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, December 30, 2018

5 Ways to Find a Focus for the New Year

by Barbara Latta

A lot of people I know choose words each year as a way to obtain change in their lives. I
5 ways to find your focus

had never done this until last year when I chose the word love.

I did this by looking up verses about the love of God and made a notebook out of them to read every day. I can’t say I was as successful as I wanted to be, but it did make me more aware of the importance of whatever we choose to focus on.

Do you have a word or phrase for the year? If not, here are 5 ways to find a focus for the New Year:

Sunday, December 23, 2018

What does love really mean?

by Barbara Latta

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in
Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16 NKJV).

Those of us who have grown up in church have heard John 3:16 quoted over and over. We learned that verse as a child and could spit it out at the drop of a hat. This scripture is probably the most familiar to everyone, even those who don't know God personally.

But like most things that we bandy about, it can become overused words that lose their meaning.

Do we really know what Jesus was saying when he told this truth to Nicodemus?

God so loved….
This is love not that we loved God but that he loved us and gave his Son (1 John 4:10).
We can’t love God apart from Him loving us first because there is no love in us without Him.

The world…
God’s gift is available to all who will receive it.  Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b). Unfortunately, not everyone will receive eternal life, but it’s not because God didn’t give it.

That He gave….
He gave His Son from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). He knew His creation would sin and He made a way to redeem the lost. God loved His created ones made in His image so much he was willing to give Himself to pay for the wrong that we do.

He gave by putting His Word into the form of flesh. The word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)

God was walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden until they sinned. They threw away their intimacy with their Creator.

God was walking and talking with mankind in the form of Jesus, but most did not recognize him. They threw away the God that was before them.

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him (John 1:11).

Love came down from heaven, but He didn’t have to. But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:7-8).

This gift from the Father was presented to the fallen earth wrapped in swaddling clothes. In insignificance and with no earthly fanfare, He was born in the normal human way. He became one of us, so He could identify with our hurts, fears and temptations (Hebrews 2:18).

Jesus came to earth through a bloody human birth and left the earth through a bloody human sacrifice.

What does “God so loved the world” really mean? It means love came down…so we could be lifted up (Psalm 145:14).

Christmas brings us the cross.

Merry Christmas and may God bless us every one!
Join the conversation and share your Christmas thoughts.

What does love really mean? (click to tweet)
Christmas brings us the cross (click to tweet)

Sunday, December 16, 2018

What Was Christmas Like in Revolutionary Times?

by Barbara Latta

Mount Vernon, the home of President George Washington
Christmas celebrations vary across the world and the customs of past eras are fun and interesting to explore.  

Several years ago, my husband, Ken, worked in the Washington, D.C. area.  We visited Mount Vernon, the home of President George Washington, so much we volunteered to work for the many events held there.

While working we would wear the authentic costumes of the period. Ken would don a tricorn hat and thick cape and after I had struggled with the ties and wraps of my garments, we walked among the tourists taking on the role of revolutionary citizens.  Because we were required to keep in character and speak to guests in colonial lingo, curtsy when in the presence of General Washington, and not wear modern jewelry, it was easy to get caught up in the ambiance of living at Mount Vernon in the late 1700’s.

George and Martha Washington frequently relax on the piazza and visit with family and friends. The General is often seen in his blue Continental Army uniform riding his regal stallion across the lawn at sunset.
George and Martha Washington entertain on
the piazza.

It was a most impressive sight!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Why is There No Peace on Earth?

by Barbara Latta
Why is there no peace on earth?

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14 KJV).
When Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds in the fields with their sheep. Heavenly beings proclaimed this good news and gave glory to God. The announcement in the verse above is printed on Christmas cards, letters, signs and church bulletins.

Messages are shared about peace on earth.

Yet the world has been at war since the beginning of time. If the angels shared this news, why is there no peace on earth?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Finding Joy in the Middle of Holiday Chaos

by Barbara Latta
Finding joy in the middle of holiday chaos

Holiday chaos is out there. All one has to do is get on the road. People are stressed, worried, fearful and in financial straits.

