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).

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Gold Star Mothers Day

by Barbara Latta

Thousands of families have endured the loss of a son or daughter through war since our country has been fighting for freedom. As our service members sacrificed, so did their families. Grieving mothers held on to letters and telegrams informing them of their loss. Tear-stained pillows were gripped with hands that had waved good-bye as their solder of sailor left home and would never be seen again.

Gold Star Mothers of America was formed after World War I as a way to honor and support the parents of children who died in war. The mother who founded Gold Star Mothers was Grace Darling Seibold. Her son was 1st Lt. George Vaughn Seibold who was killed in August of 1918. The most well-known Gold Star Mother was Aletta Sullivan who lost all five of her sons when their ship the USS Juneau was torpedoed and sank. The movie, The Sullivans, portrayed their life and the tragedy of their death.

The last Sunday of September is a date set aside to recognize these special mothers. Those fallen men and women will never see their children grow up, get married, graduate or produce grandchildren for their parents Their hopes and dreams died with them on the battlefield so that our hopes and dreams can continue.

Each day that goes by a mother will miss her child. When birthdays, holidays, and remembrances of special occasions grace her calendar, there will be no celebration, only a grave to visit.

This Sunday we honor these mothers with recognition for their sacrifice, as well. Their son or daughter is gone, and they will live with that loss for the rest of their lives.

And we also honor Blue Star Mothers. These are moms whose children are actively serving or are veterans.

If you know a Gold Star Mother, what would be something special you could do for her today? Feel free to share your thoughts and memories.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Thank You, God, for Marvelous Migrations

by Julie Lavender

This week's post is by multi-published and award-winning author, Julie Lavender. I met Julie through the writing conferences we have both attended. I'm sure you will enjoy reading the message God has put on her heart through nature.

An autumn walk with God in the south is often graced with the fluttering of butterfly wings. God’s creativity is evident in so many of His masterpieces, but I often feel like He ‘outdid’ Himself when it comes to butterflies.

Thank you, God, for Marvelous Migrations
I spotted a monarch butterfly on my walk today. Black and orange with white spots along the tips of its wings, the monarch flies farther than any insect during its short life on Earth.

The beautiful and elegant Monarch butterflies migrate almost three thousand miles every year – from the forests of Mexico to parts of the United States, all the way to Canada.

I can’t imagine the hazards the monarchs face on that kind of a journey. The in-flight “potholes,” like unusually strong winds, thunderstorms, fast-moving vehicles along the path, sudden and unplanned temperature changes, lack of food sources along the way.

Fortunately, God gave the monarch an internal “compass,” instinct if you will, to lead and guide the monarch butterflies to make these long treks. With his creative genius, God directed their flights, long before each one hatched.

Interestingly, monarchs that live east of the Rocky Mountains move from
Canada and the United States to Mexico, and monarchs that live west of the Rocky Mountains migrate up and down the Pacific coast from the US to Canada and back.

Whew – that’s a lot of frequent flyer miles those guys are racking up, huh?

I was born in the small town of Statesboro, Georgia, and though I always dreamed of traveling when I grew up and saved some money, I never really wanted to migrate away from my hometown. I was comfortable there and my family that consisted of three siblings had all settled in nearby counties.

And, when I started dating my high school sweetheart a bit more seriously during college, I thought my zip code was settled, because he, too, was from my hometown.  

Well, God (and my husband’s degree stamped on his diploma) had other plans, and David made a deal with Uncle Sam for one three-year tour in the Navy when we both finished our Masters Degrees. At first, I wasn’t happy about it and stomped my feet a little …. well, a LOT.

Long story, short….one three-year-tour became a twenty-year migration across the United States, courtesy of a career in the Navy.

But you know what? I only pouted and stamped my feet for a short time, because it wasn’t long before I fell in love with God’s beautiful creations in other places besides my hometown.

My military-wife migration sent me from Jacksonville, Florida to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina and then back to Jacksonville again. Next stop for the Lavenders became Stafford, Virginia. Those migrations kept us on the east coast, but our next flight sent us all the way to Oceanside, California. From there we fluttered up the coast to Poulsbo, Washington. Our last tour took us diagonally back to Jacksonville, Florida – we’d come full-circle in our flight, landing back where the career began.

When David completed his Navy career, our family settled back in our hometown, surrounded by our four kids’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Our family had a marvelous migration – I loved seeing God’s big beautiful world.

