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).


Saturday, March 23, 2019

How to Follow Real Promises in Life and Avoid Illusions


by Barbara Latta

Rainbows are illusions. Light shines through raindrops to divide the rays of light into prisms of multi-colored arcs producing the beautiful vision we see in the sky. Rainbows are a sign of God’s covenant. But some seek the illusion of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow instead of relying on the
promises of God.

Thousands are lured to find their pot of gold through lotteries or get-rich-quick schemes. Statistics show that the few who do win big don’t improve their lives; in some cases the quality of life is worse because their heart doesn’t change. The same habits and attitudes are still active, and a large amount of money or prizes does not change their motives. They usually end up poor, maybe in more debt than before. They followed the illusion and when the illusion faded all was dark again.

Others look for their rainbow by taking the easy way out through lack of discipline. Compromise. Cheating. Lying. Stealing. Whatever takes the wide road that promises life will be better if you just travel this path. There are many illusions in life. The pot of gold humans search for is not always about riches.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Honoring Heroic Women for International Women's Month


by Barbara Latta

March is recognized as International Women’s Month and most posts will focus on political and economic achievements of women throughout the centuries. I would like to focus on those who have made progress in the spiritual realm by their obedience to God’s Word.
These are merely a few of the women who have made sacrifices for the kingdom of God. Some are known, some not so known, but to God they are all famous in His eyes. They left all and followed, much like the twelve Jesus called.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

How Do We Walk in Love in a World Filled with Hate?


by Barbara Latta

The Fruit of the Spirit – Love

How do we walk in love in a world filled with hate? Die to self. 

That’s one thing Lucifer didn’t do. He exalted himself bringing hate and evil into the world. Ever since Adam and Eve gave in to the temptation to exalt themselves in the same way, selfishness has dominated fallen mankind. And love cannot be shown when self is in the way.

How do we die to self?

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Are Christians Intolerant?

by Barbara Latta
Intolerance is a word batted about like a tennis ball in the realm of politics, news and social media. A
stand against certain behaviors draws accusations of intolerance. However, those screaming these accusations are rarely, if ever, tolerant of those with differing opinions.

Because some actions and attitudes are labeled as sin, the question arises, “Are Christians intolerant?”

Let’s look at what Jesus said and did.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Growth is Determined by the Depth of the Roots


by Barbara Latta

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf does not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV).

A science demonstration I watched showed two clear bins on a table. Both contained potting soil, but one only held a few inches of dirt while the other one was nearly full. Seeds were planted in both pots at the same time. They were both watered and fertilized the same amount. In a few days the bin with the shallow soil was sprouting little green sprigs. The other one still had nothing on the surface but dirt.

In a couple of weeks, roots were seen stretching their way through the soil of the deeper pot, but still no evidence above ground.

The shallow pot had a tall, green plant. It’s roots could be seen through the clear sides and they were down to the bottom, crowding each other and filling the dirt.  But in a short time, that plant began to wither and die.

The deeper soil began to produce a small plant. But beneath that plant deep roots could be seen that were twice the size of the product on the top.

You see, roots had to be put down before life-sustaining growth could be maintained.

The plant in the shallow soil died because it’s growth was determined by the depth of the roots.

Jesus told a parable of a sower sowing seed in Mark chapter 4. Some of the seed fell on stony earth and could not put down deep roots so the sun scorched it and it died.

The seed that fell on good ground produced a crop. Ground that allowed roots to grow and reach water and nourishment.

Jesus goes on to explain the parable telling His disciples the seed that fell on stony ground is like those who hear the word of God but have no root in themselves so they fall away when Satan tempts and attacks.

Like the plant in the science experiment, our spiritual growth will be determined by the depth of our roots.

The way to grow deep roots is to eat:
I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger (John 6:35a).

And drink:
But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:26).

Physical life depends upon food. Our spiritual life depends upon continually dining in the Word of God. His Word is the seed we sow into our minds and it becomes nourishment to the soul.

