Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 17, 2014

A Crowning Legacy

cb dev apr17“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” Matthew 16:16 (NIV)

Who forms the circle that encourages, inspires and holds you accountable? Who are you doing life with? Two have always been better than one – it’s God’s perfect design for us to be in relationship with others. Newlyweds lock arms to safeguard their marriage. Parenting arrives and we gravitate to those who have walked a few steps ahead of us. Empty nesters grab coffee with friends and enjoy quiet mornings. All seasons of our lives that are enriched by relationships that change and evolve over the years. But we never forget their impact, their faces, their laughter and the blessings we shared along the way.

A group of twelve formed the circle around Jesus. A carefully chosen twelve who would experience life walking the streets with Jesus. Following in His footsteps. Witnessing water turning into wine. Seeing the dead raised to life. Breaking bread and feeding the multitudes. Riding out the stormy waves. Casting money changers out of the temple. Gathered close to His heart at the Last Supper. Singing hymns as they walked to Gethsemane. Witnessing one of their own defect, betray. Scattering as He hung on the cross. Running to the empty tomb. Reunited and restored on the seashore. Enriched and transformed by doing life with Jesus. And the lasting impact of Jesus legacy touches, inspires, encourages and convicts today. His ministry wasn’t bound by three short years but rather transcends through the lives of all who proclaim – Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!
“Father, we have been entrusted with the Good News – the birth, life, death and resurrection of our Savior. Help us to leave a legacy that compels others to proclaim Your name!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 16, 2014

Selfish Imposter

MP900262207[1]“Put on the whole armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s scheme.” Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

As if it’s not bad enough that she is an imposter to so many, she is just so selfish. She wants ALL of your attention. She wants ALL of your time. She wants ALL of your money. Or maybe all she wants you to care about is money. She doesn’t care who gets in the way or who gets hurt. She takes, and she takes, and she takes. Oh, it may appear that she wants the best for you. That she cares for you. That it’s a reciprocal relationship. But, make no mistake, this is all one sided.

This imposter does not discriminate. She is an equal opportunity destroyer of opportunities. Oh, not those kinds of opportunities. She strives on those. Instead, she comes to destroy your joy. To rob you of meaningful relationships. To kill your character. And she will, without a doubt, do whatever it takes to get the job done. When faced against her demanding greed, there is but one single way out.

The question is, do you even want out? Because this selfish imposter is cunning and deceptive. She will trick you into believing that what you really want is her. You may even believe you are trapped without any way out. That the only option is to carry on the secret, but oh so glaring, relationship. And she will take all of you…if you let her.

Who is this imposter, you ask? She is different for each of us. But, make no mistake, she is there for many of us. And it’s time we stand up against her.
“Dear Lord, I want to let go of the imposter that distracts me from Your word and Your will. I want to focus more on You and less on the world. ”

For His Glory

Laurel Shaler (www.drlaurelshaler.com)
TRBC Coffee Break

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 15, 2014

Hope In Christ

A Middle Eastern woman lying down reading“I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30: 1, 2, 5 (KJV)

Healer of our minds, emotions, bodies, wounds, memories, our hurts, and pains – that’s my God. He heals the broken-hearted. He heals the hearts of those whom have been betrayed, slandered, and gossiped about. He is our vindicator; we do not have to defend ourselves to anyone. When God lifts us up, we need to make sure we too are lifting His name up. How desperate are we for our healing, should God choose to heal us? Are we crying out to Him from the bottom of our hearts with faith? Or, are we being double-minded when we pray? Have we forgiven others their trespasses as God has forgiven us ours? This brings healing also. You may be experiencing days and nights of weeping. Have you ever cried until you could cry no more? I’ve had those days and nights when I was all cried out and I groaned before God. God heard those cries and groans – that ‘s a form of prayer. When there are no more words, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. Remember weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. This too shall pass. Our hope is in a God who is our Healer, our Deliverer, our All in All.
“Lord, thank You that You wipe all my tears away. Thank You for the new found joy that I have in my life. Thank You for taking me out of darkness into Your light. Thank You that You shed Your light upon me. Thank You for healing me. I will always lift up Your name.”

For His Glory,

Linda Reyes Shepherd
TRBC Mountain Blend

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 14, 2014

Glimpsing His Glory

cb dev feb 27“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.” John 17:22 (NIV)

Spring is finally here – don’t you just love it. Green grass, budding trees and daffodils. Great reminders that God is bringing rebirth and growth after a long, cold winter. What was once brown, dried up, and dead is now brimming full of life. Wonder if God can do the same for us? Underneath every challenge is a seed of growth waiting to burst forth. Beyond every dead place is a seed of new life eager to sprout. So what stands in our way? Honestly, no one likes the harshness that growth often dictates. Simply put, we don’t want to endure the season to reap the beauty God unveils. Our avoidance to pain is often steeped in desiring comfort more than desiring God. You see when brown, dried up and dead places surface – the only way out is up. Yes, reaching for the One who strips away only to replenish. Yes, letting go of what’s holding us back for the One who delights in watching His creation flourish. So where will we go with God? Will we stay unfruitful? Or will we emerge gradually maturing in His timing for all His glory to be seen?