Yet the pressure to produce gifts, attend parties, prepare food and send greetings can overshadow the reason we are doing all these things.

I will admit I get carried away with the gift buying. I love to shop and buying gifts for others is fun. Now that I have a granddaughter, well you can just imagine what happens when I hit the toy aisle or the kids clothing sections.

Reining myself in is a struggle for me too. I get frustrated at the store lines, the traffic and the forgetfulness of something on my grocery list that requires another trip to the store.
But then I sit in my quiet time, read the Psalms that declare the glory of God, read the Christmas story in Luke and Matthew and the descriptions of heaven in Revelation and all those frustrating things fade away. The real reason we are celebrating fills me with the joy of knowing our Savior came to earth for us.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

What would happen if we were not thankful?

by Barbara Latta

The Bible is full of verses telling us to be thankful.

But why is it important to give thanks? What would happen if we didn’t?

  • When we aren’t thankful our hearts can become hardened and selfish.
    Why do we need to be thankful?

Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:21 NKJV).

  • We can become fearful and anxious. Thanksgiving in prayer can keep our minds from anxiety.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

  • When we are thankful for what we have received, we are able to give out to others.
While you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God (2 Corinthians 9:11).

  • Give thanks just because God deserves it. He is the giver of our life and every good thing we have.
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 106:10.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:1).

May we remember who the giver of all gifts is and never forget to acknowledge His bountiful hand to us.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Christians and War - What does the Bible say?

by Barbara Latta

The morality of war has been questioned for centuries. In our modern era, many churches spouting the name of Christ have maligned veterans and called for the end of the military as we know it. This not only hurts those who have served so bravely, but these groups have also misinterpreted scripture to conform to their way of thinking.
Christians and war - what does the Bible say?

After the War of 1812, Quaker John Murray wrote a letter to Founding Father John Jay complaining about the sins of war. In one of his replies, Jay stated:

“Had the Gospel regarded as being in every case sinful, it seems strange that the Apostle Paul should have been so unguarded as in teaching the importance of faith to use an argument which clearly proves the lawfulness of war, ‘That it was through faith that Gideon, David, and others waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of aliens’ (Hebrews 11:34), thereby confirming the declaration of David, that it was God Who has ‘girded him with strength to battle, and had taught his hands to war and his fingers to fight’ (Psalm 18:39).”

In a fallen world, peace is only obtained through the defense of such peace. War is necessary to obtain and preserve the freedoms God has given to us.

War is wrong when it is used to overthrow a just government or to obtain more power and wealth such as the way Hitler, Mussolini, Communist dictators and terrorists have done for decades. But without war to stop those despots, the entire world would now be consumed with evil. And that is not God’s plan.

Jesus told us to, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). That is only done when we pave the way for the freedom to do so.

As we honor our veterans this week, remember why the United States of America exists. She exists because the Father of all blessing has bestowed upon us the honor of carrying the torch of freedom to the world.

Here are some ways you can honor a veteran, not only during Veteran’s Day, but every day:
  • Pray for them.
  • Support legislation that will increase their benefits.
  • Buy them a meal or cup of coffee when you see them in restaurants.
  • Thank them in person.
  • Honor the flag they fight for.
You can also show your appreciation to our service members through collecting military memorabilia or conducting interviews for the Veterans History Project, or by donating snacks and toiletries through Operation Show Our Love

Thank you, Veterans, for your service and sacrifices, and may God bless America!

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Commodity of Time - How Do We Redeem It

by Barbara Latta

The Commodity of Time How do we Redeem it?
The day is here. We return to what I call normal time because Daylight Savings Time is over. Shortened days will bring darkness earlier in the evening. I am one of those that would like to leave time alone and stop switching it back and forth each season. But, hey, no one asked me when this time rule was enforced, so that means I live with it, right?

