God's Roadmap

Walking in grace, thriving in hope

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV).


Saturday, January 16, 2021

3 Ways a Salty Life Adds Seasoning to an Unflavored World

 by Barbara Latta


Imagine sitting at a table in a fine restaurant. The gourmet food is carried to your table and placed in front of you. The steam wafts to your nose and the smell makes your mouth water. You reach for the salt shaker and turn the container to add the grains on your food. Nothing comes out.

You shake again. Still nothing. Then if you are like me, you take the top off and look inside to see what the problem is. The salt is in the shaker, but it is one big wad. Moisture has contaminated it and now it is no good.

This is what Jesus meant when he said, You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Matthew 5:13).

If we lose our taste for God, we have no witness. We become like unflavored salt.

Why did Jesus compare believers to salt? We can find out by discovering some properties of this mineral. Here are 3 ways a salty life adds seasoning to an unflavored world:

Monday, January 11, 2021

3 Ways to be Ready for the End Times

 by Barbara Latta

Do we even need to guess that we are living in the end times the Bible tells us about?

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4).

These verses portray the headlines in our news media today. Never before have we seen the violence and attitudes displayed by people in the world as we have recently.

And to try to warn people about the second coming of Christ, some will just blow it off and say that they have heard that all their lives. While scoffers will always exist, the truth unfolds in the scriptures.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Don't let last year's disappointments derail 2021

 by Barbara Latta

Staggering setbacks and panic encapsulated 2020. Nothing like the chaos of the past twelve months has been experienced by most of us.

If we aren’t careful, we can carry anxiety from those experiences into our future.

To thrive, we don’t want to let last year’s disappointments derail 2021.

The key to avoiding this is to check our focus. In her book, Write His Answer, Marlene Bagnull issued a challenge. Get your eyes off yourself and onto someone else. In this case it was other writers who might need encouragement or help, but this idea can transfer to anyone in our lives.

She suggested choosing one of the four gospels to read and to list all the events that could have caused Jesus disappointment.

I chose the book of John and this is a shortened list of what I discovered:

Friday, December 25, 2020

Redemption is the Heartbeat of Christmas

 by Barbara Latta

Presents, tables laden with food, carols resounding through the air, and maybe a kiss or two under the mistletoe. Oh, that’s right, not this year. No kisses, no hugs, no sharing in person.

Just like that long ago Christmas when Jesus was a young child, evil tried to stamp it out.

Thousands of years ago it wasn’t a disease that attempted to stop a celebration. It was an evil ruler who hunted down the real King. His jealousy was the virus that spread doom and gloom searching for innocents to kill.

And Herod is the one who died. Not the Baby he sought.


Covid will eventually die just like Herod did. And even though Herod’s son took his place on the throne, Jesus still thrived. Some other plague will probably replace covid. After all, we live in a fallen world.

But Herod’s search didn’t stop Jesus from being King just like germs, rulers, unbelievers, politicians, or the devil cannot take Christmas away from us.

The fact that separation is part of the holiday this year doesn’t change the reason we celebrate.  

It isn’t mistletoe and holly. It is isn’t tinsel, lights and toys.

Because the reality of Christ’s birth is He was born to bring us redemption.

Christmas doesn’t stop because we can’t be together. Because redemption cannot be undone.

Redemption is the heartbeat of Christmas.

What can I give to Jesus? I can give Him my heart because He gave me His.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

 

What can I give to Jesus? (click to tweet)

Redemption is the heartbeat of Christmas (click to tweet)

 

 

 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Depressing Christmas or Joyful Celebration?

by Barbara Latta

During the depression era of the 1930’s, hardly anyone had money. Unemployment was at 25%. Soup lines kept people fed. Those fortunate enough to live on farms could grow food from seeds they had saved.

These people had to decide if they would have a depressing Christmas or a joyful celebration.

Christmas was not filled with bling-covered gifts or designer clothes. Gifts were handmade. Toys were carved from wood. Dresses were sewn from flour sacks while hats and gloves were knitted or crocheted.

The real treat on Christmas morning was an orange in the stocking. Buying an orange was a sacrifice parents made for their children because this fruit was so expensive.

Tree decorations were handmade out of paper, wood or scraps of fabric sewn together.

But Christmas was still Christmas. Families joined together. They went to church to worship the newborn King. Their focus was on the giver of life instead of lack. They were thankful.

My parents lived through the depression. As children during this era, they knew what it meant to do without certain things. Therefore, they wanted my brothers and I to have whatever they could give us at whatever sacrifice they had to make.

I can still remember the Christmas when I was nine years old.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Love of the God, the Father

 by Barbara Latta 

Th love of God the Father


I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me
(John 17:23b NKJV).

He cradled the newborn in rough, callused hands, still in awe of the miracle before Him. All the insults and snubs he and Mary had endured these last few months meant nothing to him now as he held God in the flesh in his arms. 

The baby moved his head from side to side and his mouth made sucking noises. Bright eyes peered into the face of the earthly father Jehovah had chosen to raise His Son on the earth.

Joseph thought back to the day Mary returned from visiting her relative, Elizabeth. He had been confused at her departure, yet he was overjoyed at her return. When she left the caravan she had been traveling with he noticed her silhouette was different. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Pausing to Savor the Season, or Rush and Regret?

 Today I am honored to share a guest post by Jeanne Doyon. Jeanne is a gifted writer, teacher and speaker. She hosts a women's retreat you can read about in her bio below. She has recently joined Morning Star Bright Lights Podcast in New England. You can listen to her interview here. I know her words will bless you as she encourages us to Pause to Savor the Season. She has also included a FREE download for you to enjoy!

by Jeanne Doyon

                   I get it! We are so eager to say goodbye to 2020. As much as we want this year to end, it will do us good to slow down and savor the season. We need a plan to embrace the moment and beat the tyranny of the shoulds.

            So much has been taken away this year so we need to enjoy what we DO have. How do we begin? Here are a few things I am attempting to do:

            Reduce Expectations – this has been especially difficult for me because I hoped to see my children and grandchildren. It just isn't possible. So, I am thinking outside the box by being a virtual grandparent. It is amazing how many ideas come to mind to help make this season fun for them. Be sure to check out my complementing post on my website on this topic Christmas Outside the Box

            Christmas Shopping - Shop early and don't go into debt over your gift list. Set a budget ahead of time and stick to it. Have your gifts shipped directly if you aren't getting together. The greatest gifts that have risen during this time of shut-down are LOVE and TIME. They don't cost a thing and the benefits are immeasurable.

            Hostessing Dinner - If you are hosting dinner at your home, enlist help from your guests. Gathering is a community activity. When everyone contributes a side dish, dessert, or other part of the meal, it takes stress off of you and creates connection with your guests.

            Simple is best, whether that is in decorating, meal planning, gift giving, cookie sharing, or whatever you have on your to-do list. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a season for everything. Our stage of life changes. And we need to graciously allow ourselves permission to simplify.

            Not only do we need to simplify, we also need to be intentional about enjoying the season. One way to do that is to make time to ponder the significance of it all—Jesus came for us. He is truly the greatest gift. So take time each day to let go of the stress that the holidays can bring.

            Here are some ideas to help ponder the season: