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).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year

by Barbara Latta

May you and your family have a very safe and Happy New Year!

Thanks to all of you who have read and commented on this blog during the year. My prayer is that the posts for 2016 will be a blessing to you as I follow the leading of God about subjects He places on my heart. Feel free to leave a comment about anything you would like to read about. I would love to hear your questions.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

How to Walk by Faith When You Don' t Know the Next Step

by Barbara Latta

A popular Christmas song “Mary Did You Know?” brings to light the questions Mary could
have had in her heart. Did she know what would happen? Did she get more messages from God that are not recorded? How do you raise the Son of God? What did she tell her other children? What did she tell Jesus? Did she have to tell Jesus who He was or did He already know?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

by Barbara Latta

May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas. I pray peace, comfort, and laughter will fill your home as you remember Jesus is the reason for the season.

Scene from The Nativity Story

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Single Parent Christmas

Today's guest post is by my friend and fellow writer, Terri Webster. 

by Terri Webster

Getting through the holidays can be especially difficult for single parents. Making new
traditions, discovering a new normal, and staying involved and connected were a few ways I dealt with the holidays throughout my single-parent years.

I remember my first Christmas as a single parent, 27 years ago. This memory is etched in my mind with countless others as if hanging on a museum wall.

My daughter was a toddler and her brother was six. The holidays that year were prefaced with the dissolving of my marriage to their father in November. Thanksgiving was a blur.
As I was attempting to pick up the shattered remnants of my life, reality of being a single parent suddenly draped over me like a sopping, wet blanket on a cozy fire.

My kids were going to be with their dad Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. To
add insult to misery, I was sure some of that time would be with his girlfriend, who just happened to be my best friend. It never occurred to me that my kids wouldn’t be with me Christmas Eve.

In the early days of our separation, and divorce, not a day went by that I didn’t throw myself
at the mercy seat of God for strength to get through each day. Sometimes I shook my fist at Him in anger for allowing my family to be ripped apart. When I quit blaming God, I found great comfort and strength, as I depended on His word daily like an IV drip.

When pouring my heart out at His feet during these scary changes, He showed me how to rise above my circumstances and discover new ways to celebrate the holidays as a family.
I went to church as planned that first Christmas Eve. During the dreaded drive home alone, I purposefully focused on the true meaning of Christmas. I thought about Jesus leaving the comforts of Heaven to come to our broken world and become the payment for sin. He made a way for me to have a personal relationship with Him that will last all of my life on earth and into eternity with Him.

I found a big surprise waiting on me when I got home that night. The gift of peace was waiting. Joy was there too, along with comfort. Exhausted, I fell into bed while listening to Christmas music. I woke up Christmas morning to my kids coming home, excited to go see our other family members.

One single mom says, “I always try and do little things with just my daughter and me, like
making funny videos, and acting silly. We’ll take a drive and I let her play whatever music she wants while we sing and dance in the car. I don’t have a lot of money so the cheapest things we can do that will make memories is what’s important to me. We go to my parents’ a lot, as it’s the one thing that has been constant and stable in my daughter’s life. She’s at the age now where she understands the true meaning of Christmas and knows it’s not about a lot of presents.”

The holidays don’t have to be about expensive presents and buying things you can’t afford.
Something else a single-parent family can do together is volunteer at a local food pantry, shelter or other outreach. This will surely put things into perspective if you have a roof over your head, know where your next meal is coming from and have several outfits to choose from every day.

Finally, whether it was December 25th, winter, spring, hot or cold, Jesus was born homeless in a stable. His parents had nothing to give Him that first Christmas. He lived on purpose. He died as penalty for our sin, then rose from the grave back to life so we could be with Him for eternity. That is the reason for the season and plenty to celebrate!

How do you handle holidays when you feel alone? Share your thoughts.

Terri Webster
Terri began writing in her private journals as therapy to cope with the pain and hardships of being a single mom. This grew into a passion to write with a purpose.
She published “Markers for Single Moms: Finding God’s Direction in the Chaos,” in 2013, facebook.com/markersforsinglemoms. She wrote and composed “When All Seems Lost”, performed by Sara Oliver, which is the inspiration for her next book, “Prayer Markers for Single Moms: When All Seems Lost.”
Other publications include stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul and numerous feature articles for a local newspaper.
Terri founded Spring Ministries, Inc., in 2011, and is a member of East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers. You can visit Spring Ministries on Facebook facebook.com/springministriesinc.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

God's Gift is Jesus

This week I was approached by a man in a wheelchair as I exited my car in a parking lot. He said he was a Vietnam veteran and he wanted some money to buy a hamburger. Rather than handing him cash, I told him I would buy his lunch. McDonald's was in the same parking area so he met me there and I asked him what he wanted. "All I want is a double cheeseburger," he said. 