We feel that we lose an hour each spring and gain it back in the fall. But we aren’t really losing and gaining, just rearranging. The only way we can lose time is by squandering it.
Time is a commodity we aren’t conscious of. Minutes tick by while we go about our business every day. As each second slips past, the hands on the clock have moved through a day we will never re-live.

Time can’t be placed in a piggy bank and saved like money. Hours can’t be earned like our salary. Minutes are not retrievable like lost coins. Time passes and disappears.
God tells us to redeem time, so how do we do that?

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Lessons from Linus and The Great Pumpkin

by Barbara Latta

I love the Peanuts comic strip and cartoon movies. They are some of my favorite holiday
Lessons from Linus and The Great Pumpkin
classics. Snoopy never fails to amuse me with his antics and who could not feel sorry for poor Charlie Brown? He gets left out at parties and gets rocks for Trick or Treat. But he is resilient. He finds a way to hang in there.

This week I again watched, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Linus and his blanket spent the night in the pumpkin patch waiting for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. Shivering in the cold, he waits and waits each year to no avail.

While I do love Linus, I found some great lessons from his mis-beliefs:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Our God is a Consuming Fire

by Barbara Latta

The heat of the backyard fire surrounded me like a cozy blanket. Gray smoke curled toward the sky and drifted into the pine trees. Chilled air was pushed aside as logs popped and crackled creating the scent of burning oak. Give me a marshmallow and a hot dog, please.

I watched the orange flames blaze with light and was reminded of the verse in Hebrews that says, For our God is a consuming fire (12:29 NKJV).

What does that mean?

The logs in front of me burned down to ash.

I thought about Jesus on the cross being burned in the fire of God’s wrath.

All the sin of the world, past, present and future was laid upon His body.
God sent the fire of judgment to burn up that sin.

God’s fire consumed sin. It turned to ash at the cross.
While we are still on this earth, we still commit sin, but the punishment for it has been done. The power of sin is ash.
Our forgiveness is complete because Jesus endured the fire.

God’s fire consumes us with power when we welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives.
After Jesus ascended to heaven, God sent another kind of fire to the earth – the Holy Spirit.  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:11-12).

Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them (Acts 2:3).

God’s fire consumes the motives of all our works. Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3: 13-15).

The fire of judgment day is in the future. All those who did not accept the payment Jesus made when His body was consumed in the fire of God, will be burned in eternal fire. That will be a sad day.

The payment has been made, but many will not accept it.

Our God is a consuming fire. He burned our sin at the cross, He burns up our dead works to purify our motives and minds, and He burns within us with power. And His fire will judge those who reject Him.

Satan will feel that fire of judgment, too. Eternal damnation for the one who caused all the pain and destruction on earth since the Garden of Eden. He will be consumed with eternal misery. And I'm glad.

What kind of fire do you want in your life? God’s love can burn within your heart if you accept His sacrifice and join His family.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.


Monday, October 15, 2018

A Fishing Trip Teaches Lessons About Temptation

by Barbara Latta

Brilliant blue sky, cooler temperatures and the scent of fall in the air called us to some
The fish we caught took the bait.
outdoor activity. Friends were kind enough to invite Ken and I for an afternoon of fishing.
Autumn color brushed the edges of the trees as their foliage started the winter sleeping process. A gentle breeze blew across the water occasionally, but not enough to ripple the surface. Fish were waiting.

After a few casts with no success, I changed my bait. We were using plastic worms, so I changed to another color. Surely these fish wanted bright orange. Bingo! I had a strike. I pulled my little bass to the shore and proudly showed off my catch. When the fish stopped biting, we changed our tactics and moved to another pond. The fish we caught took the bait. I didn't get a picture of my fish, but here is one of Ken's bass.

As we were patient and continued to fish, I thought about how similar our fishing process is to the temptations the devil lays before us.

Bait – he uses something that looks good to us. The devil doesn’t tempt with something that is not appealing. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world (1 John 2:16 NKJV).
Tactics – when one bait doesn’t work, he changes to another. This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear (John 8:6)
Patience – if we don’t take the bait the first time, he waits and tries again later. Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him an opportune time (Luke 4:13).

