God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).


Thursday, July 18, 2024

How Can We Return America to Godly Values?

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta 

 Last week our nation experienced another close call that could have been a tragedy.

An assassination attempt on our former president, Donald Trump, ended up in victory for him and our country. Although he was hurt his life was spared.

I believe this was divine intervention of protection on him.

We may ask, “How and why did this happen?”

Our country has departed from the truth.

How can we return America to godly values?

We first find where the lies began. We can look to the past and find teaching that eliminated submission to authority—the authority of God and the authority of law.

The attitude that Christians aren’t supposed to get involved in politics aided people like Madelyn Murray O’Hair when she challenged the right to pray in schools.

In some ways, we as believers, can blame ourselves for allowing this to happen. We didn’t take a strong enough stand when these attitudes started to pervade society.

Bible reading and prayer were thrown out of schools decades ago.

The Ten Commandments can no longer be posted in government establishments.

New Age, Humanistic, and Socialistic beliefs that elevate humanity above God, or question His existence, permeate the educational system from kindergarten to college.

We don’t know the reasons this young man shot at Donald Trump. But his actions show that his decision was not in line with right thinking. This ended in tragedy for him.

What influenced this twenty-year-old to commit such a horrendous act?

He believed a lie. Somewhere he was indoctrinated in such a way that he bought into a false philosophy. And others are behind him who believe the same lies.


Mankind without Christ lives in a fallen state of sin. We all make choices each day. A sinner makes sinful choices. Even those of us who are believers don’t always make the correct choices, and we and others around us can suffer for those decisions.

But we can allow God to be in control of us when we stand on His Word. We can avoid catastrophic events when we listen to the Holy Spirit.

The Lord was in control of protecting President Trump. But the devil was in control of the shooter. Sinful people still have the freedom of choice even if those choices are wrong. God interceded because of praying saints.

This is why we must continue to seek the Lord in all situations. We are to stand on the Word and take our authority. We need to live in the identity of Christ so we can reflect His character to the world around us.

We are commanded to pray for those in authority over us even if we don’t agree with them. We lift them up to the Father so they can be saved.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2: 1–4, NKJV emphasis mine)

We were commanded to conquer the darkness (Ephesians 6:10–20). Even though this is God’s will, victory doesn’t occur unless we obey and follow that will. If we don’t obey, then the Lord will call others to do His work.

We may not have stopped the enactment of laws that opposed godly principles years ago.

But we can now. We can return America to godly values.

  • We can make changes by voting.
  • We can make changes by staying up to date on congressional bills.
  • We can make changes by contacting representatives to ask them to vote righteously and by thanking them when they do.

Here are 4 ways to pray and conquer this darkness.

  1. Pray for our children to be educated correctly so this and the next generation won’t be taught the ideology that caused this assassination attempt.
  2. Pray for America to accept God's light.
  3. Pray for those who oppose biblical instruction to come to a knowledge of the truth.
  4. Pray that leaders will be elected who will take a stand against evil.

May God bless America and return us to the virtues that founded our nation.

If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

What can you add to this list? Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

 How can we return America to godly values? (click to share on X)

Image by Meranda D from Pixabay

 

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Finding a Cure for the Empty Nest Syndrome


 

by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

Are you an empty nester? Has your life changed since adult children have flown the coop?

Maybe it’s college, the military, marriage, or they just want to be on their own. No matter the reason for your now unused bedrooms, life is different.

You may be rejoicing that this time gives you more freedom and space. Or you may lament the silence in the house that no longer rings with video game sound effects or the never ending question, “What do we have to eat?”

Edie Melson’s newest book in her soul care series, Soul Care When the Nest is Empty, confronts the emotions and circumstances that can afflict us when we no longer have our kids at home. You can find a cure for the empty nest syndrome. (click to share on X)

Even if your heart doesn’t have that desolate feeling, this book can bring to light some emotions you may not have recognized. Edie combines devotions and prayers with simple creative exercises that are fun and relatable.

You don’t need to be an artist or professional photographer to complete these. Doodles, drawing, pictures, stickers, and coloring stimulates different parts of our brains. We can find healing, rest, and relaxation we didn’t realize we needed when we take the time to stop and let go of burdens.

Soul Care When the Nest is Empty is the fourth book in the soul care series. Others include Soul Care When You are Weary, Soul Care for Writers, and Soul Care When You are Grieving.

I recommend all these books. They are short, easy to read, but inspirational and thought-provoking.

You can find more about Edie at her website, www.ediemelson.com.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts about living in an empty nest.


 

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Freedom is Not Free

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

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 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.  Complete Submission and Non-Resistance to Authority 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.

The Bible teaches us in many places to obey civil laws except when those laws resist God’s Word. When the Israelites were under the rule of heathen nations, God raised up judges and prophets such as Gideon, Samson, and Deborah to fight against lawlessness and free his people so they could worship Him again.

Peter and John were arrested for breaking the religious laws.

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29 NKJV)

Paul was imprisoned numerous times for preaching the gospel despite the religious laws. God’s laws supersedes those of mankind.

Our forefathers followed these biblical examples to stand against an abuse of power by a man who ruled as a god. Because of these brave men (and women too), we now have the right to worship God. (Although some laws passed in the last few years seek to inhibit that ability).

Soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guard personnel fight battles all over the world while we rest safely in our homes.

Jesus suffered in ways we can’t comprehend to release us from the debt of sin.

Freedom is not free for those who pay the price to release others from bondage. But it is free for those who enjoy the benefits.

Our military paid the price for our political freedom. Jesus paid the price for our spiritual freedom.

Christ gave us the right to use His authority and live in His identity because He wiped away the debt of sin for us.

