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, May 26, 2023

3 Lessons Biblical Memorials Can Teach Us


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

The Bible contains multiple references to memorials which show us the importance of remembering certain events and actions.

God appeared to Jacob in a dream as he fled from his brother, Esau. Jacob poured oil on the stone he used as a pillar to dedicate the place where God established a covenant with him.

Joshua commanded twelve men to each carry a stone across the Jordan River to safeguard the knowledge of the miracles God had performed for future generations.

The Feast of Purim in the book of Esther proclaims the day the Jews were saved from annihilation by the wicked Haman.

The Word of God documents so many times people were commanded to remember someone or something that we can’t discuss them all here. But these following incidents in Scripture can reveal to us three lessons biblical memorials can teach us.

1. We can remember and be thankful for what God has done. In Exodus 17:14 Joshua led the Israelite warriors to victory over Amalek. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. (NKJV)”

The outcome of this battle can show us how God also delivers us from our enemies. We can record these victories in journals or notes in our Bible. At times when we are tempted to fear or fall into despair these words can remind us of the Lord’s sovereign power to deliver us from evil.

2. We can remember and be thankful for what others have done for us. Jesus had dinner with Simon the leper. Many prominent people were probably in attendance. A sinful woman came into the room and anointed Jesus’ feet with fragrant oil. Some of the dinner guests were indignant and only thought about the value of the oil thinking what she did was a waste. But Jesus told them to leave her alone. She would be recognized in the gospel for her devotion to Him.

Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is peached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. (Matthew 26:13)

Sacrificial gifts come to us from other people throughout our lives. The impact these offerings have on us can leave a lasting remembrance of kindnesses.

3. We can remember and be thankful for what we have done that has impacted the gospel message. This doesn’t mean we should brag about our giving or accomplishments but we can be thankful God has blessed us with resources and opportunities to spread the message of grace. Acts 10:4 shows us the result of Cornelius’ prayers and giving. As this Roman centurion prayed he had a vision of an angel talking to him. And when he observed him, he was afraid and said, “What is it, lord?” so he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”

Present Day Observances

We observe a special day on our calendar in May. We honor the sacrifices of our military members who gave their lives on the battlefield to preserve the freedoms we now enjoy. The precedent for this and other observances was set in the Bible to honor heroes, events, and why they happened.

On this Memorial Day, may we look back to the battles over the centuries where American men and women bled, died, and are buried. The principle their sacrifices preserved is embedded in America’s foundation which is the rock of the gospel.

Our greatest reminder of life is the empty tomb in Jerusalem. The large stone that rolled away revealed the vacant hole that no longer contains a body because Jesus is alive.

He is our legacy of salvation, grace, and truth.

Because of what He did we can live in a land where we can worship and preach His message. May Memorial Day remind you of the blessings you now enjoy.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts and memorials.

3 lessons biblical memorials can teach us (click to tweet)






Friday, May 19, 2023

What To Do When We Feel Our Lives Don't Change


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

After two years away from home, I was anxious to get my hands in the dirt again and plant flowers and vegetables. I was probably overly anxious because I started a little too early while the weather was still cool and my efforts were fruitless. The air was still too cold even for some cool weather crops.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Mother's Day Scriptures and Memes


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

Mother’s Day is celebrated as a memorial to our maternal parent. We celebrate the lives and memories of our own mothers and we receive accolades from our children.

Friday, May 5, 2023

God's Love Story Shines Through the Romance of Boaz and Ruth

by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

Last year Lighthouse Bible Studies published a compilation titled, For Love’s Sake. This book is now a finalist in the Selah awards given at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. I was privileged to contribute to this wonderful book.

I have always loved the book of Ruth in the Bible and my contribution to this book is based on the love between Boaz and Ruth. I shared part of this story in another blog post For Love’s Sake, the Life-changing Facets of love. Here is the rest of that article. 

God’s Love Story

God painted a picture of the gospel through the palette of His Word in the romance of Boaz and Ruth. Boaz’s name means “strong redeemer.”1 He became the redeemer for Ruth and Naomi. Christ, the second Adam, became the Kinsman Redeemer for mankind.

Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people. (Luke 1:68 NKJV)

The Old Testament vision of Jesus’ love for all mankind is enacted through the book of Ruth through acceptance, provision, protection, and rest. What are the similarities in the two stories of redeeming love?