How do we resist the devil’s fishing skills:
ResistTherefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). The key to resisting is to submit to God.
Renew – And do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Changing our thinking to line up with God’s Word helps us recognize temptation when it comes.
RevealYou 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). Show the devil that we belong to God and that he is defeated.

When we stand on God’s word and use His weapons, the devil’s tactics come up short. His fishing expedition ends with an empty stringer.

Share some other scriptures you use to resist temptation. Join the conversation.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

How Can I Know if I Love God Enough?

by Barbara Latta

Many Christians strive over these questions:

How can I know if I love God enough?

How do I know if I love God enough?
Am I doing enough to show God I love Him?
What else do I need to do?
If I sin, does that mean I don’t love God?
And if I do, is He angry with me?

Once when a Pharisee asked Jesus which command in the law was the most important, Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and most important command (Matthew 22:37 NCV).

It was a works mentality. They had to perform correctly to show God they loved Him by obeying His commands. If they didn’t do good, they were punished and an animal had to be sacrificed to atone for that sin.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The True Nature of God - Is it Judgment or Mercy?

by Barbara Latta

The true nature of God - is it judgment and punishment or mercy and grace?
The true nature of God - is it judgment or mercy?

Actually, it is both. But the difference is which one do we operate under?

The Bible gives us two covenants God made with mankind. The first which we refer to as the Old Testament, or Covenant, and the second is the New Testament.

Despite the fact that the New Testament tells us of Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection which gives us victory over sin, many people still refer back to the Old Testament when approaching God.

Hebrews 8:7 tells us, For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. The old covenant was a shadow of things to come and the new covenant is the fulfillment. That is not to say that we need to throw out Genesis to Malachi. These accounts are given for our learning and admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11).

But when we think God is still dealing with our sin and behavior the same way He did during Old Testament times, we are not approaching our heavenly Father using the power Jesus died to give us.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Guilt vs. Shame - What's the Difference?

by Barbara Latta

Guilt vs. shame what's the difference?
“Shame on you!”

How many times did we hear these words growing up? Well-meaning parents and teachers may have said these words in an attempt to correct bad behavior and prevent it from happening again. I suppose the thought was that if a child could be made to realize how wrong something was, it wouldn’t happen again.

But, without redemption, the fallen nature of man prevails.

God’s plan for perfection was thwarted in the Garden of Eden. Man’s oneness of spirit, soul and body became separated when sin entered the world. The conscience of man became his defining factor saying, “You did wrong.”

Blood was required so God brought the bloody skins of a slain animal to cover the guilt. The couple was forgiven.

But the shame continued. I can imagine the way their minds ran away with the accusations that came from the mouth of their tempter. “You are bad.” “Look at what you did.” “The human race is doomed because of you.”

How do we determine the difference between guilt and shame?

Guilt is tied to what we do. Guilt says, “I did bad.”

Shame is tied to who we perceive we are. Shame says, “I am bad.”

Guilt is from a wrong behavior. We can be forgiven, and the wrong actions are over.

Shame stays with us and locks onto the mind condemning us for the behavior that has been forgiven. Shame can cause addictions because the person is seeking to medicate the pain of past sins.

How do we get released from the prison of shame and guilt?  
  • Accept forgiveness. We admit we are guilty sinners, but because of the blood of Jesus, we don’t stay that way. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
  • Dwell in the presence of Christ to stay focused on the redemption we have been given. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine neither can you, unless you abide in Me (John 15:4 NKJV).
  • Transform thinking. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

Our identity is not tied to our behavior. A born-again person’s identity is tied to Jesus. Despite our sinful actions, we are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our spirit is born again. Our soul (mind and emotions) must remain focused on the Word to agree with who we are in the spirit.

We are not shame. We are righteous.

3 ways to be free of guilt and shame
Once we agree with this truth of the Word, shame drops to the ground and is powerless.

