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, January 31, 2016

What does patience really mean?

by Barbara Latta

Our society today has become one of instant gratification. Computers, fast-food restaurants, fax machines, remote controls, and speedy transportation all have contributed to our desire to have our needs met immediately. We become impatient while waiting in line, for a file to download, or because a traffic light takes too long.

We can translate this earthly sense of speed into our relationship with God if we do not discern the difference between spirit and natural. God’s timetable is different from ours. He sees things in the eternal perspective while we view through the lens of now. When we pray for changes in our lives, we expect the fast-food answer to come and the order better not be messed up. 

Patience is usually thought of as something hard to bear. We have the picture in our minds of looking at our watch and tapping a foot because something is taking too long. Scriptural patience is defined in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as, “cheerful and hopeful endurance.” This gives us a different picture of waiting.

Colossians 1:11 says, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (NKJV). According to Strong’s, patience in this verse is taken from a Greek word meaning “endurance, constancy, continuous waiting.” Mr. Strong says longsuffering means forbearance. To clarify forbearance I turned to the dictionary which defines the word as a “refraining from something; self-control; abstaining from the enforcement of a right.” And from Strong’s definition, joy is a “calm, delight and gladness.”

Sunday, January 24, 2016

What causes depression and what can you do about it?

by Barbara Latta

More people today are suffering from depression than ever before. Television commercials abound with promises that will alleviate the malady by swallowing a pill. A new drug even
Pills are not the answer
claims you have to have their pill to make the first one effective. Now you need two drugs to rid yourself of bad moods. While these may aid those with medical issues, the prescriptions will never be the cure.

The Cause

Depression comes when we are thinking on the wrong things. Meditating on problems magnifies them in our minds until any answer appears impossible. In I Samuel chapter 30, David and his men returned to their city to find their wives and children had been taken captive by their enemies. The people who were with David blamed him for these tragic events so much they considered stoning him. The Bible says that David was very distressed.  But he did not stay that way. “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (v.6 emphasis mine).

The Remedy

How did David get out of his depression? He asked God what to do (v. 8), and after
Depression is caused by our thinking.
following God’s instructions David and his men recovered their families and took the spoils of battle from the captors.  

David had a great victory because he did not give in to his feelings. If he had sat around with his head in his hands crying, “Woe is me,” his family and those of his men would have been gone forever. God’s name was glorified when these warriors didn’t let circumstances control their actions. They had to act on God’s commands
in faith even though their hearts were saddened by the events that had taken place.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on good things. You may feel as if there is nothing good to think about. God loves you! That’s the best thing we could ever think about.

The key to victory over our feelings is to find scripture that speaks to us personally. Some of the ones I use are these:
  • "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength"  (Nehemiah 8:10).
  • "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit who dwells in you" (Romans 8:11).
  • You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

If you will speak scripture over yourself and place your name in the verse as you quote it out
God's Word brings peace and victory.
loud the Word becomes personal to you. When you believe and embrace it, you are replacing the root of depression with joy and peace.

Without God, living free of depression is impossible. Continuing to think about whatever is going on will only get us farther into the valley of depression. In Psalm 42:5, the Psalmist is telling himself to hope in God. He is our answer—not a little pill in a bottle. Take the medicine of the Word and encourage yourself in the Lord.

Charles Capps has a book that can help you keep the Word of God before you with confessions for different circumstances. You can order it by clicking this link God's Creative Power.

What are some of your favorite scriptures to stand on?

Images courtesy of Bing images public domain.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Live a Fear Free Life

by Barbara Latta 

Several years ago my husband and two sons learned to scuba dive. I was never a strong
swimmer and didn’t like having my face in the water.  I didn’t want to learn with them, instead I would rather just watch from the sidelines. But they talked me into taking the course. I was scared, but I also decided I didn’t want fear to rule my life anymore.

It took me longer than usual to finish the class, and I had some bad moments. But that was only because I was so paralyzed with terror I couldn’t function.  Finally, I decided to memorize some scripture and I repeated them to myself every time I was in the water. I succeeded in finishing the course. And more important to me, I overcame my fear because I faced the obstacle and didn’t run away from it.

How do we live fear free?