Every year, about this time, when I watch monarch’s flitting about, I’m reminded that I may often plan my course, but it’s God that leads my steps…or flight! And I’m so thankful He’s in charge and not me!

What about you? Did you have a plan for your ‘migration’ after college that went a different direction? Did that happen even later in your life or career?

Tell me about some of your migration adventures. My favorite landing place was Washington state during our adventures. Where was your favorite zip code?

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.


Julie Lavender reluctantly took off the homeschooling hat she’d worn for over twenty-five years when her youngest of four started college three years ago. Julie and husband David, married for thirty-six years, have two sons, two daughters, one son-in-love, and one precious grandson.

Julie has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and taught public school before becoming a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling mommy. Julie and her husband, a former entomologist for the United States Navy and a current wildlife biologist at an army base, traveled about the country with their four children as Uncle Sam directed for twenty years before returning to their hometown of Statesboro, Georgia.

Living in six states and moving twelve times, the Lavenders have certainly rounded many curves, encountered some potholes, climbed a lot of hills, and navigated a few valleys, but through it all, God was faithful and true and ever-present.

Julie Lavender won a Guideposts Writing Contest, joining eleven other winners in Rye New York to study under top, New York-based Guideposts editors. Since winning that contest, Julie has been chosen for five Guideposts Refresher workshops. Additionally, Julie writes for her local newspaper, The Statesboro Herald, authored 365 Days of Celebration and Praise and Creative Sleepovers for Kids, and contributed to Chicken Soup for the Soul compilations.

Julies’ byline is found in magazines like Refresh, Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Southern Writers, BookFun, Focus on the Family, Mature Living, Country Woman, ParentLife, The Upper Room, and Taste of Home.

Julie is excited that a co-authored Christmas devotional with Michelle Cox comes out in time for Christmas this year, and a parenting book, 365 Ways to Love Your Child, with Revell Publishers, releases in the fall of 2020.

Connect with Julie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and follow her blog at julielavender.blogspot.com to catch a glimpse of what she learns from God’s amazing and fascinating creations. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Kindness Can Change A Life

by Barbara Latta

Fruit of the Spirit series  – Kindness
Read the previous post here

Fruit of the Spirit - Kindness
King David had a covenant with his friend Jonathan. Even though Jonathan was dead, he still wanted to show kindness to the family of Jonathan because of love for his friend.

Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1 NASB).

The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 are traits we are indwelt with when the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. But God never changes. Even though David lived under the Old Covenant and was not filled with the Holy Spirit the way believers are today, God still exhibited Himself through David because David loved God and followed His commandments.

The kindness of the Holy Spirit shone through David to extend to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. He found this now grown son of Jonathan and brought him to live in the king’s palace and eat the king’s food. All because of kindness.

God extends His kindness toward us…so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).

David’s favor toward Mephibosheth changed the life of Jonathan’s son. He was living in poverty and fear until the king showed him kindness. When God shows kindness to us, we are redeemed from the poverty and fear that sin brings, and we are brought into the King’s palace and we can sit at the King’s table.

Our Father shows great kindness to us by forgiving us and giving new life in Christ. When we allow Him to have control, that same kindness can be flowing out of us toward others.

The fruit of the Spirit can bring the world to the King’s table.

Feel free to join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Aftermath of September 11 Continues

by Barbara Latta

September 11, 2001 changed America.
Pentagon Memorial

That day changed life for thousands of people.

Loved ones were lost and families will never be the same.

Children were born that will never know their fathers.

2,763 people died at the Twin Towers.
189 died at the Pentagon and 44 at a field in Pennsylvania.

But people are still dying because of this tragedy.

First responders, clean-up crews and those who lived and worked nearby were affected by the dust and debris that remained in the area for months. As of June 2016, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s World Trade Center Health Program had enrolled over 5,400 people who had been diagnosed with cancers linked to the 9/11 attacks. More than 12,000 have related mental health issues and over 32,000 have been diagnosed with respiratory or digestive disorders.

Remembrance of those who died at the Pentagon
Our military forces continue to fight with costly consequences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As we recognize Patriot’s Day this week, may we remember why we fight against terrorism.

All we need to do is look at the numbers—because each one represents a life.

If you have a remembrance of 9/11, please feel free to share.