Ruth was accepted by Naomi (Ruth 1:22), by Boaz (2:14), and by Israel (2:6); and she wasn’t judged for her past (2:6). Ruth approached Boaz by faith (3:6).

Believers are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), and we are not judged by God for our past (Psalm 103:12, Romans 8:1). We approach God through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).


God led Ruth to glean from the fields of Boaz when she didn’t know who Boaz was (Ruth 2:3). Boaz provided for Ruth (2:8), fed Ruth (3:15), and shared his wealth with Ruth and Naomi (4:11).

God draws us to Him before we know who He is (John 15:16). God provides for us (Psalm 37:25), Jesus feeds us (John 6:35), and He sees our poverty and need and makes us rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).


Boaz protected Ruth from the reapers (Ruth 2:9), and he signified his protection of her by covering her with his garment—Take your maidservant under your wing (3:9 NKJV).

God protects us from the world (Galatians 1:4), and He covers us with His wings of protection (Psalm 91:4).


Boaz brought Ruth out of the heat of the day and gave her refreshment (Ruth 2:14). Ruth rested at Boaz’s feet in obedience (3:6). Redemption gave Ruth and Naomi peace (4:15).

Jesus refreshes us with living water (John 6:35). We are to rest by giving Jesus our burdens (Matthew 11:28). Jesus gives us peace (John 14:27).

Redeemed by Love

Ruth was a foreigner who had nothing until Boaz extended grace toward her (Ruth 2:13). We were foreigners without God (Ephesians 2:12) and had nothing until the Father extended love to us through Jesus.

Ruth’s acceptance into Israel shows that God loves all races of people. When God included Ruth in the line of the Messiah, He revealed that His plan of redemption was for all mankind, not just the Jews (Ephesians 3:6, Galatians 3:8).

Redemption turned the tragedy of Ruth and Naomi’s lives into triumph (Ruth 4:15), and it turned the tragedy of the cross into triumph for God and us (Romans 8:28, Colossians 2:15).

It was for love’s sake that Boaz redeemed Ruth and made her part of his family. It was for love’s sake that God visited His people and redeemed us through Christ.

Information about the book, For Love’s Sake

This amazing collection of articles will bless your soul as you read about the different ways God’s love has affected the lives of people. You can order from Lighthouse Bible Studies  or find the compilation on Amazon. 

What does the book of Ruth say to you? Please feel free to share your thoughts. 

God’s Love Story Shines Through the Romance of Boaz and Ruth (click to tweet)



Friday, April 28, 2023

4 Ways to Conquer the Serpent of Doubt in the Garden of our Minds



by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

I love spring and summer because I don’t like to be cold. But warmer weather entices the creeps, which means snakes in the woods, to venture out. They slither through yards and gardens and no matter how beneficial some of them may be, I simply do not like these critters. Because the present season now allows me to plant flowers and vegetables, I constantly peer through every blade of grass on the lookout for something crawling toward me.

The serpent that appeared to Eve in the Garden of Eden wasn’t scary because fear didn’t exist yet and this snake apparently was a beautiful creature at that time. Eve conversed with this reptile as if talking to a snake was no big deal. Rather than acting surprised that she heard a voice, she conversed with a serpent.  

Adam and Eve fellowshipped with God and He gave them everything they needed for physical enjoyment and nourishment. They lacked nothing.

Then the subtle creature appeared with lies and deception.

Whispered words through the leaves of a tree that held beautiful, tasty food.

The words that went into Eve’s mind caused her to doubt the words her Creator had said.

She saw the fruit, she touched the fruit, and she believed the lie. She took a bite and mankind fell. All because of doubt.

Because the first people God created sinned, Jesus had to come to earth and fix what they messed up. Satan also appeared to the Son of God and tempted Him in a wilderness. Jesus had no resources except the Word of God. Scripture overcame doubt for Him.

Adam and Eve lived in a perfect environment with every need met. God had given His Word but they didn’t believe Him. They submitted to emotions and their beautiful garden fell into chaos and also affected the rest of mankind. All they needed to do was the same thing Jesus did. Repeat what God said and the snake would have disintegrated.