Focusing on what God says instead of negative news is the first step to preventing fear from controlling our lives. When the constant stream of information going into our brains is full of fear and hopelessness, we feel no options are available. God’s truth supersedes worldly news. And we must remember worldly news always has a secular spin designed to draw listeners to their message.

The beginning of fear

Fear started in the Garden of Eden. When Adam sinned, he hid from God. This was something he had never done before. New emotions were playing in his soul that was foreign to him and he didn’t know what to do. While nothing had changed with God, everything had changed with Adam and Eve. New feelings, experiences, and the way they related to each other came into existence.

Television commercials play on human fear. Medications are advertised to create the fear of contracting a disease so the listener will request the miracle drug from the doctor. Fear of aging will drive customers to the latest wrinkle cream or surgical procedure. Fear of rejection may cause people to compromise values and make wrong decisions so they will be accepted by others. 

When we listen to something other than God, we are hiding from him like Adam and Eve did. We are placing our faith in a voice other than the Almighty. All fear starts with something heard or experienced that is consumed and meditated upon until a seed is formed producing a harvest. Constant meditation on anything produces what is being thought about. My fear of being under water was exacerbated by the continued replaying in my mind a disaster happening.

Overcoming fear

If I had changed my thoughts to successful underwater navigation I would have been mentally practicing the elements I needed to act on. Keeping God’s word before me
reassured my mind of His protection and success. That is the only way I navigated the scuba course and completed it. Later, when I got in the water to dive with my family, I could feel fear rising in me again. I stood on the Word of God to push me forward and wipe out the feelings trying to paralyze me.

Most things we are afraid of never happen. Whatever you are dealing with is real to your mind, but its power over you doesn’t have to be. There is nothing that cannot be overcome with the Word of God. Standing on His promises in faith washes away the fear and brings in the victory.

Feel free to share some experiences that have caused you fear and how you dealt with the situation.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Advice for staying focused on God all year

by Barbara Latta

As we start a new year, we can ensure success and happiness if we will put God first in every area of our lives. These verses are great reminders to keep in a place where they are readily seen to keep us on track when we start to falter, doubt, or fear.

N"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). When you feel alone, remember God is always with you in every situation.

E"Every good and perfect gift is from above" (James 1:17). Thank Him daily for blessings.

W"Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do ye to them" (Matthew 7:12b). God has forgiven us and treated us with kindness; we can do no less for others.

Y – "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). Put God first in your life and you will be blessed.

E"Early will I seek thee" (Psalm 63:1). Spend time with God daily and listen to His voice.

A "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). Teach your children to follow His ways

R"Rejoice in the Lord always" (Psalm 33:1). We can have joy knowing He is Lord over all.

What are some of your favorite scriptures to rely on this year?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Count Your Blessings All Year

By Barbara Latta

2015 is over now and most of us can’t remember many of the things we encountered during the year. We may bring to mind major happenings, traumatic events and happy celebrations, but what about the everyday mundane incidents that can still affect our lives?
Small tokens of appreciation, a hug from a loved one, a compliment, or enjoying a sunset are events that bring enjoyment to us but are often forgotten days later. I read about this idea in a magazine so I can’t take credit for creating it, but I think it’s a good exercise to do for the year.

Create a good news jar

Find a jar, empty popcorn or cookie tin, or maybe a bowl you don’t need and each day
during the year write something good about that day on a small slip of paper and put into your jar. Date each remembrance and don’t look at the records until the end of the year. On New Year’s Eve, while waiting on the midnight ball to fall announcing the turn of the calendar, the family can have fun reading their slips of paper to each other.

Did you enjoy baking cookies with the kids today? Write that down. A special card may have come in the mail, or one of the children may have conquered a hurdle by bringing home a good grade on a subject they struggle with. Did the flowers bloom today, was the sun shining or did you hear your favorite song at church? Don’t consider anything too insignificant. If it made an impact on you, it is important to your life.

By recording your special memories, whether large or small, you will find yourself looking for things to be thankful for that otherwise would have been forgotten. You may even realize you met some of your New Year’s goals without struggling to do so. Sharing what was important to you about each day can also spark another family member’s memory about that event and your loved ones may be able to add to your list.

An old hymn I’ve heard all my life is titled, “Count Your Blessings” and has a verse that says, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done.” Your next New Year’s Eve can be more special when you remember how blessed the year you just lived has been.

What would you like to remember about 2015? Share your thoughts.