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).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tough or Tender?

by Barbara Latta

Have you ever given much thought to callouses?

They are caused by constant wear and pressure against skin making it thick and insensitive to anything touching it. That part of the body wouldn’t even feel pain unless it was penetrated deeply.
How does tough meat become tenderized? By exerting pressure with a kitchen mallet to break up the fibers of the meat making it much easier to consume.

Both of these examples use some type of tool against a surface with different results. One becomes tough, the other tender.

Our lives get bombarded with things that rub us the wrong way, constantly wear at us, and sometimes feel as if the fibers of our being are being torn away. So what will we do when pressure is exerted on us?

Become tough or tender?

We actually need to become both.

We need tough, calloused skin against the influences of the world, but we need be careful that the painful situations in life don’t make us hardened and calloused toward God. We need a tender heart with compassion toward those in need, but we don’t want to become overly sensitive and let our feelings rule us.

How do we do that?

I recently came in contact with a person who was very critical and condemning toward others when things didn’t go right. It would be very easy to let myself fall into the trap of having a negative attitude toward that person.

I have a decision to make.

Will constantly listening to these attitudes sway my thinking, or will I look into the heart of the person and see someone who is acting this way because of fear or deep wounds? I need to be a tough callous to avoid being affected, but have a tender heart to see the needs of the person.

Being tough or tender depends on the situation.

What are some circumstances where you need to be tough and tender?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Victor or Victim?

The world is full of fear. The current reports in the media are filled with news of the Malasian airliner that disappeared. Speculation leads to new threats of terrorism and the unanswered questions cause more fear of the unknown.

God's Word is filled with instructions to fear not. Our decision is: What will we believe?

Will we let the constant barrage of news alerts and interviews with experts bring us to a place of becoming a fearful victim, or will we believe what God says and be the overcoming victor?

Even if we are not in a location where terrorism happens, we can become a victim of the act if we live in fear of it. Our lives can become paralyzed and controlled by the influence of the wrong thoughts.

"You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked."
(Psalm 91:5-8)

Faith in what God says will make us victorious over every circumstance. Our part is to have our ammunition full every day so we can shoot down negative and fearful thoughts.

Victory depends on us. Whether it is a major threat or just everyday annoyances, we don't want to become a victim.

What ammo do you use to shoot down the victim mentality?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mount Up With Wings Like Eagles

Recently a friend led us to a video feed of an eagle sitting on a nest in the top of a pine tree on the campus of Berry College in Georgia.  Berry Eagle Cam can be viewed at www.berry.com/eaglecam.

Two eggs have been laid and one of them hatched on February 22 and we watched in awe as the mother eagle fed her young. Its fuzzy head, too big for its body, was wobbling to and fro trying to grasp the meat out of the mother’s beak. Its little body cannot stand on its own yet and is dependent solely on the parents for its life.

Watching this regal bird brought to mind how God takes care of us. He gives us birth into His kingdom and as babies he feeds and nourishes us. He takes care of us when we can’t stand, picks us up when we fall, and keeps us protected with His mighty hand. When we are in the developing stage, He lets us depend on the faith of others to help us believe, but the time comes when we are expected to become mature enough to trust Him because of our relationship with Him. We need to feed on His Word and not always depend on someone else to spoon feed it to us.

The eaglet will soon develop into a young bird strong enough to leave the nest. That first time must be scary, but if it doesn’t take that first leap into the air the eagle will never learn to fly. When that young eaglet first launches away from the nest and starts to fall, the mother bird is there to swoop down and let it land on her back until her young spreads its wings again and lifts off.

God is always there to guide us as we learn to spread our wings of faith and obey.  Every step of trust we take gets us out of the nest of our own comfort zone and into the kingdom of faith that shows us we can rise above the circumstances of life.

Writing this blog, starting a book, and speaking before my writers group are all things I have done in the last year that have forced me out of my comfort zone, but have also been things that have produced a launching pad of learning to soar.

With His wind under our wings, we can fly like eagles above every storm, conquer every predator that attacks us, and grow into the majestic child of God He intends us to be.

What are some things you have done that have helped you grow out of your comfort zone?