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.