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, May 29, 2016

The Cost of War

by Barbara Latta

As we honor our fallen heroes, taking a look at the numbers gives us a mental picture of the cost of
The cost of war
war. These paid the ultimate price to buy our freedom, protect that freedom from being taken, and to fight for those who couldn’t defend themselves. Many others paid a different price by coming home wounded and scarred or suffering from PTSD. We have lost too many to suicide because the experiences of the battlefield continued to haunt their minds.

Also, hundreds were missing in action and never found. The search continues to bring their remains home. Others were tortured and suffered tremendously in prisoner of war camps.

Remember each number in these statistics represents a person; a person who left grieving family members behind and who gave their all for their country.

Revolutionary War – Estimates of 25,000; 8,000 from battle and 17,000 from disease. George Washington’s decision to inoculate his troops against smallpox saved thousands.
Civil War - More than 600,000. This was the costliest war ever fought by Americans.
War of 1812 – 2,260 in battle, 15,000 from disease.
Spanish-American War – 3,289 of which 260 were on the USS Maine. The sinking of this ship started the war.
World War I – 116,516
World War II – 405,399
Korean Conflict – 36,574 (Congress hasn’t declared war since World War II so anything after that time is considered a conflict. However, ask those who fought. I’m sure they consider these times a war.)
Vietnam Conflict – 58,220
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm – 293
Operation Iraqi Freedom – 4,422
Operation New Dawn – 66
Operation Enduring Freedom – 2,355
Operation Inherent Resolve – 7
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel – 3

Vietnam Memorial
We are still engaged in a battle against terrorism and these numbers continue to climb.
May we never forget the cost of what we have in our country and to thank those who are protecting us. America has been blessed by God because our roots were founded in His Word.  

If you would like to remember someone here, please leave a comment below.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Good-bye for Now

by Barbara Latta

Once again we say good-bye to another family member. My husband's Aunt Mila went to be with
Mila Burns with her great-granddaughter
Jesus on May 14, 2016. She will be remembered for her sweet spirit and kind words she had for everyone.

She raised three children to know the Lord and was a light to all of us. We will miss her.

This tribute is in her memory but also to remind us all that we are only here for a short time. We need to make the most of our time on the earth and use it to glorify God.

She had requested Lamentations 3:24 be read at her service. Her son, a pastor, read, "The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him."

May we all live our lives with our hope in Him and glorify His name in life and in death.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Don't Let Your Life Wallow in Regret

by Barbara Latta

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
Don't wallow in regret from wrong choices

I have never met anyone who is perfectly satisfied with the choices they have made in life. Most of us are wandering through life wallowing in regret because we didn’t set goals, follow ideas, help more people, or try to remedy hurts. One thing I struggle with is wishing a writing career would have started earlier for me. 

While I rejoice at the success of my fellow writers, the fangs of regret try to sink into my soul with accusations of “Look at where you could be now,” “I’ll never get anything published,” or “I’m too old to start now.” But time is too precious to waste looking behind and wanting things to be different. I had to start somewhere or not start at all. Instead of looking at what I could have done, I have to look ahead to what I can do now.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Biblical Mothers Can Teach Us

by Barbara Latta

All of us who are mothers sometimes cringe when thinking back to things we have said or done with our children. None of us are perfect, but when we are focused on training our children in the fear of  of the Lord, God blesses our efforts. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
Biblical mothers can teach us

We can stand on this promise from God and have faith that He will fulfill His Word in our offspring. His Word also gives us examples of mothers who listened to God and others who didn’t. These biblical mothers can teach us from their lives and the consequences of their decisions, whether good or bad, are recorded for our benefit.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

How Important are the Words We Speak?

by Barbara Latta

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you
Our speech should be seasoned with salt.
ought to answer each one”
(Colossians 4:6 NKJV).

 Words are a natural part of our lives. It’s hard to imagine going through even one day without saying a single thing. That’s why it is so important to have good communication coming out of our mouths.  Most of us grew up hearing taunts spit at us by other children on the playground. The usual response would be “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” While that sounds like a clever retort, nothing could be further from the truth. 

A wound made by a stick or stone can heal and later is forgotten, but words can stab at our hearts leaving a painful opening in our soul. Wounded people wound others and this can cause us to form barriers against forming relationships and can cause violent responses when we hear words against us. We can apologize for thoughtless comments, but the hurtful words remain behind and can’t be taken back. Negative words bring negative circumstances.

 Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that we can have what we say. If we are constantly criticizing, complaining, and condemning we will get the fruit of those things in return. But if we will believe what the Bible says and use God’s words even in the face of storms and trials, we will reap a godly harvest.

 My thoughtless comments 
I have more instances than I care to remember where I have used words in the wrong way. A cynical comment in reply to my husband, impatient outbursts toward the children, or sassy retorts targeted at drivers or sales people all add up to deposits in the negative bank. 

One of my most recent faux pas happened during a trip with a church group. After our scenic tour of the mountains we stopped to eat at a local restaurant. At the end of our meal I chose a dessert, but when it was served it wasn’t what I had ordered. I let the waitress know in my “how dare you bring this to me” voice that it was wrong. It was such an unimportant thing that I let become something that hurt someone and especially hurt the image of the Christ who died for me. I know God forgave me, but I left behind some words I couldn’t take back. 

Conversation seasoning
How do we obey Colossians 4:6 with good seasoned conversation? 

Thinking—Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are
The words we speak matter.
lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”
Our speech will reflect what has been going on in our minds.

Preparation—2 Timothy 4:2 tells us to preach the word and be ready in season and out of season. If God is our focus, His words are what we will speak.

Discipline—James 4:6 says our tongue can defile our body. Controlling our speech requires discipline, but if restraint is our goal we have completed the first step. It will take practice, but if we will start small by thinking before we open our mouths, we are on the road to successfully keeping our tongue under wraps. 

 When a sponge is dipped into liquid the material soaks up whatever it has been exposed to. You can’t suck up dirty water and squeeze out clean. You get whatever went in. We are sponges in our environment. If we constantly expose our minds to negative thinking, doubt, and violence, we cannot expect love, mercy, and compassion to come out when we are squeezed by circumstances. 

Wars have been started because of words. Peace has been accomplished through the spoken or written word. History has been altered because of rash, impulsive comments and treaties signed when control was exerted. This quote by Roy Williams says it all, “Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears. Words cause men and women to willingly risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words.” 

Our words should match God's Word.
Speak over yourself--Not only do we need to watch our words to others, we need to speak positively over ourselves. Constantly hearing our own mouth put ourselves down poisons our soul and our image of ourselves suffers. We start to doubt God’s power in our lives. Recording verses which use the phrase “in him” or “through Him” and meditating on these promises give us the image God has about us. We need to agree with His Word concerning our inheritance. When the promises are ingrained into our soul our behavior will reflect our beliefs and will spill over into relationships. We are less likely to have thoughtless outbursts about others, situations, or ourselves. 

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). If our hearts are right, our mouths will be too.

What are some ways words have affected your life?