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).

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?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Swimming with Sharks

by Barbara Latta

A popular resort activity is diving with sharks and feeding them. People pay money to get
Swimming with Sharks
into the water with an animal that has the capacity to eat them. I am not one of those tourists. When I have been in the water I am constantly looking for anything that might want to feed on me. Once while snorkeling in the Caribbean I was enjoying the clear water and view of tropical reef below me. A school of fish rushed underneath, and I was thinking, “Wow, what a wonderful sight!” until I had another thought, “What if something is chasing them?” My wonderment changed to fear even though I didn’t see any predators around.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

God Knows Our Pain and He Says It’s Okay to Cry

by Barbara Latta

My mom, Johnnie Watson and
her great granddaughter, Keira. 
Death was never God’s intention. Mankind was designed to live forever but sin intervened and thwarted God’s plan. But because of God’s foreknowledge, He built in a way to save man from himself.

Death is a transition from a life held bound by the physical to a glorified, spiritual body that can do anything. We rejoice knowing our loved one is no longer held by the chains of this earthly life. But we still need to cope with the void left behind by their absence. It’s a ripping away of the soul because we have ties with those we love. It hurts. We know they are happy, but we grieve for ourselves because it’s painful to be without them. They are gone, but death leaves a shadow.

Last week my mom passed from this earthly life to her heavenly home. She felt the embrace of Jesus as she entered the gates of heaven and was reunited with my dad and other loved ones who have gone before her.

While I allow myself to grieve, I will not wallow in mourning. I allow myself the memories, but not the despair of regret.

Remembering the joy that is before the loved one who has departed from this earth will bring us comfort if we will dwell on that fact instead of our loss. The separation is only temporary.

Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He knew the pain of Mary and Martha and God knows our pain, too. He says it’s okay to cry, and thankfully, one day He will wipe away our tears.

Feel free to share your thoughts about grief.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Have You Ever Doubted God?

 by Barbara Latta

I don’t like snakes, but I know people who do. They like snakes because these people are experts and know the nature of the reptile. This knowledge keeps the handler from getting
caught off guard by any attacks.

Adam and Eve were placed in a perfect environment. God walked and talked with them and gave the couple everything they needed for physical enjoyment and nourishment. They lacked nothing.

Then a snake appeared.

Yes, God had created the snake also, but it wasn’t created as a deceiver. Satan entered the animal. Adam and Eve had walked and talked with God and should have been familiar
Have you ever doubted God?
enough with His nature to recognize a voice that was not His. They were caught off guard by the attack because they didn’t listen to the voice of God.

Subtlety, lies, deception. Whispered words through the leaves of a tree that held luscious food.

The voice of doubt was introduced into the Garden. He didn’t come at them as something ugly and scary. The animal was beautiful because when God created snakes they weren’t slithering on the ground lying in wait to grab prey. Since the couple had lived in the garden, they had fellowshipped with God. Adam had named all the animals. Mankind was God’s highest creation. His intelligence was beyond what we can comprehend today because sin has degenerated humanity. Maybe Adam and Eve also fellowshipped with the animal kingdom. I often wonder about that because Eve didn’t seem to be surprised that snake was talking to her. But the words he said were different than anything she had heard before.
The words that went into her mind caused her to doubt the words her Creator had said.

Sin began with doubt.

She reached out and took the fruit. She saw it, held it, and believed the lie. She took a bite and mankind fell. All because of doubt.

Adam had the power to cast the snake out of the Garden. God had told the man He made to take dominion and subdue. But because Adam didn’t do that, doubt is the snake that is still in the garden. Doubt didn’t leave the earth but took hold and continues to deceive people.

Have you ever doubted God?

Sin began with doubt.
I have when I worry. Worry means I am not trusting God.

I doubt when I fear. Fear is not of God because fear causes torment.

I doubt when I don’t forgive. Christ has forgiven me, so He has given me the power to forgive others. When I don’t, it means I am doubting His power in me.

When I get angry, I am doubting God’s power to give me self-control.

The voice of doubt will say, “Maybe my kids will stray, maybe we won’t have our needs met; if God loved me this bad thing wouldn’t have happened.” The voice of doubt plants seeds to cause us to stray from our heavenly Father.

Yes, sin began with doubt and continues as the weapon Satan uses. If he can get us to doubt God’s Word, we fall prey to temptation.

But believing God chases doubt away.

For worry - Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your 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 NKJV).
For fear - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
For unforgiveness - Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Colossians 3:13).
For self-control - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
For anger - So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
For loneliness - I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b).
For provision - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

Our Garden of Eden is the place where our soul fellowships with God. Where He walks with us in the cool of the day and tells us of His love.

When God is in the garden of our soul, the snake leaves and has no power.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Do You Know the Reasons for the Revolutionary War?

by Barbara Latta

Some theologians have declared that American resistance to British rule was unscriptural and that the founding fathers acted in disobedience to the Bible by fighting. However, by

Do you know the reasons for the Revolutionary War?
doing so they are using selective reasoning and taking scripture out of context to support their views.

Over the centuries, the British monarchy became a self-appointed god. James I introduced the Divine Right of Kings which states that kings stand in the place of God, representing him to the people and Complete Submission and Non-Resistance to Authority, which states that kings have an allegedly divine position and are not to be resisted ever for any reason. This principle was carried out to the point of torture and murder of those who stood for biblical rights according to scripture.