragement and difficulty we come out of the fire better than we were before and we have a song. A song of a stronger faith, a song of deliverance from our Savior and a song of victory knowing the next time we face something we have an arsenal of weapons in our fired clay.

When we realize these truths, we can view those fired times as an opportunity to become a strong vessel. Trials don’t make us stronger. Standing strong through the fire makes us stronger. God doesn’t send the trials. The difficulties come from our enemy because he wants to discourage us enough to get us to give up and stay away from the Word of God (Mark 4:17). That’s why when we stand on the Word, we can be in the fire without being consumed. And our song will keep on singing.

What does the pottery reveal to you? Join the conversation.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Will California bill AB 2943 ban the Bible?

by Barbara Latta

The chairman of the California LGBT caucus, Assemblyman Evan Low, has introduced AB
Will California AB 2943 ban the Bible?

2943 which would prevent “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” as illegal under the state’s consumer fraud law. Read about the bill here.

While the language of this bill doesn’t specifically ban the Bible, the wording is so vague the interpretation could mean anything any proponent of the bill desires it to mean.

In 2012, the California Assembly passed Senate Bill 1172 which banned health professionals from attempting "sexual orientation change efforts" (SOCE). AB 2943 stands to add more detail to 1172 by:

Prohibiting SOCE from being performed on anyone, not just children under 18;
Prohibiting SOCE as a sale or service.

Of course, supporters of the bill claim they are not trying to remove the Bible, but California State Assembly member, Travis Allen, who is running for governor, says it could.

Here is a portion of the transcript from the interview with Liz Wheeler of One America News Network and Assembly member Travis Allen:

Wheeler:   This is essentially criminalizing religious beliefs. And I don’t mean to speak in hyperbole here, but if this bill were to pass, would this prohibit the sale of the Bible, that teaches these things about sexual morality?
Allen:   Well, literally, according to how this law is written, yes, it would. This is, you know, PC culture, politically correct culture, gone horribly awry. This is really directly hitting at our First Amendment rights as American citizens. Now the Democrat legislators in this building, right behind me, the California state legislature, they want to tell you how to think, what sort of books that you can read, write and purchase.

The love of Christ has the power to transform every life.
While it is difficult to find an unbiased news agency, it is our responsibility as Christians and as American citizens to remain informed of what is going on in the world around us. These laws affect our lives and the lives of future generations.

So, what can we do?
  • Pray
  • Contact legislators
  • Support conservative legal agencies
  • Be willing to take a stand

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

Our fight is not against people, it is against the evil spirits in the world who deceive souls into acting out the lies whispered into their minds. The remedy is to proclaim the gospel, the love of Christ, who truly does have the power to transform every life who will submit to Him.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

9 Tips to Define Your Purpose in Life

by Barbara Latta

Do you ever get confused about your purpose in life?

How can you know your calling?
Are you confused about your purpose in life?

Do you question whether you are pursuing God’s will or not?

We can learn a lot from Nehemiah about fulfilling the dream God has called us to achieve.

For example, I feel called to write. I didn’t pursue this plan in my younger years, but I never had a settled feeling until I started to seek this goal. Each of us has reason to be here. Until we discover that objective we will not be fulfilled, and we are missing the ability to bless others.

These 9 tips can guide you to follow your destiny:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Gun Control Doesn't Address the Real Issue, the Real Issue is...

by Barbara Latta
Gun control doesn't address the real issue

Waking up to the news of another shooting has become too common. Gun control is always at the forefront of politics and becomes more prevalent with every act committed with a firearm. The second amendment is defended by those who want to keep their guns, and those on the other side think confiscating all guns will stop murder.

If every gun was disposed of, murder and violence would still be prevalent. Cain killed Abel with a rock. Guns weren’t available and Cain still committed murder. When a person harbors hatred in their heart, violence will be the result. Bare hands can kill.

Cain became angry and jealous because God accepted his brother, Abel’s, sacrifice but did not accept Cain’s. Cain obviously didn’t follow God’s command about the sacrificial offering or his would have been accepted, as well.

God addressed the issue before the murder took place.

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7)

God was telling Cain to take care of the issue in his heart before he acted on sin’s desire. Rule over it.

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:21-22a).

So you see, it’s not a gun control issue—

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Passover Lamb and the Eternal Change that Took Place in Jesus

by Barbara Latta

God had to show us choosing the lamb was personal.
Something so precious had to die so something so ugly could live.

Before the first Passover, the Hebrews were commanded to choose an unblemished lamb on the tenth of the month (Exodus 12). They were to take it home, nourish it, cherish it, feed it and let it live with them until the fourteenth of that month. By that time, the animal would have bonded with the family and become a pet.

Now it was time to kill it.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday Prophecies Fulfilled

 by Barbara Latta

Palm Sunday Prophecies Fulfilled
Old Testament Prophecy
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble and mounted on the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war will be cut off, and He will speak peace to the nations. (Zechariah 9:9-10).

New Testament Fulfillment
And brought the donkey and the colt and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats and the others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest (Matthew 21:7-9).

The people of Jerusalem did not understand that the prophecies about the Messiah spoke of two appearances. He came the first time as the Savior and brought spiritual peace between God and man. But the last part of the prophecy in Zechariah spoke of His return, not on a donkey, but on a white horse as the conquering Judge who will rule with a rod of iron and bring political peace to all nations (Revelation 19:11-15).

Israel expected the Messiah to overthrow Roman rule.

The praise-filled words during the entry into Jerusalem had faded into curses and blasphemy as the crowd didn’t get what they wanted. Rome was still in charge and their Messiah had let them down. While He hung on the cross, Jesus heard mocking words, “He saved others, but He can’t save Himself.” What they didn’t understand was he didn’t come to save Himself; He hung there to save them.

Only those who believed witnessed the resurrection. Doubt caused unbelievers to continue to wait for the salvation from God they didn’t know had already transpired.

Unbelievers still doubt the validity of His deity and the truth of the prophecies. But the triumphant return is closer than ever before.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Feel free to share your thoughts.

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.