America is a free nation today because of the men who opposed a king who ruled in the place of God. They stood on biblical principles and founded our country with godly wisdom.

May we never take for granted the rights we have as Americans, but more than that may we never forget what Christ has done for us. This world will pass away, but the freedom Jesus bought for us is eternal. (click to share on X)

Happy Independence Day! God bless America and may she continue to be a beacon of freedom and hope to the world.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

7 Scriptures to Cure a Sleepless Night

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta 

The lights are out. The house is quiet.

Yet sleep evades us.

The mind wanders and finds things we hadn’t even thought about for years or invents possibilities that haven’t happened yet.

There are some physical things we can do that will relax our bodies such as limit screen time, avoid foods that disagree with our stomachs, and stay away from violent movies and TV shows that raise emotional responses.

But the minute the room is dark and the TV is off, even if all these physical requirements are followed, thoughts of disaster still race through the space of our brains like a rocket on a mission to the moon.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Pursuit of Knowing God

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

Our Bible study is a never-ending adventure with God. We need His Word in our souls more than our bodies need food.

Yet we do sometimes stray away from feeding on His abundant harvest. This can bring us into soulish malnutrition.

We may wonder why anger flames up so quickly.

Where did the fear come from that gnaws at our minds?

Thursday, June 13, 2024

6 Behaviors That Cause Pain to the Spirit of God

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

 When we give instructions to our children and they refuse to obey, we don’t throw them out of the family. But our hearts suffer because we see that when they rebel, they hurt themselves and sow seeds that will reap destructive consequences later.

How much more does our heavenly Father desire what is best for us? He doesn’t want the enemy of our souls to grasp us with his talons of evil works.

Paul’s instructions to the church in Ephesus told them not to grieve the Holy Spirit.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30 NIV)

All sin grieves the Holy Spirit. We will focus on 6 behaviors that can cause pain to the Spirit of God found in the book of Ephesians.

 1. Negative Speech

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

The Israelites complained about everything while they were in the wilderness.

The same heart-breaking attitude can be reflected in our words if we don’t keep a watch over our mouths.

2Uncontrolled Emotions

 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

All these words sound like the same emotion, but they are different in subtle ways.

Bitterness is a root formed by unforgiveness that can produce other sins.

Wrath is indignation that can rise gradually and then subside. These are feelings that come and go due to thoughts and exposure to actions of others.

Anger rises when we abhor injustice. This feeling can be used righteously as in Jesus’ cleansing of the temple. But we must guard ourselves that we don’t use anger in a vengeful way when we feel that we have personally been wronged (Ephesians 4:26).

Clamor is a deep crying or wail in distress, like self-pity.

Malice is the destruction of a person’s character through slander or to blaspheme and give no respect to God.

We can all be guilty of these emotions at times, and we know how destructive they can be to our lives.

3. Lying

Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25 NIV)

 It’s hard to admit that we, as Christians, sometimes tell a fib. We may think we don’t fall under this category, but we can find ourselves not telling the whole truth at times. And a little bit of falsehood is still a lie. False flattery is one way we lie to each other. We don’t want to offend our brothers and sisters, but we also shouldn’t say something we don’t mean.

What about gossip? Words disguised as prayer requests or stories spread as attempts at aid can still be classified as lying.

 We are members the same family (1 Corinthians 12:26). When one hurts, we all hurt so why would we want to damage each other with untruths?

 4. Falling for Deception

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. (Ephesians 5:6)

Jesus warned about wolves in sheep’s clothing coming in with false words (Matthew 7:15). The Galatians swallowed the lie that they also needed to obey the Law of Moses along with belief in Christ to be saved (Galatians 5:4).

We can only stay on course by knowing the truth and not listening to anything that contradicts what the Bible says. We do this by grounding ourselves in the Word. (Romans 12:1-12).

 The result of listening to false doctrine can draw us away from Him and into sinful actions.

 5Stealing

Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)

Robbery is not part of the lifestyle of Christians. We don’t hold up banks or stores and ride off into the sunset with the loot. But the size or value of an item is not what determines theft. Even if we didn’t intentionally take money or products, keeping incorrect change, or not returning an item a clerk mistakenly places in our bag is defrauding the store.

Cheating on taxes or falsifying business documents could also fall under the category of lying.

These are small indiscretions, and these behaviors may seem insignificant. But they do matter. God sees all, and He is saddened when we don’t reflect His character.

6.  Drunkenness

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)

The debate about Christians drinking alcohol will probably continue until Jesus comes back. But the Scripture is clear about drunkenness. This is another problem Paul addressed in several places due to the background the new Christians converted from.

The same principle can apply to alcohol as to the eating of food outlined in Romans chapter 14. We are not to judge, but we are also told not to be a stumbling block to another person’s faith (Romans 14:13). We should consider how all activities and attitudes we engage in can be interpreted by others.

Live in the Fruit of the Spirit

We are forgiven for all these soul wanderings, but that doesn’t give us a free pass for committing any fleshly act. Living in the fruit of the Spirit will keep us sensitive to God's voice and will empower us against any temptations.

Rather than grieving the Spirit, we can praise and thank Him.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Image by Dorothe from Pixabay

Forgiveness doesn't give us a free pass for committing any fleshly act. Living in the fruit of the Spirit will keep us sensitive to God's voice and empower us against any temptations. (share on X)null

This post is an excerpt from an article that appeared on Crosswalk.com. 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

3 Ways to Overcome Guilt and Shame

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

 Ever since Adam and Eve took one bite of fruit humans have dealt with guilt and shame.

God warned Adam.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:15-16 NKJV)