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).


Friday, July 1, 2022

America's Battles are Not Legislative, They are Spiritual

 


by Barbara Latta

America’s Battles are Not Legislative, They are Spiritual

An astounding landmark decision by the Supreme Court this week has overturned Roe v. Wade.

Of course, this doesn’t mean abortions will stop, but that these decisions will be reverted to individual state’s authority. Before this decision was even handed down, some states fought frantically to instill legislation to murder babies at any time even after they are born. And other states can pass laws to prevent abortion availability within their borders.

But this is not merely a legislative battle; it is a spiritual battle.

Friday, June 24, 2022

How Do Our Words Affect Our Minds and Bodies?

 


by Barbara Latta

We hear a lot about the power of our words. Because some uses of this principle have been misused, we may turn a deaf ear to listening to lessons regarding the importance of what we say.

But words do affect our minds and bodies. The Bible is filled with admonitions for us to watch what we say.

I have a small book that is a collection of scriptural confessions, titled God’s Creative Power, written by Charles Capps.

This little printed treasure chest has helped draw me out of doubt, discouragement, and bad attitudes on numerous occasions as I refer to these pages.

And as God sometimes does, we can read passages we have seen multiple times and then BOOM—we get a new revelation out of His Word.


These Scriptures came alive to me more than they ever had as I pondered their deeper meaning.

I hope you will pray over these and take to heart what the Lord is saying to us. His Word is a mighty sword to cut away depression, anxiety, worry, and yes, health to our bodies. I looked these up in the King James Version to obtain the true meanings of the translations in Hebrew and Greek.

A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:20-21 KJV)

Jesus used this same term when he said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

The Hebrew word beten, translated as belly, is also used as body, born, or womb in other Scriptures. And in John 7:38 the Greek word koilia is translated as belly to mean the inner most part of a man, or the womb where the fetus is conceived.

This shows us our words can satisfy any lack in our minds or bodies or can cause death when used the wrong way.

Because we are a three-part being, God doesn’t just heal us in one place. He heals our spirit from sin, our souls with peace, and our bodies with health.

The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (James 3:6)

Words can defile the body.

Words can set on fire the course of nature. The natural production of our bodies can be distorted by what we say against ourselves.

The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. (Proverbs 16:23)

When we have a wise heart, mouths learn what to say and what not to say.

These are only a few Scriptures that teach us how words can affect our minds and bodies. When we learn to use the mighty Sword of the Spirit to cut away dead thoughts and negative words, we will prosper in health and peace.

As we grow in the knowledge of our identity in Christ, we will also gain the wisdom we need to produce godly speech that blesses us in every part of our being. And this will also flow out of us to enhance the lives of those around us.

What are your favorite verses to help you use words in a positive way? Share your thoughts.

How do our words affect our minds and bodies? (click to tweet)

As we grow in the knowledge of our identity in Christ, we will also gain the wisdom we need to produce godly speech that blesses us in every part of our being. (click to tweet)

 

 

 

Friday, June 17, 2022

A Loving Father's Discipline

 


by Barbara Latta

My dad was a quiet man and I only remember one time that he spanked me. I stuck my tongue out at my mother, and I was across his knee before I knew I had left the floor. I kept my tongue in my mouth for the rest of my growing years. Although it didn’t feel like it at the time, I experienced a loving father’s discipline.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Abba's Heart - 31 Stories of God's Love for His Children

 


by Barbara Latta

This month two books I have contributed devotions and articles to have been released.

It’s not a coincidence that both focus on the love of God. Maybe the Lord is trying to tell us something.

He really, really loves us!

Friday, June 3, 2022

How Assumptions Can Hurt Relationships

 


by Barbara Latta

Assuming we know the motive behind someone’s actions can lead to dangerous judgments. Whether it is in marital relationships, friendships, or business connections, we can traverse into dangerous territory when we don’t gather all the facts before forming opinions.

We can learn a valuable lesson about how assumptions can hurt relationships from an incident that happened when the Israelites settled in the Promised Land.

Friday, May 27, 2022

New Release, For Love's Sake, the Life-Changing Facets of Love

 



by Barbara Latta

Redeemed by Love

The following is an excerpt from my contribution to the compilation, For Love's Sake, published by Lighthouse Bible Studies. I have always enjoyed studying the book of Ruth and have attained many lessons from this wonderful part of the Old Testament. I hope you will enjoy reading this first section of the article. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

A Mother's Loving Hands - A Mother's Day Tribute

 


I wrote this poem in honor of my mother a few years ago and gave to her on Mother’s Day. I added the last 5 lines after her trek to heaven in 2018.