One of my favorite seeds is Ephesians 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Are your roots as deep as you want them to be? May we all, as the body of Christ, be a fruitful garden, springing up bearing the fruit of the Spirit to feed a hungry world.

Feel free to share some of your favorite spiritual seeds.







Saturday, February 16, 2019

Follow the Diet of Redemption to Lose the Weight of Condemnation


by Barbara Latta

The new year is full of advice for losing weight. Diet plans abound and most New Year’s resolutions
involve a person’s goal of shedding a few pounds. Unfortunately, very few stick to the diet because they involve too much self-control and willpower. Losing weight requires a change of lifestyle, not a temporary diet restriction.

But the kind of weight we really need to lose is the burden of condemnation. If you are a human, (and I assume you are if you are reading this!), condemnation has gripped you at some point in life. It’s a fact of human nature. Because we were born in into the fallen nature of Adam.

But God.

God had a plan that included redemption before the foundation of the world.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, redemption means the action of gaining or regaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.  Adam incurred a debt. Jesus paid it off. That means done, complete, nothing owed.

Have you ever felt so badly about something you did that you ran from God? You felt so condemned the thoughts of “how can you approach God now after having that thought or doing that act?” I have. I let my mind condemn me until I wouldn’t read my Bible or pray for weeks because I felt so unworthy. 

Well, of course, I wasn’t worthy. None of us are. But Jesus is. When we are born again, He is in us so He makes us worthy to approach God. If we don’t approach our Father when we have sinned, who else can we go to? We can’t clean ourselves up enough. But the truth is we are already clean on the inside, no matter what sin we may have committed. The sin is in the mind or body and that’s where the Word cleanses us (see John 13:10).

Jesus came to earth as the second Adam and fulfilled what Adam should have done when tempted. Adam should have kicked the serpent out of the garden and completed God’s plan of perfection on earth. God had given him the right and authority to do that.

But Adam submitted to temptation and sin entered the world and thus the bloodline of mankind.
Jesus completed God’s plan. He didn’t give in to temptation. He didn’t sin. He became the perfect sacrifice with his blood, and He gave to us the power to be cleansed from the fallen sin nature.

But because we still have a mind of our own, we can still give in to temptation and sin. But that doesn’t mean the debt returns. Our debt is cleared. For all time (Hebrews 8:12).

But the mind will still condemn us.

The devil will condemn us.

 Other people will still condemn us.

When we give in to the attack of condemnation, the burden of sin weighs us down. That’s why it’s important to feed on the Word of God from spiritual birth so that we are following the diet of redemption. Then we will recognize those lies of condemnation and they cannot get a stronghold in our minds.

Knowing our inheritance shows us what God gave us at salvation.  Here a diet plan (all references from NKJV):
  • There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).
  • For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:10).
  • The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned (Psalm 23:22).
  • Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God (1 John 3:21).
  • Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more (John 8:11b).

Just like losing physical weight requires a change of lifestyle, losing the weight of condemnation requires a change of mindset. When we follow the diet of redemption, we lose the weight of condemnation.

Join the conversation. Feel free to add to the diet plan of redemption.

TWEETABLES




Saturday, February 9, 2019

5 Characteristics of the Heart of God

by Barbara Latta

When God sent His Son to earth to redeem mankind from sin, He sent His heart.

Because Jesus is the image of the Father.

Our finite human minds cannot comprehend the love of God because our love is usually conditional unless we are truly letting the Spirit of God shine through.

The rock in the picture was found by my mother. As she and my dad were walking one day, the heart shape caught her eye, so she kept that rock as a reminder of the love she and my dad had. It stayed on their fireplace mantle until she died, and I kept it as a reminder of her.

But this heart-shaped rock also reminds me of 5 characteristics displayed by the heart of God.

He is:

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Origin of Groundhog Day and the Significance of Shadows


by Barbara Latta

February 2 is the day recognized as Groundhog Day. Attention is turned to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania each year to see what Phil, the famous groundhog, will do. Or in the case  of Georgia, it's General Beauregard Lee. 