People who habitually live in sin have been referred to as shameless. What they really are is conscience-less. God gave us a conscience to direct us from right and wrong. Even a person who is not born again has a sense of good and evil. The problem is when wrong is continually adopted in life, the heart becomes hardened and the conscience no longer directs. Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2).

These people would have experienced guilt over their behavior at some point but continuing to ignore that guilt would have produced a lifestyle of hardness toward God. In that case, they may feel no remorse for their actions, or the remorse they have felt is so repressed they have accepted the words that they are worthless, so they continue to feed the lifestyle.

So, we do want to be shameless in the respect of identity. But we do not want to confuse this term with what is considered shameless behavior, which should be referred to as a hardened conscience.

Jesus left the Holy Spirit on the earth when he ascended to heaven. He is called the Comforter for a reason. He comforts, He does not condemn. He shows us the way, He does not shame us.

A victorious life depends on knowing who we are in Christ. There is no room for shame or guilt because it has been dealt with at the cross. Our place is to receive that truth and become free.  If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).

Only the truth that is known sets us free.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts about freedom from guilt and shame.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tips for Disaster Preparedness

by Barbara Latta

It’s that time of year when hurricane warnings dominate the news. Florence is wreaking
Tips for disaster preparedness
havoc on the Carolina coast and no one knows which way she will go from there. Thousands are without power and flooding is rampant.

Disasters happen every year in all parts of the world. Wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes and flooding can occur anytime. Being caught unaware or unprepared can leave you and your family without the necessary provision for life.

In the event of a disaster that does not require leaving the home, we could be living for days or weeks without electricity. Pre-planning can avoid scarcity and empty shelves. If homes do not have electrical power, neither will the stores, banks, ATM’s or gas stations.

The following tips for disaster preparedness can save a lot of complications and maybe save lives:

  • Store a supply of bottled water. Calculate how much is needed for the entire family, including pets, for at least one month. If there is time before the disaster strikes, fill bathtubs with water in the event water lines become contaminated. At least then there will be a supply of water for washing clothes, dishes or yourself.
  • Keep vehicle as full of fuel as possible at all times. If the entire community is evacuating, gas lines require long waits. Also, if there is no power, gas pumps will not work.
  • Put a first aid kit in vehicles along with flashlights, a blanket or two, and a small compressor for low tires.
  • Try to keep an amount of cash on hand in a safe, but easily accessible place. If ATM’s don’t work, neither will credit card machines in stores.
  • Pre-packaged food in sealed containers is available for purchase at many outlets. Buying a few month’s supply of this type of nourishment can provide what is needed in the event stores are over-run with a stampede of panicky people. These packages only require adding water and could be prepared on an outdoor grill or campfire.
  • Keep fuel levels as high as possible in propane tanks for grills.
  • Propane lanterns can last longer than candles and produce brighter light.
  • Buy a generator.
  • Refill medications as often as possible to have extra supplies available.
  • Pack a container such as a large plastic foot locker and keep important papers such as passports, birth certificates and other irreplaceable or hard to replace items inside. Pack extra medications, water, food, flashlights, and medical kits. The entire container could then be picked up and taken in the event of evacuation.

We never know what awaits us in the future and proper planning can save us a lot of headaches and pain. Most of the time we do not think of having emergency items stored away until it is too late to do so.

What other tips could you share for disaster preparedness? Share your thoughts. 


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Remembering 9/11

By Barbara Latta

Seventeen years ago our nation was paralyzed in a day like no other since December 7, 1941.  We watched in horror as Islamic terrorists flew planes into buildings murdering thousands of people.
Remembering 9/11

Because of heroic actions by some passengers on another plane, more tragedy was avoided as that man-driven airborne missile crashed into the ground.

Here are the statistics that have transpired because of that one event:

  • 2,996 killed
  • 6,000 injured
  • 1,000 died later from exposure to debris
  • 1,883 military have died in Afghanistan fighting the war
  • 3,836 military have died in Iraq

May we never forget those who lost their lives on that tragic day; and we should always remember those heroic firefighters and law enforcement members who gave their all in an attempt to save more.