 

I hope you enjoy this tribute to all mothers everywhere.

 

Friday, April 29, 2022

4 Examples of How Our Value of Scripture Determines Our Belief System


by Barbara Latta 

Why do gardeners take such great care to prepare soil before planting? 


The proper space is chosen for the right amount of sunshine, furrows are plowed, and fertilizer is applied. Weeds are pulled to prevent choking the precious seeds that are soon sown. Germination success is due to the soil the gardener chooses. 


Jesus used this agricultural picture in Mark 4:1-20 to teach us how important it is to prepare our hearts. He told the disciples this example was the key to understanding all His parables. The value placed on the truth of scripture is the determining factor for good growth. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Finding Jesus in the Storm



Please welcome guest blogger Beth Hildebrand today. Beth and I met through the Flourish Writers Community. Beth shares some insights about letting Jesus handle our storms. Please check out the links to her website and social media below along with information about her new book. 

 

There was a time in history when 13 guys were in a boat in a large lake and a huge storm caught them off guard. Rain came down so hard and fast, water filled their boat, and the guys couldn’t get it out fast enough.

 And one of the guys slept through the boat rocking high and low, thunder, guys yelling at each other so they could be heard because the wind was roaring and the rain beating on the boat like a loud drum. Until a few of the guys hollered at the One sleeping, “Hey! Do you not care that we’re about to drown?!”

 Drown in despair, fear, stress, the worries of this world.

 The guy that was sleeping, Jesus, woke up and told the wind and rain to stop. And they did. This makes me think: Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to stop worrying. He didn’t tell them to stop questioning him. He didn’t tell them to stop getting rid of what it was that made them sink.

Instead, he instructed the circumstance to stop. Maybe God allowed that storm to happen so the guys could see with their own eyes the reality of who Jesus says he is. God in the form of a man.

 Today circumstantial storms unexpectantly dump those same worries on us and cause us to call out, “Hey! Do you not care that I’m experiencing right now?!” 

He still wants us to holler out to him when we’re upset. He still wants us to question him when we wonder if he’s really who he says he is. He still wants us to call out his name asking him to stop what’s happening.

 And he just might respond in a way you least expect it – in a way you never imagined. It might not be instantly, like he immediately told the wind and rain to stop, but that was their circumstance. We all have our own; each situation is different. But God is always the same.

 Trustworthy. Teacher. Truth.

 If you feel like he’s asleep, call out his Name. Jesus! That should help calm your storm and then when you least expect it, you'll "be overwhelmed with awe." (Mark 4:41)

 What storms has Jesus helped you through? Join the conversation and share your thoughts. 

 Is your life experiencing a storm? Call out to Jesus (click to tweet)

Beth Hildebrand is a writer, blogger, mentor, and leader in her church and community. 
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and has son and daughter in college. She enjoys traveling, several forms of art, reading, and dancing with friends whenever there’s a chance.

She is the author of a new book titled: The Art of Struggling: Finding Hope When It Feels Like Your World’s Falling Apart.  It’s been rhythmically structured to include stories of people in the Bible who struggled in their lives physically, emotionally, or even spiritually, along with examples of how these days we face the same struggles.  Through a collection of written prayers, a story, reflection questions, Scripture, and an artistic expression option in each chapter, this book befriends the reader through times of struggling and how to persevere with hope.  

 For details you can find her at www.BethHildebrand.com, on Instagram @bethnhildebrand_author, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theartofstruggling

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Beauty on the Cross

 


by Barbara Latta

Each year beauty pageants are conducted all over the world with hopeful contestants vying for a prized crown. From the cradle to college, girls groom themselves, work on talent competitions, and perfect their platforms with aspirations of being declared the most beautiful of them all.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Why Did Moses Put a Bronze Serpent on a Pole?

 


by Barbara Latta

The Hebrews complained—again.

While in the wilderness, snakes slithered among their legs and bit them because of their worthless words and accusations against God and Moses. They dropped in death like stones on the desert floor.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Honoring Women Missionaries


 by Barbara Latta

As we approach the end of Women’s History Month, we can honor the legacy of some dedicated Christian women and missionaries. Their sacrifices to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in places far from their homes can inspire us to grow our own faith.

