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, May 18, 2019

3 Reasons Patience is a Positive Experience


by Barbara Latta
Fruit of the Spirit Series – Patience

3 reasons patience is a positive experience.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).

You can read previous posts in this series here: love, joy, peace

As you can see in the verse above the New King James Version lists longsuffering as a fruit of the Spirit. This is also translated as patience in other versions. We don’t like to think of being patient when we want something, but to call it longsuffering makes it worse.

Why should we want to suffer at all and especially long? No way!

But when we look at the correct meaning of the word, we can get a better picture of what God is telling us.

“Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Colossians 1:11 NKJV).

Scriptural patience is defined in Strong’s Concordance as, “forbearance or fortitude.” This gives us a different picture of waiting.

Patience is simply staying firm and steadfast in our faith without changing what we believe until our answer from God comes.

We can have joyful expectancy
When a woman is pregnant, she must wait for the baby to arrive at the perfect time. If the child was born too early, it would be dangerous and the infant might not survive. The process of growing brings the product of waiting to the perfect culmination. Even when the pregnancy is not evident to all, the mother knows the process has begun. She wants to hold and see this baby, but she knows she isn’t going to do it now. There is joyful expectancy because the outcome is known even though it is not in her possession yet. Yes, there are some uncomfortable moments. There is longsuffering with joy, but it is minimal compared to the gift she will behold.

We can have joyful expectancy when waiting for promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives the same way. Our waiting can be a positive experience rather than the painful image we have of longsuffering.

3 reasons patience is a positive experience

  • Patience shows we trust God: When we don’t see the answers to our prayers immediately, we sometimes question God. When we pray according to God’s will He is working, but we don’t always know what is going on behind the scenes in the spiritual world. God brings things into our lives through other people. When they don’t respond to His direction, what we wanted may be delayed. He may have to work in the hearts of someone else to accomplish His answer to us. All this time we are waiting and wondering where our answer is. But when we hold on to the Word of God, He will come through because He does not lie. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • Patience is an example to others: When someone isn’t treating us right, our restraint against them can be an example of the way God wants them to be treated. Showing patience with them can be an example of God’s character. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
  • Patience builds our faith: When we are experiencing a trial and waiting for an answer to prayer or the culmination of a seed we planted to sprout, we can look back at previous times in our lives where God has always fulfilled His promise. We can see that an answer did come, and it will materialize this time, too. (Galatians 6:9) 

When we pray, the answer to our problems is in the development stage the same way the unborn baby
is. All the solutions God has must come to fruition before they can be born. We can have joyful expectancy while waiting for the birth of our answers if we will see it from God’s perspective. We ask, believe, meditate on His word, and know He hears us (I John 5:14).

His glorious power gives us the ability to know our answer will be born at the right time.

What does patience mean to you? Share your thoughts.






Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Love of a Mother's Hands - Mother's Day 2019


by Barbara Latta

Mother's work tirelessly to care for their children. Washing, feeding, hugging and investigating, these hands are never idle. When we become mothers, we realize what our mothers did for us. This is a tribute to my mother and mothers everywhere.

The Love of a Mother's Hands


Loving hands held me when I was small, cuddled and fed me, and tucked me in at night.
Hands would pick me up when I would fall, soothe the hurt, and wipe away the tears.
Hands would feel my head when I had a fever and dispense bad tasting medicine with a spoon.
Those hands would be there all night in case the fever returned.

Hands would cook good food each day and wave a finger if I didn’t eat.
“What about all those starving children in the world?”
Hands would clean and scrub each day 
making our home sparkle and shine.

Hands would work at the sewing machine for hours, making clothes for me and even my dolls.
Hands would hold mine when I was afraid, pack my lunch, and wave good-bye when I went to school.
Those same hands would spank me when I was bad, but it was for my own good. It kept me from being bad again.

Hands would work hard to plant flowers, and then I would bring them in for a vase.
Those same hands just let me think that was okay.
Hands endured a pet turtle in my room and helped clean out the bowl, but those hands made the puppy stay outside.

Hands taught me to peel potatoes, to sew a stitch, and wash a dish.
They held the book while it was read and pointed to words I could learn.