He wouldn't go inside the restaurant, so I got the food and brought it back out to him. As I handed him the bag, I told him how much God loved him. I had a Bible in my car and I told him the best place to start reading to learn about Jesus. As I pray for this man, I am hoping the seeds I planted will take root in his life.

Share your stories of how you give Jesus to the world. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Miracle of the Manger and the Mercy Seat

by Barbara Latta

Have you ever made the connection between Old Testament shadows (Colossians 2:17) and New Testament fulfillment? 

Jesus’ purpose was already being displayed when he was born (John 18:37). The baby would have been rubbed with salt and oil (Ezekiel 16:4), wrapped in cloth resembling a mummy, and then laid in a manger (Luke 2:7). (Mangers were carved stone troughs not the wooden box we usually think of). Angels were proclaiming his birth.

Thirty-three years later, Joseph of Arimathea was given the body of Jesus to bury. He anointed the body with about one hundred pounds of spices, wrapped a linen cloth around the bloody sacrifice, and laid the precious gift to man on a stone slab in a tomb (John 19:38-40). 

On Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and went to the tomb and discovered it was empty.
Looking inside she saw two angels, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain (John 20:12). which paints a perfect picture of the Mercy Seat—a slab on top of the Ark of the Covenant covered with two angels one on each end.

Each year, on the Day of Atonement, the priest would sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat, representing that the sins of the nation had been atoned for that year. After Mary discovered the risen Christ, Jesus told her not to touch Him because He had not ascended to the Father. He still had to place His blood on the Mercy Seat of Heaven to atone for our sins. But this time atonement was forever. No more would there be a sacrifice made because the perfect blood had been given (Hebrews 9:11-15).

The blood shed during birth showed us He was the Son of Man, the blood shed at His death was as the Son of God who entered heaven and sprinkled His blood on the altar to atone for our sins forever.

Christmas is the manger bringing to us the blood on the Mercy Seat—the greatest gift of all.

What does that gift mean to you? Share your thoughts.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Why isn't peace on the earth?

by Barbara Latta

Glory to god in the highest and on earth, peace and good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

This verse is quoted each Christmas and  interpreted as if Jesus’ birth would bring peace to the earth. But the angels were saying that peace has been given from God to mankind because the Savior had been born to bring peace between God and man. The wrath of God against sin was poured out at the cross (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Jesus absorbed the wrath of God against mankind’s sin because God loved His creation so much He Himself paid the price which was death.

The angels proclaimed the birth of the Son of God to bring peace to men not peace to the earth. Jesus Himself said he came to not to bring peace but a sword; a sword dividing people who believe and those who do not (Matthew 10:34).

Shootings abound all over the country. Politicians call for gun control as if taking weapons away from people who are already breaking the law would cause them to obey the law to get rid of their guns.

After the tragedy in California this week headlines in papers have said “Why isn’t God doing
anything about it; He isn’t answering prayers.”

What these uninformed people do not realize is God gave control of the earth to Adam and Eve at creation (Genesis 1:28). They disobeyed God and gave the dominion God had bestowed upon them to Satan.

Satan retained that dominion on the earth until Jesus died and was resurrected. Christ went into hell to disarm the devil and buy back what mankind lost (Colossians 1:13). Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave His disciples the authority He had (Matthew 28:18-19).

The problem is we do not dig into the Word to find out what we have been given so therefore we do not use it. We act as if God is in heaven pulling the strings on puppets, so when something tragic happens it must be His fault.

God gave choice to man. Man can choose to do evil or good. When evil is the choice the populations blames God because He didn’t do anything about it. But God put us in charge of the earth (Psalm 115:16) and we are not doing enough to stop the spread of evil. We can’t simply fold our hands and pray to God to stop things. We need to pray for revelation
knowledge of what we need to do ((Ephesians 1:17), stand on the Word for protection (Psalm 91), and spread the gospel around the world to change people’s hearts (Mark 16:15).

The earth will only have peace when the Prince of peace rules the earth (Revelation 21:3). Until then we must stand against evil and trust God for peace in our hearts. When more people have peace in their hearts, violence will stop.

God loves you and sent His Son to give us peace. Do you have peace in your heart? If not, all you have to do is ask Jesus to come in and forgive your sin. Then peace will be yours.

For more teaching on this subject, read Andrew Wommack's article, The War is Over.

Share your thoughts.