Friday, March 18, 2022

The Difference Between a Sinful Woman and a Pharisee

 


by Barbara Latta

Jesus has been invited to dinner at a Pharisee’s house. The table, more than likely, is surrounded by important guests and dignitaries.

Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. (Luke 7:36-38 NKJV)*

As they recline at the table, their feet are stretched out behind them.

A woman approaches carrying a box carved from alabaster and filled with expensive, fragrant perfume.

She stands quietly behind Jesus. She kneels, breaks the seal on the box, and pours the oil on His feet.

She doesn’t look at the Savior as tears of repentance flow from her eyes and drip on His toes.

As she looks down, her hair flows across her face and touches His ankles. She moves her hands down the strands of hair smoothing the perfume across His feet.

She bends down and her lips touch the feet that trod dusty miles throughout Galilee.

Her actions cause quite a stir among the dinner guests. The host is indignant and starts to doubt the validity of his guest of honor. The Pharisee thinks the man at the table surely doesn’t know who is touching Him or He wouldn’t permit such a display of affection.

Instead of rebuking the woman, Jesus corrects the owner of the house with a parable.

Jesus taught the party goers what love really meant.

The woman with the alabaster box displayed the ultimate act of devotion and worship because she realized how much she was loved and forgiven.

Her devotion to Jesus superseded the fear of condemnation she knew she would receive by appearing in this room full of men who knew her sins.

The Difference Between the Sinful Woman and the Pharisee

  • This woman’s actions show love, devotion, and repentance. Simon’s thoughts reveal his prideful heart.
  •  She knew Jesus could forgive her sins. The Pharisee doubted Jesus was even a prophet.
  •  Jesus was important to the woman. He was simply another dinner guest to Simon.

We are All in Debt and Need Forgiveness

Jesus made His point through a story regarding forgiven debts.  

But to whom little is forgiven the same loves little. (Luke 7:47).

The truth is Simon the Pharisee’s sins were great also. He was filled with hypocrisy and pride.

He just didn’t acknowledge that he needed forgiveness, so he didn’t receive any.

We all are forgiven much. But our ability to live in the free gift of grace and mercy depends upon our repentance and acknowledgment that we need that forgiveness.

Once the revelation of how much we are loved penetrates our hearts, we will love much too (1 John 4:19).

The broken flask means she opened the seal on the jar. She poured the oil upon Him like the Holy Spirit poured out upon Him after His baptism.

Because the seal of His body was opened at the cross, the fragrance of His adoration toward us flowed out. His sacrifice opened the way for the oil of the Holy Spirit to flow upon us.

The woman in this story didn’t have a name, just like the woman with the issue of blood we talked about on March 4. 

But she is so important. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know her name. She gave us the example of an unselfish gift that has lasted for centuries.

Today, Jesus doesn’t physically sit before us even though He is with us through the Holy Spirit. We can’t open a bottle of perfumed oil and pour on His head.

How can we follow this woman’s example? What is our alabaster flask? What is our sacrifice of devotion and worship?

Romans 12:1 NKJV tells us the answer.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

When we offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, we break the seal on the flask of our flesh. We can then pour out our holy worship to the King of kings who saved us through His broken body.

When we believe and follow Him, He says the same thing to us He said to the woman in our story. “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)

During Women’s History Month, I feel it is important to remember women like this one. A woman who took a bold step of faith and gave Christ the most precious gift of all—herself. 

As Titus 2 women, this is what we are all called to do. 

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

We all are forgiven much. But our ability to live in the free gift of grace and mercy depends upon our repentance and acknowledgment that we need that forgiveness. (click to tweet)

When we offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, we break the seal on the flask of our flesh. We can then pour out our holy worship to the King of kings who saved us through His broken body. (click to tweet)

 

*This incident in Luke is not the same instance when Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Jesus with costly perfume as told in John 12:1-2 and Mark 14:3-9.

In Luke 7:36-39, the woman is called a sinner, whereas, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, was never referred to that way. Adam Clark’s commentary on these scriptures states that the word sinner could mean she was of a heathen country and not a Jew, rather than what some interpret as a prostitute. A person from one of these lands would most probably have an idol worshipping background thus the reference to her many sins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Is the Proverbs 31 Woman Perfect?


by Barbara Latta

Do you groan every time you read the 31st chapter of Proverbs?

Does that out-of-reach pinnacle persecute your self-esteem?

We read about this woman who appears to have no faults. She works night and day and never makes a mistake. She makes money, she is kind, and she is praised.

The comparison demon tells us we don’t measure up so why try.