We face the same battles our predecessors in Eden did and the same ones our Savior endured. Thorns of doubt sneak in and wrap around the mind like a python and squeeze our thoughts in confusion with every suggestion from the enemy.

We will never experience the same spiritual agony our Savior did in Gethsemane, but doubt produces the pain of unbelief. Unbelief cuts away the intimacy with our Father and we are vulnerable to temptation.

What can we do when the same slithery creep appears in our thoughts? 

These 4 steps can help us conquer the serpent in the garden of our minds.

1. Think Good Thoughts – We can’t entertain doubtful thoughts and expect to walk in faith.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)

When a thought of doubt enters our minds, we need to immediately replace the thought with what God said. Writing down Scripture gives easy and quick access to answers.

2. Thank God for His promises – God doesn’t lie, and He keeps His promises. He has kept his promises since the beginning. Any failures have been on the refusal of humans to follow Him.

Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:17-18)

3. Take Time to Study the Word – Doubt creeps in when we are weak and hungry. When we are physically hungry, we are physically weak. The same is true in the soulish realm. When we have neglected our Bible study time, we are weak and vulnerable to temptation.

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. 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)

4.  Trust God’s Truth  – Revive our hearts with the truth about God and we can be set free. Media and opinions that flow around us can sway our hearts if we don’t adhere to what God said as absolute truth.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

No matter what season we are in, spiritual snakes will continue to harass us. Our ability to resist the forked tongue of unbelief depends upon our appetite for the correct food. Not the food of disobedience like Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, but the food from the tree of life given only by Christ.

What are some of your favorite Scriptures to feed on when temptation to question God’s Word threatens your mind? 

 4 ways to conquer the serpent of doubt in the garden of our minds (click to tweet)

Friday, April 14, 2023

Embracing Changed Expectations - Guest blog by Annie Yorty


by Annie Yorty @annieyorty

This week we welcome guest blogger, Annie Yorty. Annie experienced some unexpected news when her daughter was born, but she shares how God has redeemed all her expectations in her new book. The link for the book is below along with her social media links. Please welcome Annie and check out this new book that can encourage you through any kind of difficulty. 

Here's Annie:

Thirty-three years ago, the arrival of a tiny infant demolished my carefully constructed expectations.

“It looks like your baby has Down syndrome.”

In one split second, that pronouncement from the doctor shook my world, yet the implications have taken years to sink in. In fact, I’m still realizing them today.

In the nine months before Alyssa was born, I studied the baby book named, appropriately, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Guess what? My pregnancy more or less fell in line with what the author said to expect. I also garnered wisdom from more experienced moms. They recounted all the gory details of their birth experiences, including water breaking, hours of labor, episiotomies, epidurals, pushing, C-sections, husbands fainting, Apgar scores, and more.

All the dramas ended the same—a healthy, happy baby. No one I knew had ever received a diagnosis more serious than a couple days of jaundice.

I figured my birthing details may vary, but I expected the same result.

Though prospective parents don’t think much about it, they expect a great deal more than a happy and healthy baby. One day their child will walk and talk. They already envision the first day of school, sports, dance, or perhaps playing a musical instrument. Out in the future, of course, their child will graduate from high school, maybe study at college, and then begin a satisfying career. Naturally, marriage will follow. While the thought of grandchildren doesn’t float to the surface until much later, that seed of expectation also lies buried in the hearts of new parents.

In fact, most of these expectations are never considered, much less voiced, when the only evidence of your baby is a swelling stomach, morning sickness, and the occasional tiny toes prodding the kidneys. Nevertheless, they lie below the surface much like the bulk of an iceberg lies unseen beneath frigid ocean waters.

1Lessons from the Titanic

I hesitate to compare my child’s birth to the Titanic hitting an iceberg, but I find four valuable parallels. The comparison is actually more about my expectations crashing into reality than about Alyssa herself.

(Please note that Alyssa would be tickled with my comparisons as she was once obsessed with everything Titanic.)

2. The collision came without warning.

While it didn’t turn out so well for the occupants of the ocean liner, I happen to think little to no warning of changed expectations is a good thing. Why should we spend our emotional energy worrying about something that might not happen? Worry will surely steal the joy from the present moment.

We should, however, always acknowledge the Lord’s sovereign control of every aspect of our lives and hold our expectations loosely.

