Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 24, 2014

God’s Lessons

Smiling Woman with Stack of Books“I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:7 (NIV)

Sometimes “friends take us by surprise. Things are done that we don’t know how to handle, what to say or how to react. Sometimes it’s best to wait; we don’t want to say things we will regret. When we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we will know when to confront and when to lay low. It’s all a matter of true wisdom – learning to trust God to speak into our lives. God has used a recent incident to teach me through the trial. If I harbor bitterness and unforgiveness, I will not grow. Because I allowed the Lord to teach me lessons, I am not only a stronger Christian but a better teacher and a healthier friend. What is the Lord teaching you? Have you thought of journaling? We can spew our feelings on paper, make a beautiful masterpiece, let it go and not harbor resentment. It goes from the heart to the paper and now it’s not inside of you – a lesson to be learned for yourself and others. Isn’t it wonderful what we can allow the Lord to do in our lives if we refuse to become embittered? The lessons God wants to teach us are not only for us to learn, but for us to share with others so they too can be encouraged.

“Lord, thank You that You forgive me of my sins. Thank You for the rich lessons You teach me in life and because of the trials You entrust to me to make that possible. Please continue to bless my writings so they can bless others as You bless me.”

For His Glory

Linda Reyes Shepherd
TRBC Mountain Blend

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 23, 2014

Adopted Into The Family

Newborn Baby in Mother Hand“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear; but you received the Spirit of sonship, and by him we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NIV)

Over the years I’ve had several friends who have adopted children. Instantly, they’ve become parents of children who have not come from their same lineage and blood line. They consciously chose to love and embrace them into their hearts and homes. Recently, I spent time with a little girl who was adopted as an infant by one of my fellow workers. The love that unites their hearts is strong and evident in their actions and words. Each time she calls out “Daddy,” my friend knows she is calling him. He is ready to answer her and see what she needs. Sweet reminder of God’s great love to us when we come to Him. Receiving us into His family, God is 100% ready to love us unconditionally, with His arms outstretched to embrace us and keep us near His sight. When we open our lips to call to Him, He hears us calling out His Abba, Father, name.

It takes a special heart and love to accept someone you did not conceive and whose past you do not know. The beauty of God’s love is that He does not care what we did before or where we came from. His love for us, His children, is strong and unending. His presence is constant.
I am so grateful I was chosen by my loving Father as His adopted daughter, and in His family I never feel different than the rest of the brood. I call out, “Daddy,” and His ears are ready for me.
“Abba, Father: You are the best Daddy that we could ever have. Your love is amazing and the assurance of Your presence is the best promise for those who come into Your family. Thank You for loving us as Your own.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 22, 2014

Serving Others

Cb devo aug30“Just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 (NRSV)

One of the greatest qualities found in a leader is serving, and we are all called to serve one another. Most of us lead in one capacity or another. If you are a mother, you are leading your children. If you are a disciple, you are leading people. Whatever we do, we must serve humbly as unto the Lord. Mark 9:33-35 records an argument between the disciples about whom was the greatest among them. When Jesus heard their arrogant conversation, He responded by telling them that a humble servant equals spiritual greatness. This is one of the many ways we can let others see and know that Jesus lives in us and that we have made Him Lord of our lives. Christianity is not just talk and an emotion; it provokes us to action. When we love God, we will serve others just as He taught us and showed us by example. The person who is greatest among you will be your servant (Matthew 23:ll).

Here what God’s word says about serving others:

• “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)
• “It is the LORD your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.” (Deuteronomy 13:4)
• “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
• “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (I Peter 4:10)

“Lord, may I be aware of the many opportunities You give me to serve You each day.”

For His Glory

Linda Reyes Shepherd
TRBC Mountain Blend

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 21, 2014

Glorious Awakening

 

cbdevoapr“And the apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great favor was upon them all.” Acts 4:33 (NLT)

What is sweeter to the soul than a promise kept? Trusting someone’s words, believing in their character and relaxing securely in the predicted outcome – it’s a rare occurrence in our society. Words are easily spoken, character is often compromised and security runs out the door. But chiseled into the nail pierced hands of our Savior, we find the refreshing aroma of His promises kept. Despised, rejected, crushed, broken, and bruised beyond recognition, Jesus deliberately chose to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life opening wide the door to Heaven’s throne. His love was proven, grace was given and when the stone was rolled away our Risen Lord revealed His glory! It’s a hope planted within us; a priceless freedom lavished in our souls. So what are we doing with the promise kept? A small band of disciples, who had cowered in fear and abandoned the cross, found themselves captivated once again with His presence. Sins had been forgiven and grace applied. Their lives were forever changed as the power of the resurrection stirred their hearts to proclaim the truth. So what are we doing with the promise kept? Are we captivated by His presence? Have we accepted His forgiveness and received His grace? Have our lives been forever changed? Are we proclaiming He is the Way, the Truth and the Life? One day He will return for us – what a glorious day – will He find us living in the power of the promise kept?

“Father, You are our Savior and Redeemer. Bearing the marks of our sins, You find great pleasure in our faithful witness to who You truly are – Our Risen Lord!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 18, 2014

Redemption Yields Eternity In Heaven

cb devoapr18“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43b (NIV)

After carrying His cross through crowded streets, Jesus had every reason and right to not want to look at mankind. He had been beaten, spat on, cursed against and shouted at. When He indicated He was thirsty, He was given vinegar. Jesus was treated without compassion by the soldiers, yet He prayed to His Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing.

While His body was losing strength, Jesus still listened to the men He found Himself among: two undeserving thieves. One of the men was bitter and shouted that if Jesus indeed was the Son of God, He should get Himself and the two of them down from those crosses. The other thief, however, realized he was beside the Son of God. Admitting his wrong, he asked the Lord to remember him. At that very moment, Jesus responded to the thief that on that very day he would be with Him in paradise.

Two condemned men died a terrible death, but one of them would spend eternity in heaven with God because he asked the Lord to save him. The cross reminds us that our Lord fulfilled the Father’s plan and gave Himself for us. After He made the ultimate sacrifice, He ascended to heaven to be with the Father. Those who believe in Him and turn away from sin to live by God’s word will be like that thief who repented and was promised eternal life. Have you invited Jesus Christ into your heart? Simply believe in Him and ask Him to forgive your sins. He will hear your prayer and welcome you with open arms.

“Dear Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to save us. We thank You for His sacrifice on the cross, which ensured us eternity in heaven. While we were undeserving, Jesus forgave our sins and brought us into Your family. We love You, Lord.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

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

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