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, June 29, 2014

The Birthpangs of A Nation

Each July 4, we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, barbecues, and sales. How often do we think about the great cost of adopting this document that birthed our nation?

Signed by 56 men comprised of teachers, farmers, ministers, sailors, university professors, and business men each took upon himself the possibility of execution by the British government for treason.

As the great responsibility of their actions loomed ahead, Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers and the man labeled the father of American Medicine wrote to John Adams in 1781:
“Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the House when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe to what was believed by many at that time to be our death warrants? The silence and gloom of the morning was interrupted, I well recollect, only for a moment by Colonel Harrison of Virginia (a big guy) who said to Mr. Gerry (small in stature) at the table: 'I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing... From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.' This speech procured a transient smile, but it was soon succeeded by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted.”[1]

This young country not only had no organized army at this time, there also were no financial resources to fund a war. No other country wanted to take a chance on financing a fledgling republic against the British monarchy and suffer future repercussions. For three years, the young American government was funded by individuals who risked and lost all they had to secure the independence of the colonies. France and Holland finally saw the investment was worth the risk after some colonial victories.

Homes were torched, families were separated, health deteriorated, and ultimately lives were lost in the midst of much suffering. Our independence came at a great price.

May we continue to fight to retain the freedoms these great men of valor purchased for succeeding generations.  It’s because of their faith in God, their integrity, and their love for freedom that they had the strength and determination to stand for the rights the Bible promised each one of us.

God bless America!

What does Independence Day mean to you?

[1] www.wallbuilders.com, 4th of July article by David Barton

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Warning Signs

I was cruising down the highway on my way to get some Sunday lunch at a local restaurant when I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw flashing blue lights. Not a good sign.

I pulled over and the imposing vehicle behind me followed me to the side of the road. I got out my driver’s license, knowing what was about to happen.

“Ma’am I clocked you at 60 mph,” the officer said as I handed him my identification.
“OK,” I mumbled, as he walked back to his car to check my record and find out whether I was a criminal or not.

The heat was stifling, but I dared not turn the key to roll down the other window for fear he would think I was making a run for it. How long could it take to check a record?

By the time he returned and handed me back my license, my face was dripping with sweat and I was starting to wilt. “I’ll just give you a warning this time, but be aware of the speed limit on our roads.”

“Yes, sir and thank you,” I replied as I started the engine and enjoyed the cool air from the air conditioner blowing in my face at full blast.

I got off easily that time. Thankfully.

We have warnings come our way all the time. They are there for our protection. Storm warnings tell us to take shelter. Road signs tell us of danger ahead. The warning I received from the officer told me to slow down.

When warnings are not heeded, we get into trouble. God speaks in that still, small voice warning us of things we shouldn’t do, or warning us of consequences if we don’t do something we should.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” Colossians 3:15.

When God’s peace is ruling in our hearts, we know we are listening to the warnings He so lovingly directs. Disaster is averted and we reap the benefits of obedience.

What warning signs have you seen come your way and how have they helped you?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hat's Off To Dads

by Barbara Latta

Today I would like to honor the dads in my family on this special day.

My handsome honey of 38 years, I thank you for your life and love and for two wonderful boys. Thanks for being the dad you are to them.

To my sweet dad who is in heaven now. I honor you for the life you lived and the family we still are.

To my father-in-law, thanks for welcoming me and making me part of your family.

Thanks to our heavenly Father who brought us out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son. (Colossians 1:18)

Who would you like to honor today? Share your thoughts.

Happy Father’s Day!

Monday, June 9, 2014

When the Dog Bites and the Bee Stings

In the movie, The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sings the song, “My Favorite Things” to the Von Trapp children to get their minds off a thunderstorm. The song lists several cute and catchy things that are better to think about than being afraid of a storm. Even though thinking about brown paper packages tied up with string won’t get me out of the doldrums, the premise of the song is true. Thinking changes everything.

The Bible says, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

Depression comes when our thinking is focused on what is wrong instead of what the answer is. Situations may be bad, but continuously focusing on the problem causes it to appear even worse.

Scientific tests have shown that negative thinking causes chemical secretions in our brain that actually produce depression and hopelessness.[1]  These feelings rush people to the doctor for a pill to alleviate the depression which can cause other side effects in the body. All these medications do is treat symptoms and even cause addictions in some cases which make matters worse. The root cause is not addressed.

Minds need to be renewed by the Word of God. No matter what circumstances we are facing, God has an answer. He is bigger than any problem, but we have to tap into His power. He gave us His Word as the key to the treasures of heaven.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).

Peace in our soul comes from thinking God’s way. So when the dog bites, or the bee stings, or nothing is going your way, what do you do?

Share your thoughts.

[1] See “Who Switched Off My Brain?” by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Savor The Moment In Every Curve

By Barbara Latta

The Appalachian Mountains in north Georgia have lots of curves in the road. I mean lots and lots of curves. We just finished a weekend motorcycle trip covering about 700 miles of road between our home and all the roads in between that we cruised on. Despite the warning signs posted on those curvy, mountain roads, some people chose to ignore them and to instead heed the call of an adrenaline rush as they pushed to pass. Other riders on the little racing bikes were impatient to get around those of us who wanted to enjoy the ride and the road.

Life’s curves can be dangerous as well and those warning signs should be heeded. Rushing through life without slowing down enough to protect ourselves from burnout and stress can cause emotional and physical problems. When will I get to the next level at school or a job? When will the kids be back in school?  When will winter or summer be over? When will vacation time come? When will a raise come? The list could go on and on. It’s natural to strive for a better day, but if we are only focused on when something will change, we are letting days go by that can’t be recovered.

The racers that insisted on passing us on the hills and curves may have gotten a temporary rush of excitement, but they missed the beauty of the ride and they could have endangered themselves and others in their impatience. Even if we want things to get better, we can still savor moments every day while we are on the journey of change. Don’t look back and wonder where the days went because of wanting another day to come.

Take the time to enjoy each moment and not rush to the next one. It will be here soon enough.

What are some ways you savor the moments of each day? Share your thoughts in the comments below.