Did you know that the origin of Groundhog Day has Christian roots? It began with the tradition of Candlemas where clergy would distribute candles needed for winter and place a blessing on them. These candles represented how long and cold winter would be. The Germans took this tradition further by selecting an animal, the hedgehog, to predict weather. When settlers arrived in Pennsylvania the hedgehog was not available, so they decided to use a  groundhog because they were plentiful in that area.

The legend is that if the groundhog comes out of hibernation and sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. No shadow means an early spring. Spring brings to mind new life as trees and flowers bloom and animals give birth to young. There is relief from the harshness of winter.

Shadows can be misleading.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

What are the Ramifications of New York's Change in Abortion Laws?


by Barbara Latta

The news coming out of New York in the past week has been shocking and alarming. The
Reproductive Health Act was voted on and passed and Governor Cuomo signed it into law on January 22, 2019.

The fact that New York proposed and voted on this law was due to their fear that Roe v. Wade would be overturned because we now have a president who is more forceful and outspoken against abortion than any of his predecessors.

So what does this law really mean and what will it allow?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

How to Conquer the Darkness that Attacks Your Soul


 by Barbara Latta

Darkness draws us toward light. The pursuit of God will propel us toward His light and conquer the darkness that may be attacking our souls. The key is to continue the pursuit.
How to conquer the darkness that attacks your soul


Several years ago my husband and I toured some caverns in a national park. The 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 black as ink. 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. The bodies in the cave wanted to pursue light.

But there is another kind of darkness we all experience at one time or another in our spiritual lives and that is condemnation and guilt. When guilt weighs us down it can feel like we are in a dark cave with no hope of finding light again. Hopelessness and depression are anchors holding us captive to the pain of past sins and failures.

Because humans were not created to like darkness, other than for sleep, we try to avoid the absence of light unless we are trying to hide. Sin causes us to want to shun anything that exposes the deeds, but it also brings blackness to the soul. The God-shaped void will always drive a person toward a solution to get out of the pain caused by disobeying Him, but poor choices lead to more darkness rather than the sought after relief.

The answer for this darkness is the pursuit of the Word of God. He tells us “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105 NIV). When we meditate on what God says about us and ignore condemning thoughts, a rainbow of hope shines on our hearts and the heaviness of condemnation is lifted.

When we are in a dark room even a pin hole of light can lead us to the way out. Once we have found the door, we can let in more light. Likewise, the more of the Word of God we put into our minds, the more we walk out of the darkness that plagues us and we are released out of the prison.

Condemnation and guilt were buried in a dark cavern with Jesus. Our part is to leave them buried there and remember that resurrection made light win over darkness.  Continue the pursuit of God’s light to keep the darkness at bay.

Which scriptures show you God’s light? Share your thoughts.

TWEETABLES





Sunday, January 13, 2019

Prayers for the New Year

by Barbara Latta

Each year brings new challenges and adventures, but no challenge can go unmet and no adventure unfulfilled when we let God rule our choices. Only when His Word takes precedence can victory over circumstances reign.

In following my word choice for the year, pursue, I am posting these prayers for the New Year. These are prayers based on the scripture reference ascribed to the meme and are prayers you can use for your life too.

Pursue God, pursue wisdom, pursue learning





Join the conversation and share your thoughts and prayers for the New Year.

TWEETABLE click to tweet
Prayers for the New Year

Sunday, January 6, 2019

5 Ways to Set Goals Without Being Overwhelmed


by Barbara Latta

Each new year brings advice on setting goals and resolutions. I don’t make resolutions
5 ways to set goals
anymore because I don’t keep them. But we should never stop setting goals and one way to make sure we meet the finish line is to make sure the prize before us is not overwhelming.

Multi-tasking has become a word associated with skill and success. The idea is that we accomplish more in less time, but in reality doing more than one thing at a time divides our attention and nothing gets 100% of the effort.

Here are 5 ways to set goals without being overwhelmed: