"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

Perhaps you, like myself, needed to be reminded of the talk God had with Joshua when Moses had died. He was called to become the leader of Israel leading them into the promised land God had designated. Three times in the first ten verses God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. I believe these scriptures are very applicable today for His disciples who are on the verge of crossing over into the permanent promise of heaven!

We need to continue to go forth as soldiers of the cross we have been called to be. There will be much opposition and tribulation in this life, but we will crossover triumphantly because our King is Jesus who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I count myself very blessed to have been born on this side of the cross. Our victory has already been won through the cross of Christ. If you do not understand this, seek understanding with all your heart by praying earnestly, and reading God’s Word for yourself. He will lead you into all truth if you seek Him with all your heart. ( Jermiah 29:13)

So we know we are all called to be strong and courageous in carrying out God’s will for our lives. That is all that really matters for each one of us. Think about it. It is an eternal decision, unlike what the deceptive American dream that has evolved into becoming rich and famous, being all about what we can get for ourselves. In truth, that was born in all of us at birth. We all come into the world believing it is all about us. The only way to change is for us to learn to know and obey the God who created us. His ways are much higher than our own. He teaches us to love and care for others. In losing our natural sinful nature that comes from dying to ourselves we gain our lives by living in Him.

I believe we are given the keys to accomplishing this in Joshua 1:7-8: It declares:

"Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you, do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success."

There is nothing difficult to understand about this instruction. However it is difficult for our flesh to obey it. If we choose disobedience the consequences we reap are horrendous for ourselves and for those our lives impact — mainly family and close friends. Our society suffers, our nation suffers, and our world suffers. There are no ideas superior to the one Who created man. He is God and we are not. There is a true God much bigger than little mankind that He created. We must humble ourselves and recognize we cannot improve upon His laws He has given us to live by.

We as Americans were extremely blessed to be born in America. This nation was founded by people wanting to freely worship the One true God. They wanted to escape the tyranny of government by power hungry dictators, and self appointed kings obsessed with selfish ambition and empty conceit. Does that sound familiar? We were a country that derived our laws and ideas from the Word of God. Read our founding documents. This nation was built on a firm foundation, and we reaped the blessings and saw the truth of the promises of God made to Joshua come true. We have fought for our freedom to worship the one true God, and we were blessed as no other nation for decades.

Our children’s education was derived from the Bible as its primary source. All other subjects were secondary. Parents carried the responsibility of teaching their children to love God and His Word. They did not give the most important responsibility we have when we bring children into the world to government schooling and churches. God’s people knew their first priority was family — not a career. However, we turned away from all we knew to be right and stood for in the beginning. God’s people became complacent in our prosperity and comforts. Fathers became more ambitious in providing stuff and gaining titles, rather than being responsible spiritual heads to their families first and foremost. Mothers followed suit, and left the home and caring for their children to seek careers and fulfillment elsewhere. And where did that leave our latchkey children? We are now seeing the results of those choices all around us.

I believe women can have it all in God’s timing. My career came before and after children. But if we choose to bring children in the world they must be our priority till that season ends in our life when our children leave home. I found we could live without a lot the world said we needed in order for me to train my children and educate them according to Scripture.

I am addressing God’s people. If you have made the choice to live according to your own understanding without God, this doesn’t apply to you. God gave everyone a free will. But if you profess to be a follower of Christ, you have to follow Him and His ways for the promises of God. Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. He is a holy righteous God of love. He loves us as no other. He made rules for our good. He wants us to have what He created us for. He created us to love and be loved. We aren’t capable of true love apart from the God who is love. It is what we and our children are missing in life. We all stay so distracted by the ways of the world we are too busy to quiet our lives to read the Bible to our little ones, and pray over them every morning beginning our day, and at night as we tuck them in bed. Taking the time to do that determines what the teen years will be like in your home. It is up to us parents to teach our children our values, not the school or church. You are to be the primary teacher of their spiritual lives and their education. It is up to you to oversee who and what is being allowed in your children’s lives. My heart breaks for the little ones I see being rushed here and there with such futile priorities. The very highest we can give our children is a knowledge of God ‘s love for them and knowing He created them for eternal purposes. They need desperately to know how to find their way to heaven. They need to realize hell exists. They deserve to be taught what we say we believe. It is our responsibility to present our children with the truth of God’s Word, so they may choose for themselves what to believe. It isn’t our responsibility to save them. It will come down to them choosing for themselves when they are of age. We all will stand before God giving account for our own lives — not anyone else’s including our children. But if we have brought children into the world we will be held accountable to God’s instruction on parenting. His Word is full of guidance and instruction for children and parents. Read and study it together.

Let’s look back at the key verses for being strong and courageous. This certainly applies to leading our families either to the promised land of heaven, or to hell. We are all bound for one or the other. Again, we are all free to believe whatever we choose, but if we claim to be a Christian you have to do life His way, not according to your desires. I want to close with verses taken from the last chapter in the book of Joshua 24:14-16. He sums it all up well as he declared these verses to God’s children as they entered the promised land:

"Now therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"

Father, let us follow Joshua proclaiming in sincerity and truth as individuals first, and then for our families as much as it depends on us, that as for me and my family, we will serve the one true God made up of the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This we pray in the name of Jesus.
In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness



These photos were taken yesterday morning on my way to a race. It is a beautiful time of year in our mountains!