What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15 NLT)

3. The crash dramatically changed the course of lives.

The Titanic catastrophe left no one unscathed. Some died. Some lost loved ones. All lived life colored by the trauma. We’ve all experienced a relatively mild intrusion of reality on our expectations, but sometimes the collision takes on epic proportions. Nothing in life remains the same. We suspect the very foundation on which to rebuild has been obliterated.

We cannot let our feelings about changed expectations control us. Our foundation should be eternal God, and we can always build on the bedrock of His unchanging character. (click to tweet)

I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. (Malachi 3:6 NLT)

(If you have not yet placed your faith in God through Jesus, please click Steps to Peace with God to learn more.)

There were casualties.

More than 1,500 people died on that fateful April day in 1912. Changed expectations also produce casualties. Sometimes a dream completely dies. Other times, a plan must be reconfigured.

Consider Job’s situation. In one fell swoop, he lost all his livestock, sheep, camels, farm hands, shepherds, and servants. Every one of his children also died on the same day. When he woke up that morning, he had been rich in property and blessed with many children. By sundown, all he had was a wife, and she didn’t seem to bring much consolation. We can learn from his response to significant loss.

He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21 NLT)

4. There were survivors.

Miraculously, rescuers fished a third of the passengers and crew from the Titanic out of the ocean after the run-in with the iceberg. We, too, may unearth dreams that survived the pummeling of reality. Better yet, God always sprouts new and improved opportunities from the wreckage. If we raise our eyes and look around, we will perceive God inviting us to receive more and more of Him in every situation.

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

Redemption from the Rubble

The details of your story probably differ from mine, but God uses every surprise in our lives to conform us to His character and prepare us for life in eternity. Inevitably, our expectations get beat up in the process. Though I’ve been buffeted by radically changed expectations, I can attest to the goodness of God in the process. You can read more about how God used Alyssa for His glory in my newly released book, From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed Through Down Syndrome.

God knows best which of your expectations need to be adjusted and which need to be replaced. In the process, I hope we never get tired of hearing and believing God’s promise to bring good out of difficulties.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

How has God used a collision of your expectations and reality to increase your trust in Him?



Copyright ©2023 Annie Yorty


Annie Yorty writes and speaks to encourage others to perceive God’s person, presence, provision, and purpose in the unexpected twists and turns of life. In March, 2023, Elk Lake Publishing released her book, From Ignorance to Bliss, God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome. Married to her high school sweetheart and living in Pennsylvania, she mothers a teen, two adult children (one with intellectual disabilities), and a furry beast labradoodle. Annie invites you to connect with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebook, and Instagram.



Friday, April 7, 2023

How does Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread Connect to Our Atonement as New Testament Believers?


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

The great God Jehovah performed miracles like no one had ever seen before to free His people from bondage in Egypt. Before the tenth plague swept through the land, God gave Moses the instructions for the Passover meal which was to be eaten the day before they were delivered from Egypt (Exodus 12). The Lord later gave Moses directions for feasts and festivals that would all point to the future Redeemer of mankind.

We may ignore these Old Testament rituals and think they have no purpose for us as Christians today. But we can see connections and similarities in God’s commandments to the Hebrews.

How does Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread connect to our atonement as New Testament believers?

Friday, March 31, 2023

Why Did Mary Anoint Jesus' Feet With Perfume?


by Barbara Latta

Six days before Passover Jesus visited His friends in Bethany—Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, the man raised from the dead not too long ago. 

Why did Jesus go to Bethany and visit with these three followers?

Friday, March 24, 2023

Divine Appointments


by Barbara Latta

I inhaled the strong aroma of coffee and looked forward to the filled mug that would provide a taste of one of my favorite brews. I had anticipated a visit to our favorite coffee shop since rising one morning a few days ago. 

My husband, Ken, and I entered the building, a restored historic structure with gorgeous hardwood floors, huge ceiling beams from original wood, and stucco walls with crumbled spaces that exposed the old brick underneath.

When we walked in the door we expected coffee but never anticipated a divine appointment.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Christ's Powerful Vision Grows a Harvest of Blossoms to Our Souls

by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

Spring has arrived in all the glory of blooms and blossoms. Somehow the weather isn't convinced as we have suffered through cold fronts that have forced us to bring plants inside and unhook water hoses. 