Feel free to share your thoughts or post a memorial about September 11, 2001.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

God's Labor Day - Enter His Rest

by Barbara Latta
God's Labor Day - Enter His Rest

The first recognition of a day to honor the labor of American workers was in the late 1800’s. Later, a national holiday was enacted to commemorate the achievements and contributions of workers to the economy and society.

Labor Day has now become an extended weekend dedicated to shopping and barbecues—a day of rest from the labors of jobs and a time to enjoy family and friends.

Why is it so easy for us to rest from our physical work, but resting in God is an unattainable goal?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Avoid the Comparison Trap

by Barbara Latta

Have you ever sent out invitations to a pity party and then answered them? Maybe invited a
few friends? Or brought gifts to yourself?

Why do we do this to ourselves? The source of our party springs from the fountain of comparison.

We look at the accomplishments of others through rose colored glasses, but we use a magnifying glass to look at what we think are our deficiencies.

After listening to a successful author teach a workshop the opportunity for comparison whispered in my ear.

When my kids were growing up, the voice compared me to other mothers.

Despite good grades in school and praise from employers, career and educational opportunities told me I was lacking.

The voice of comparison has no reprieve for the victim; it only brings pity to the victim’s mind. We can get so involved in the party, we blow out the candles on the cake, open the gifts and indulge in the unhealthy confection of despair.

How can we pop the balloons from this celebration of misery?

  • By rehearsing victories and blessings in our lives.
  • By reading what God says about us.  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • By giving ourselves affirming statements.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17).

We must follow the plan God has for our individual lives instead of trying to live someone else’s. We can learn from those who have gone before us, but we can’t live their plan.

Paul’s advice through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit shows us how to avoid the comparison trap. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load (Galatians 6:4-5).

How do you reply to invitations to pity parties? Share your thoughts.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pedophilia...Is this the next sin accepted as normal?

by Barbara Latta

A recent TED talk given by Miriam Heine in Germany has introduced the concept that pedophiles are born that way and we should all find a way to accept them.
Pedophilia.. is this the next sin accepted as normal?

I have often wondered when something like this would invade society after government policies forced acceptance of homosexuality as a “norm” and required shared restrooms in public places and legalized marriage of people of the same sex.  

When the gate is opened it leaves no boundary that would stop other sinful behavior from being accepted by society.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Best Defense for Offensive Situations

by Barbara Latta

Have you ever found yourself listening to offensive reports on TV or radio and argued back at the electronic device? At times, I have fallen into this trap even though talking back to it doesn't change anything. Every media outlet carries offensive opinions and angry outbursts from people who are upset about something that doesn't please them.
The best defense for offense

Our ears and eyes can soak up negativity and the constant stream going into our minds can have a lasting effect if we are not careful to stop the flow. Even when we think we are not affected, a mood change can be a key we are letting poison control our emotions.

We do have the power to flip the switches on news spouting technology, but we can't turn off the opinions of others. Refusing to live in offense is a choice we make, but the power to make that choice requires discipline in the Word of God. These situations can be used as opportunities for growth when handled according to God's principles.

Here are some instructions from the Lord to help us grow:
  • Realize your worth does not come from someone else's opinion or actions. Our value comes from God not the news media, entertainment or politics.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV).

  • Anchor your personality in Christ and take possession of the inheritance He gave you. We have an inheritance that is far superior to anything this world can give. 

In him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11 NKJV).

  • Realize the words are a reflection of the condition of the heart of a person who probably does not know God.

They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of their heart (Ephesians 4:18 ESV).

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV).

  • Realize allowing offense into your life doesn't change the situation, but it can change you into an angry and bitter person.

Do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you for many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 ESV).

The best defense for offense is found in Philippians 1:11, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Allowing the fruit of the Spirit to bloom when the opportunity for offense comes will stop the progression of the atmosphere of anger to thrive in our sphere of influence. We can't control other people, but we can control our response to them. When we stand strong and avoid being drawn into negativity, we are growing in maturity and spiritual strength.

How do you handle offensive situations?