Those hands grew older, moved slower and were sometimes swollen and filled with pain.
The wisdom of those hands held my babies and caressed their faces.
Those hands taught me to love.

My mother's wrinkled hands were laid to rest in death's repose
But are now raised to life to hold God's hand.
And those hands regenerated with youth
will welcome me when I pass through heaven's gates.

I will hold her hand again. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Please feel free to share a tribute to your mother here.


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Why Do Some People Reap Results From God's Word and Some Reap Little or Nothing?


by Barbara Latta

A trip to Home Depot had my gardening juices salivating at all the choices of beautiful plants I
wanted to get my hands into. I had a list of what I wanted because I knew what would happen if I went into the garden center without one. And I still picked up a couple of things that were not on my list simply because they were too beautiful to resist.

I had my muscle with me so after arriving back at home, my husband was the hole digger. I supervised, of course, and placed the plants where I wanted them to grow. To ensure healthy growth and beautiful blooms, we added topsoil and fertilizer to those in the yard and used specialty soil for the plants that grow in containers. I couldn’t expect to have an abundant harvest of flowers if all I did was stick them into the hard Georgia clay we are blessed with.

And wa-la, because of the good soil we used, we will have beauty to enjoy all summer long.

We can learn a lesson from planting experiences in reference to our relationship with God. Why do some people reap results from God’s Word and some reap little or nothing?

Jesus told a parable in Mark 4 relating how God’s Word is a seed we plant into our hearts. The difference in growth is the soil, not the seed. The seed is the same because the Word never changes, but some people see different results because of the condition of their heart when the Word is heard.

The types of heart ground Jesus talked about are:

Apathetic Heart: Some seed fell beside the road and birds came and ate them. These are like those who hear a message, but are not interested or don’t care. Satan can steal the word from their hearts before it has a chance to be understood.
Rootless Heart: The next seed fell on rocks without much soil, a plant grew quickly but because it had no depth the sun scorched it because there was no strong root. The Word can be received by these people and they are happy with the message they hear, but after temptation or trouble comes they give up because they have no deep roots in the Word and there is nothing to hold them up.
Distracted Heart: The seed that fell into thorns was choked up and didn’t yield a harvest. This group of people puts more emphasis on their problems and the desire for things than listening to the Word of God so the seed has no chance to grow in their lives.
Fertile Heart: The last seed fell into good soil and grew a large, abundant crop. These are the ones who spend time in the Word listening to God and praying so the seed of the Word produces results in their lives and every need is met.
This begonia was too beautiful to resist.

All of us who have been believers for any length of time have probably been in each of these groups at one time or another. The important lesson we learn from this parable is what Jesus said after sharing this story with his disciples:

And He was saying to the, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him (Mark 4:24-25 NASB).

We can learn from planting season as we watch seeds grow in gardens. Our heart is God’s garden and it is our responsibility to prepare the soil for the seed to be planted in so we can reap the harvest of understanding and living in God’s Word.

What are some ways you plant God’s Word as seeds? Share your thoughts and ideas.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

How Can Peace Fill Our Soul When Trouble Lies Ahead?


by Barbara Latta 
The Fruit of the Spirit Series – Peace

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Shortly before He was to be crucified Jesus told his disciples, Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause I came unto this hour (John 12:27). Then only a few days later he told them not to let their heart be troubled (John 14:1). 

How can peace fill our soul when trouble lies ahead?

The Son's soul was troubled at what lay ahead, but He let peace abide and control Him so He could fulfill the Father’s will. Jesus was telling His disciples to have the same peace.

Even though they didn’t know what lay ahead, Jesus knew they would need those words. I’m sure I would have reacted the same way the disciples did. Their Savior, Teacher, Leader and Friend is arrested because He was betrayed by one of His own. Can you imagine the shock when they saw Judas arrive in the Garden with soldiers?

Their pulses must have raced at the thought of being arrested also. They scattered like a flock of sheep pursued by wolves. Thoughts of peace were the furthest thing from their minds. Survival was. They fled. They hid. They denied. Peace was impossible. Or so they thought.

After being filled with the Holy Spirit, the same man who denied Christ preached to a city filled with people and 3,000 were saved. The same one who tried to cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant wrote, For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; Let him eschew evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:10-11). Peter found out the peace Jesus talked about before His crucifixion was real and was also possible to demonstrate.