But spring also reminds us of new life. The plants push through the ground with sprouts of green and flowers stems boast new petals of color. 

God set the earth into motion after He created the world. The seedtime and harvest cycle has never ceased.

Our lives are the a cycle of seedtime and harvest also. We sow seeds without our awareness when thoughts enter our minds if we allow them to stay. Some are good and some not so good. Our goal is to uproot the ones that have destructive intent.

Here are some springtime memes you can share if you wish. Hopefully, they can remind you of the Lord's blessings to you through the power of His Word. As we let the light of Christ shine, His powerful vision can grow a harvest of beautiful blossoms to our souls. (click to tweet)

Psalm 17:6

Isaiah 40:8

What Scriptures remind you of Spring and new life? Please feel free to share your thoughts. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

How Can Christ be Both the Lion and the Lamb?

 by Barbara Latta

I have enjoyed the recent days of unseasonably warm February weather. In Georgia, we never know what we will see each day. Winter in the south can feel like that season only lasts a few days while some years the cold doesn’t want to end. Lately the wonderful upper 70’s and sunshine has spoiled me thinking spring is really here.

But according the Farmer’s Almanac, our last frost date is around March 30 so I know cold air is still in my future.

All my life I have heard the saying, “If March comes in like a lamb it will go out like a lion.” Wind and storms are in the forecast for the next few days so this must mean March of 2023 will arrive like a roaring lion of unpredictable weather.

This analogy reminds me of how Christ is the Lamb of God and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. How can He be both?

Friday, February 24, 2023

What Does Perfect Love Mean?


by Barbara Latta

We see many examples of sacrificial love from unselfish people. Men and women have died defending others. Parents have given up comforts, financial security, and their lives for their children.

But this human devotion still is not the perfect love 1 John 4:18 speaks of. Because no matter how much a person does for another one, that love can’t cast out fear.

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Real Face of Love


by Barbara Latta 

The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, languages more precise than the English most of us are familiar with. Scripture uses a variety of words to indicate different relationships, whereas we throw around several uses of love, sometimes flippantly, and the word loses the impact we intend.

We love chocolate.

We love our spouse.

We love our dog.

We love our car.

We love a certain book or movie.

We love God.

We use this same word to indicate a variety of emotions and attachments. We don’t (or shouldn’t!) love chocolate with the same feelings we have for our spouse.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

God of Wisdom


This week we are privileged to hear from Lori Hatcher as she shares an excerpt from her recent book, Refresh Your Hope, 60 Devotions for Trusting God With All Your Heart. The link to this book is at the end of the post and I know you will be blessed by ordering and reading this amazing devotional. Here's Lori:

God of Wisdom

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5

I suspect if someone asked, “Who’d like to be mature and complete in your faith,” most of us would wave our hands wildly and yell, “I do! I do!”

But when we discover the route to maturity winds through the wilderness of trial? “Uh, no. Never mind. Maturity’s overrated.”

Thursday, January 26, 2023

How to Change Your Life Without New Year's Resolutions


by Barbara Latta

New Year’s resolutions can build stress. We feel pressured to make them, then condemned by our own minds when we don’t complete any of these tasks.

A tradition started by a lot of people has been to choose a word for the year to focus on. This habit releases us from the stress of attempting unobtainable goals and instead gives our minds a daily dose of health to meditate upon. Once we do this, we can find that we can change our lives without New Year’s Resolutions.

Friday, January 13, 2023

7 Promises From God for the New Year


by Barbara Latta

Our inboxes and news headlines are filled right now will different aspects of setting goals for another year. Rather than inundate ourselves with more than we can comprehend or do, an alternative would be to concentrate on the promises God gives us in His Word. These life-giving assurances are not only for the beginning of another calendar but will fulfill us every day.

Here are 7 promises from God for the New Year for us to meditate upon.

1. Freedom from loneliness and fear. Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

2. Freedom from guilt and condemnation. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

3. Freedom from spiritual and soulish emptiness. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

4. Freedom from worry and anxiety. 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)

5. Peace Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

6. Provision As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. (1 Peter 1:3)

7. ProtectionBecause you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. (Psalm 91:9-10)

His promises are always yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). He never fails and we know we can always depend upon the truth of His Word to work in our lives.

What encouragement can you add to this list?

7 promises from God for the New Year(click to tweet)