Got a glimpse of dry brush piled up in our yard – don’t want to be discarded. Got a glimpse of dead vines wrapped tightly around our fence – don’t want to be stifled. Got a glimpse of yellow daffodils blowing freely, unhindered, revived, renewed – where I want to be. A display of His splendor, His masterpiece, His new creation – brimming full of life.

“Sweet Jesus, You long to cultivate within us hearts that are transformed – reflecting Your beauty to all we see. How sweet to sprout, to bloom, to shine for You.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 11, 2014

Sweet Release

j0441048“His (Jehoshaphat’s) heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.” 2 Chronicles 17:6 (NIV)

Holding on – we love to grip tight don’t we? Letting go is not a word us women speak. We persevere, we push through, we encourage, nurture and don’t let anyone mess with our children. God has given us a sweet keeping people close desire. Tears flow easily when friends move away. Joy shines deep when family arrive for a visit. Yes, we love to cling and hold tight. There’s no one else on earth we’d rather have then our bestie when troubles knock or joy dances. So what happens when God says let go? Do we open wide our hands or do we hold on for dear life? Resistance is the enemy of the soul that longs to go deep. We can’t hold on to our high places(idols) and God at the same time. Releasing is the friend of the soul that longs to go deep. Freed to trust God with the results. Freed to walk a new journey, experience new adventures that holding on would have stifled.

Are we holding anyone captive? Perhaps a prodigal child we’ve rescued too many times. Are we holding anything captive? Maybe it’s a job or ministry we need to relinquish for the next step. Could it be we’re clinging to the past afraid to move into our new normal? Releasing is a gift we give to ourselves – a gift to hold on tight to God and nothing else. And He will never ask us to let go of Him. Hand in hand, God will maneuver us to a sweet place where letting go becomes easier than holding on.

“Father, open hands release our hearts to accept Your will. Help us to surrender our high places and hold on tight to You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 10, 2014

Seeing With The Eyes of Faith

Young Woman Facing the Sky“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

Faith is something we need to continually exercise. If faith is the conviction of things not seen then how can our faith be strengthened? The Word of God reminds us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We can ask God to help our unbelief, but reading the Word will help our unbelief too. By visualizing what we are praying for and believing in Him to fulfill it, our faith will be strengthened (Habakkuk 2:2-3).

I hold on to the faith and vision God has given me. I see it happening at some point. I like public speaking, motivational speaking. God has opened some doors for me to speak, so I humbly pray and hold on to Habakkuk 2:2. I am exercising my faith by doing the small things God has asked me to do, and one day God will open bigger doors for me and for you too. Remember, with God nothing is impossible. When we pray, we must keep seeing what we are praying for, kind of like a moving camera. Hold the picture before you in your mind and believe it. When we see it, then we can speak it. When we pray it and speak it, our faith rises. When we back it up with scripture, the enemy can’t steal it from us. If God has given you a vision or a dream be patient and wait for it to come to pass. Sometimes it takes years before it happens. In the meanwhile keep praying, believing and thanking Him even before it comes to pass.
“Lord, I thank You for the vision and dreams You give us. May faith rise within us as we meditate on Your Word. Thank You for assurance, hope and faith. With You nothing is impossible.”

For His Glory

Linda Reyes Shepherd
TRBC Mountain Blend

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 9, 2014

This Word

cb devo aug 16“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Luke 6:41 (NIV)

Judge. “Don’t judge me.” “Don’t judge others.” “You don’t have the right to judge.”
“Walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me.” “The Bible says not to judge.” Just a few of the ways this term is used; however, do we know what this word really means?

In Matthew 7:1, Jesus is saying, “Don’t judge unless you are ready to be judged.” He is not saying, “Don’t ever have an opinion or conclusion.” Clearly, we all have beliefs about what is right and wrong to how children should be raised. The purpose of “judge not” is to avoid pointing out the sin of others without recognizing and addressing our own. We should always be willing to look at our own sin and do something about it!

Clearly, we should be compassionate and loving towards others even if we disagree. We should be willing to listen, learn, support and forgive. We should be willing to love people enough to share the truth with them. Pull out the plank of wood in our own eyes before pointing out the speck in another’s…but don’t ignore the speck.

