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).


Thursday, May 30, 2024

Remember the Goal by guest blogger Katherine Pasour

  


Today we are honored to hear from Katherine Pasour as she introduces her new book designed to help high school students transition to college life. Welcome Katherine!

by Katherine Pasour @katherinepasour

 

When I first went away to college (many years ago), I discovered the card game of bridge. A group of students hung out in the student center, playing bridge at every opportunity. Unfortunately for me, I played a little too often, sometimes missing class to do so.

 It was not a wise decision on my part. I made a D in math class.

 Then I had to face my parents with a bad grade. I was prepared academically for college, but not so much for the independence that came with being a college student. I’d learned a new card game, made a new group of friends, and depended on what I thought was my past skill to get me through math with a good grade.

 

I was distracted by my enjoyment of being with friends, playing cards and socializing, and I took my focus off my goal—to do well in college.

 

I learned a valuable lesson—not just about college but about life.

 

There are even more distractions now—cell phones, social media, gaming, and the plethora of activities available through technology.

Whatever task, opportunity, or job that we're engaged in--we need to give it our all. Do our best. Stay focused. Keep our eye on the goal and make the commitment to do what must be done to complete the goal.


 Giving our best is a habit that stays with us for a lifetime and will serve us well from the time we are a student, beginning our career, advancing in our chosen field, or settling into the golden years of service and retirement.

 Below is a short devotion from Stay the Course: A Devotional Handbook to Survive and Thrive in Your First Year of College (and Beyond). This handbook offers practical advice, motivation, and encouragement (and some tough love when needed) to support students in their transition from high school to college. Some of these strategies continue to work for us even as we transition into careers, grow a family, and go forth to format additional goals in life.

 

Remember the Goal

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

You’ve had goals all your life and this new journey (college) is no exception. One of your goals is to do your best in school. Otherwise you will be wasting your time and your parents’ (or someone’s money). The college/university experience should be enjoyable but fun isn’t first priority.

When you throw a ball or run a race, it’s important to keep your eye on the target—to know what the goal is—to have your focus on your plan for success. Goals are important at any stage of life—from childhood through retirement and beyond. Some examples for a college student:

  • Go to all classes each day (keep up with online classes)
  • Don’t procrastinate (Stay ahead on assignments)
  • Turn homework in on time
  • Get involved in campus life, but not to the extent that it interferes with academics
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Make good grades

These are just some examples—your list may vary. But, as the Apostle Paul writes, the unseen goals are of utmost importance. Graduation may seem far away for a freshman, but those four years pass very quickly. Stay focused on the distant goals, too.

Your most important task will be to maintain your relationship with your heavenly Father. Read your Bible. Join a faith based campus group. Does your college have campus worship services? Can you travel home to church or find one near campus? Develop friendships that share your faith.

Prayer: My most important goal is keeping my eyes on you, my Father. I pray for guidance in all decisions and that I may find friends in my faith.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts. What other advice would you give a beginning college student?


Katherine is giving away a copy of Stay the Course. I will conduct a drawing from the comments that are left for this post until Wednesday, June 5, at midnight. 


From Katherine: I hope you will join me in prayer for our graduates. It’s a tough world out there!

Purchase link for Stay the Course https://mybook.to/QQq3h

Katherine Pasour is an author, teacher, and speaker with a passion for wellness—her own and for others! She seeks to nurture children and adults of all ages to achieve and maintain better health. Her Bible Studies focus on developing a closer relationship with Jesus while working toward making choices that will lead to a healthier life-style. You can visit Katherine's website at https://www.katherinepasour.com/ 





Top Image by Alexandr Boreck√Ĺ from Pixabay

Thursday, May 23, 2024

What Did Jesus Mean When He Told Us to Deny Ourselves?

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta 

Jesus told His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23 NKJV)

Does this mean we are to carry a cross around? (Although there is a man who did this as a ministry years ago.)

I have heard some people express that certain pains or tragedies was their cross to bear. But Jesus wasn’t talking about life’s circumstances being a cross that was put upon us.

Jesus died on a cross in a selfless sacrifice to save sinners. He put aside His own needs and wants for the good of the whole world. Innocence killed because of the guilt of others.

His example is for us to deny ourselves for the good of others too.

Dying to self is taking up our cross and following Him. When we take up our cross, we identify with what Christ did. We humble ourselves to accept the cost that comes with being a disciple.

Denying ourselves doesn’t mean we don’t obtain some of the things we want. Psalm 37:4 tells us, Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

The key here is delighting in the Lord. When He is our delight, our desires will line up with His will and won’t be selfish.

Dying to self can’t be attained by behavior modification.  Denying self means crucifying the fleshly way of thinking. To put away selfish behavior, angry responses, unforgiveness, and bitterness.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV)

Our soulish realm is where we fail because our minds get in the way.

Only when we realize how much God loves us will we be able to let the Spirit of God shine through. Our behavior will exhibit the Holy Spirit’s fruit to other people (1 John 4:19).

Spiritual characteristics flow through the soul to create action. If our soul is contaminated with doubt and hurt, God’s spirit doesn’t shine. He is still there but His fruit is hidden.

When I was a child, my grandparents lived in a house out in the country that had a well. A bucket was tied to a rope on a post at the top and if you wanted water, you had to lower the bucket, scoop the water, then haul the bucket back to the surface.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)

The same is true with our inner being. We lower the bucket by digging into the Word and scooping that living water into our minds to drink so we can exhibit the gift that has already been given to us. The water in my grandparent’s well was always there, but if we wanted some, a person had to lower the bucket and get it.

There are many times I have let the flesh fly and the fruit remained in the bowl of my spirit (just ask my husband). But I am learning and as I study and pray, I am reminded more often of how the response that wants to come out is not one that would be godly actions.

Dying to self is not a one-time event. This action develops through daily fellowship with our Father. Abiding in the vine of Christ. This is where the strength comes from to control the emotional responses our flesh wants to express.

And of course, Jesus is the ultimate example. His entire ministry focused on fulfilling God’s will and ministering to people at the expense of His own comfort and safety. When dying on the cross, He still thought of others.

He asked God to forgive those who stood at the foot of the cross and mocked Him (Luke 23:34).  He thought of His mother and gave her care over to John (Luke 19:26-27).

Our actions and words will be dominated by whatever we focus on. When our priority is on God and not ourselves, His character will come out. This isn’t supposed to be something that takes effort because our efforts can’t make anything happen. He flows when we open the gate.

What did Jesus mean when He said to deny ourselves? Let the Holy Spirit have control.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)

Join the conversation and share your thoughts about what denying self means to you.

TWEETABLES

What did Jesus mean when He told us to deny ourselves?(click to tweet)

Only when we realize how much God loves us will we be able to let the Spirit of God shine through. Our behavior will exhibit the Holy Spirit’s fruit to other people (click to tweet)

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Thursday, May 9, 2024

5 Parenting Lessons From Biblical Mothers

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

 Mother’s Day is a time to honor and remember our mothers for their love and sacrifice throughout the years. As mothers ourselves, our children will be bringing gifts to honor us. When our offspring show us love their words are appreciated more we can express.

 But sometimes thoughts of all the mistakes we have made while raising our children attack us. This is when we need to rely on God’s Word and know He forgives us. He doesn’t want us looking back in regret. When we focus on training our children in the fear of the Lord, He blesses our efforts.