But is the Proverbs 31 woman perfect?

Friday, March 4, 2022

4 Lessons of Faith From an Unnamed Woman


by Barbara Latta

March is Women’s History Month. Each week this month we will explore the lives of women in history or the Bible who have inspired us with their examples.

The Bible gives us the names of many women whose courage and faith blessed generations. But we also find some in Scripture who are not named.

Friday, February 25, 2022

How the Temptations of Jesus Compare to the Temptations of Adam

How the temptations of Jesus compare to the temptations of Adam

 by Barbara Latta

What did our Savior mean when he prayed, “lead us not into temptation?”

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:12 NKJV)

We know the Son of God didn’t pray a prayer that couldn’t be answered.

Then why are we tempted?

Because it is the devil, our enemy, who does the tempting to get us to fall.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God;” for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (James 1:13-14)

How do the temptations of Jesus compare to the temptations of Adam?

Friday, February 18, 2022

How to Live A Limitless Life as We Grow Older

 


by Barbara Latta

Each birthday cake we cut boasts an additional candle that wasn’t stuck in the icing the year before.

Time passes and we may start to re-evaluate our lives.

Questions rise in our minds, “What have I done with all these years?”

“I’m too old now to start anything new.”

We can fall into the trap of thinking our lives have no purpose any longer.

Regret about not completing goals from the past may bombard our minds and make us feel worthless.

But this is not God’s plan. He wants us to live a limitless life as we grow older. 

Friday, February 11, 2022

The Fragrance of God's Crushed Rose

 

by Barbara Latta

Flowers are the most popular Valentine’s Day gift. Florists work tirelessly to fill orders and deliver the precious floral displays of love.

The perfume of flowers permeates the air in rooms where they are displayed. Vases overflow with colorful blooms decorated with shiny ribbons. Delivery drivers take special care to ensure their precious cargo arrives at the destination with no damage.

Doorbells ring and excited recipients receive the expensive and beautiful presentations which express love and affection. Oohs and aahs followed by toothy smiles greet the delivery person.

But what if you opened the door and instead of a crystal vase filled with abundant blooms you received a box of rose petal pieces? Would you think that gift reflected love?

Friday, February 4, 2022

Life Lessons From the Groundhog




by Barbara Latta

Punxsutawney Phil has been broadcasting weather for years and a few days ago he told us we would have six more weeks of winter. The oversized rodent is from the family of marmots, or ground squirrels. 

Groundhog Day’s origins can be traced back to Europe where clear skies on Candelmas Day, February 2, indicated more cold weather ahead. The myth grew that if a hedgehog saw its shadow on this day, snow was ahead. When Europeans migrated to America, these traditions came with them and with no hedgehogs in this country, a groundhog replaced the meteorological animal.

 Here are some life lessons we can learn from the groundhog’s habits.

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Relationship Between Man's Performance and the Toil of Sweat

 


by Barbara Latta

In the Bible, sweat represents works and performance.

There are only three places in scripture where sweat is mentioned. The first is when Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden. God told Adam from now on he would toil by the sweat of his brow.

 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3:19 NKJV)

Before sin, Adam and Eve had an effortless relationship with their Creator.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Conquering Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome

 




by Barbara Latta

This month marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

At lot of attention will be focused on abortion and the results. Statistics will be broadcast of how many babies have died due to this Supreme Court ruling.

Yes, the babies are the victims.

But so are the parents. While many will say they are fine, the truth is post-abortion stress syndrome lies deep within the soul. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

When Kindness Counts




This week's post is written by Miya Hunter-Willis. Miya and I met through the Flourish Writers Community. We can learn a lot about how far kindness can go and what an example we can be as Titus 2 women to anyone we meet through this touching story she shares. 

Roman philosopher Lucius Anneas Seneca once said, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”  Well, my journey toward being kinder started with a dog.  That’s right, a dog! One day, a bristly-haired terrier found her way to my yard, tempted by the scent of white-tailed deer and cottontails.  Moments later, my doorbell rang.  

Friday, January 7, 2022

Start the Year the Best Way - Know You Matter to God

 


by Barbara Latta

Do you ever feel as if you are simply a number in the mass population of this world? With over 7 billion people occupying this planet, it’s easy to feel insignificant. We may struggle with what purpose we have or what can we as one person do to make any difference.

We may have read John 3:16 over and over and know that God loved the world so much He gave us Jesus. But we may struggle with how much we matter to Him as individuals.