We should be seeing people through the eyes of Christ. Sinners in need of a Savior. Fellow believers in need of discipleship. Friends. Family. They are not their sin. Neither are you. Neither am I. Love others as Christ loves you. Understand that Jesus definitely called out sin. He met people where they were, but he never left them there. I think we should do the same thing in truth and love. And I don’t believe any of that is “judging.”

“Dear Lord, Help me to only judge in the manner that You have laid out for us in Your Holy Word. Above all, let me focus on myself so that I can sin less and love You more.”
For His Glory

Laurel Shaler (www.drlaurelshaler.com)
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 8, 2014

Cry Out To The Lord

cb devo dec 18“The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17 ( KJV)

In the Bible, we see saints who have cried out to God in times of distress. We have many examples such as David, Job, Daniel, etc. Often after years of praying, one single cry brings deliverance instantaneously. Often many have wondered why there are such powerful results from simply crying out to God. God’s promise is very clear. “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).

On different occasions, I have cried out to God for help. As I prayed out loud and wept before God, I humbly emptied myself before Him – a cry of desperation and repentance. Frail, I realized my circumstances were beyond me. But I knew someone who could help, who was all powerful, compassionate, caring comforting, wise, holy, strong, and capable. I knew God could deliver me.

How desperate are we in our prayer life? Are we coming to God half way or are we broken before Him? God wants us to be transparent, dependent on Him and trust Him for deliverance. Here are some verses of comfort and hope:

• “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
• “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)
• “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.” (Psalm 56:9)

Remember God is for us, He will not turn us away if we cry unto Him with a humble heart. And when God answers, we must glorify Him by encouraging others.

“Lord, I cry unto You, thank You for hearing my prayer. Thank You that You are my Deliverer.”

For His Glory

Linda Reyes Shepherd
TRBC Mountain Blend

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 7, 2014

Music To Our Soul

Daisies on Piano“Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Joshua 21:45 (NIV)

Satisfaction guaranteed – heard that a million times – marketing experts love to tantalize our taste buds with the promise that they can deliver. Money back guaranteed – wonder what happened to all my satisfaction? Why would that even apply? Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to false statements that yes “appear too good to be true.” We even become skeptical when the truth is staring us in the face. And if we’re honest, we often handle disappointment better than fulfillment – expecting less rather than the promise of more. So glad, our God doesn’t settle in that place. His Word is true always. His promises are guaranteed. His character is unquestionable, and He delivers 100% of the time. No flashy ads fill the pages of scripture – just story after story of real people who experienced God’s faithfulness. When we choose to mediate, cling and memorize His promises then we position ourselves to know the secret that transforms disappointment into joy. Obedience to His Word always guarantees that we won’t be disillusioned, and what appears to be “too good” will actually be true. God is working behind the scenes orchestrating the very best for those who chose to trust Him. He delights in blessing His children and if God said it – we can count on Him to fulfill all of His promises – that’s one truth we need to hear a million times. Let that sink in deep – the God who created the world, who formed us, who runs the universe – promises to be worthy of His word. True satisfaction – now that’s amazing!

“Sweet Jesus, thank You for being more than we could ever imagine – the one and only Promise Keeper.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 4, 2014

Delighting The Father

cb devo apr4“And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!” Matthew 3:17 (HCSB)

Delight in Him – wonder what inspired those words? Jesus was just arriving on the scene. There were no followers, disciples, or great crowds. No miracles had been performed. No one had been healed. No demons had been cast out. Amazing events that would characterize Jesus’ ministry – yet a simple act of obedience birthed great delight in His Heavenly Father. Perhaps a snapshot of his childhood opens wide the lens of what God saw as His only Son navigated the streets of Nazareth. Luke invites us to glimpse the life of the boy, Jesus. And even those details leave us lingering, desiring more. Simply put – Jesus grew up and became strong. Scripture reveals that He was filled with wisdom. Instead of playing in the temple or running through the streets of Jerusalem, the pre-teen Jesus was found sitting among the teachers. Intently He listened. Astoundingly He asked questions. The scholars were amazed by Jesus’ understanding and His answers. Having left the glories of Heaven, Jesus wanted to be in His Father’s house. Obedient to the wishes of Mary and Joseph, Jesus returned with them to Nazareth. And Luke bookends Jesus’ early life with “He increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and people.” No other details are given until we find Jesus wading into the waters at age 30. And it grabbed the attention of His Father. What are we doing to amaze the Father? Are we consumed with activity? Are we attempting to create a platform? Or are we desiring His presence and obeying His words – giving our Father a reason to take delight in us.

“My Lord, how I long to please You – to leave position, influence and accomplishment aside in exchange for Your presence.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

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