Jesus tells us the same thing. When our thoughts are troubled and we are pursued by disaster and temptation, where does our heart go? Does fear reign or do the Words of our Lord eliminate the terror?

Because my mind wants to wander away when situations arise that are troubling, I use my favorite verse to eliminate worry, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV).

As you think about the Fruit of the Spirit that God has given us, may you also take this Word with you this week, The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless His people with peace (Psalm 29:11).

What are your favorite verses about peace? Share your thoughts.





Saturday, April 20, 2019

Why Do We Still Seek the Living Among the Dead?


by Barbara Latta

Resurrection Day. Or some call it Easter. The day the women in Jerusalem found an empty tomb where the body of Jesus was placed by Joseph of Arimathea.


Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, He is risen! (Luke 24:5).
Angels told the women why the tomb was empty.

Jesus had predicted his resurrection on many occasions, but the reality of what His disciples and the citizens of Jerusalem had seen outweighed His words (Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22-23).

They only saw the natural. Mockers yelled. Torture inflicted. Blood flowed. A body died.

His mother cried.
His disciples ran.
One of them betrayed.
Another one denied.

Now at the tomb, the women who loved and served Him heard the message that reiterated the Savior’s words of resurrection. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Did Jesus Really Die on Friday?


by Barbara Latta

We celebrate Good Friday as the day of the crucifixion.  Humanity’s sin was paid for when Jesus’
blood ran down the cross into the ground. His body was placed in a nearby tomb because of the Preparation Day.

The Bible says that the day after the crucifixion was the Sabbath and that the women came to the tomb to anoint the body on the first day of the week which is Sunday (Mark 16:1-2).

I was always confused about this because Friday to Sunday is not three days.

And Jesus clearly stated He would be in the ground for three days and three nights.

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Three Gardens of Doubt - Eden, Gethsemane, Our Minds

 by Barbara Latta

The First Garden

I don’t like snakes, but I know people who do. They like them because they know how to handle
them. These professionals are the experts and they know the nature of the reptile and how these creatures behave. They are not caught off guard by any attacks.

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

Subtlety, lies, deception. Whispered words through the leaves of a tree that held beautiful, tasty food.
The words that went into Eve’s mind caused her to doubt the words her Creator had said.
She reached out and took the fruit. She saw it, held it, and believed the lie. She took a bite and mankind fell. They were caught off guard by the attack of doubt.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Finding Joy in the Journey and 10 Verses About Abiding in Joy

by Barbara Latta

The fruit of the Spirit – Joy

What is joy? Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness depends upon emotions and circumstances. We are happy when we get what we want, when we are having fun and when we are being treated right.

Joy, however, is not an emotion, but a fruit of the Spirit. Joy is deep within and is put in us at the new birth along with all the other fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. We may not always feel joy but that doesn’t mean the fruit is not existing in us.

Joy is the deep abiding assurance that God lives within us. Joy is the knowledge that we are loved, and God will never leave us.

We don’t have to feel the joy for it to be present. But we must make the decision to use it.
When situations are not pleasant, joy can circumvent what we are feeling when we stand in faith on the promises of God and rejoice that He is our Savior.

Jesus went to the cross in obedience to His Father’s will to save us. He looked forward to the joy He would have when He sat down at the right hand of God instead of focusing on the misery He was about to endure. Focusing on the joy gave Him strength.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

Here are 10 verses about abiding in joy:
  1. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
  2. Therefore, you now have sorrow but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one an take from you (John 16:22).
  3. For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
  4. Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
  5. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice! (Philippians 4:4).
  6. Rejoicing in hope patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer (Romans 12:12).
  7. Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).
  8. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart (Psalm 119:111).
  9. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10B).
  10. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11 NIV).

The joy of the Lord is our strength, too. When we choose to operate our lives in the joy of the
Lord, the negative emotions we can feel will be overcome.

The Lord didn’t tell us to rejoice always, if it wasn’t possible to do so. And He is not telling us to rejoice that we have trouble, but that we can rejoice during the trouble because we have a Savior who has overcome the world.

When we focus on the joy of the victory of God instead of negative circumstances, we will win.



TWEETABLES

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: