Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 23, 2014

Heavenly Transition

Businesswoman Pulling Suitcase“Instead, they were looking for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16 (NIV)

“Flight 297 now departing for …….” Sound familiar? People in constant transition – some arriving at the airport greeted by family and friends. Others departing – leaving family and friends behind. And then there’s the lone stranger, you know the one that walks in and boards the plane no hugs goodbye. Or maybe it’s the passenger who walks off the plane alone and is greeted by no one. Both are headed towards their destination – they’re just traveling, transitioning alone.

In this amazing journey called life, God reminds us that we too are in transit. This world is not our home; it is a diversion to our final destination. When our time comes to depart will we leave a legacy that propels others to follow our amazing walk of faith? Will we be greeted inside Heaven’s gates by those lives we’ve impacted along the way? We only get one chance to transition this path from earth to glory. Who are we taking with us and who are leaving behind? The saddest arrivers through Heaven’s gates will be those who kept their faith to themselves and traveled this life alone.

“Father: How incredible to know that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever – and the greatest joy we have on this earth is to gather others to join us on this journey.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 22, 2014

A New Creation

june 28“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

I was at a friend’s house when they pulled out a game that I’ve played a dozen times. It is the game when you are given a name of a famous person, you tape it to your forehead, walk around the room and everyone gives you clues of “who you are.” For example you might hear, “You are the queen of soul.” “You married the very first President.” “You asked a mirror, Who is the fairest of them all?” The point of the game is to figure out your identity.

Wonder how many times we determine our identity by what others tell us? For example, “You are so smart.” “You are a loser.” “You are so talented.” “You are ugly because you are different.” After a while, we might allow those messages to determine who we are, whether they are true or false. I love the fact that when we accept Christ as Savior, we receive a new identity in Him. When God touched lives in the Bible, He often changed the person’s name. For example, Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter. Just like these people, we have a new identity. We only need to look as far as the Bible to tell us who we are. We are the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). We are the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). We are “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“Lord, Thank You that I am a new creation in Christ. I admit that sometimes I feel just like the old me, but by faith I know I am brand new. Thank you so much that my identity is based on my identity in Christ.”

For His Glory

Melissa Tucker
TRBC Coffee Break

 

 

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 21, 2014

Total Obedience

devo katria july“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (ESV)

In a world that is saturated with amazing talent, incredible gifts, captivating blogs and trending tweets – there’s still room for one more. Yes, that includes you and me. God has his eye on us girlfriend, and He longs to hear, see and watch us as we shine for Him. You got it – no matter what has already been accomplished, if God has gifted us then there’s always room for the one who walks in total obedience. Laying our gift down, forfeiting the pleasure God desires, or neglecting to step out in faith will guarantee regret. Missed opportunities equal missed blessings. No one is giftless – we have all been given much so that we can give back to others. What’s God been asking you to do? What excuses keep rising to the surface? Perhaps we have a long list of why we can’t. Perhaps we’ve surveyed the “competition” and decided God doesn’t need us. Maybe we’ve hidden our gifts away for another day. Plenty of reasons not to – none of which impress the Almighty. Our God has entrusted you and me with a purpose that is unique to our calling. He has plenty of room in His kingdom for daughters who shine for His glory and not their own. Competition – there is none – we’re all part of the family. When one succeeds; we all win. Now take that song and sing with all your might. Grab a pen and write that book. Volunteer to lead a small group. Reach out and mentor a new believer. Share your story – your testimony – regardless of the audience. Bake some sweets for a shutin. Build a bridge towards your prodigal teen. Got the picture….the list is endless. God has destined us to be His hands and feet.

“Sweet Jesus, You have equipped us with every good work – help us to walk in total obedience.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 18, 2014

Shaping Your World

Protect the Earth

“He (Ahaziah) walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother (Athaliah) gave
him evil advice.” 2 Chronicles 22:3 (HCSB)
“Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!” Proverbs 31:29 (HCSB)

Athaliah – not the woman we’ve heard dozens of sermons on – right? To be honest, until I was working on a writing assignment, I didn’t have a clue who she was. But nestled into the heart of scripture, we find a woman who chose to use her influence in a destructive way. Quick summary – Athaliah led her son to do evil in the sight of the Lord. Wrong choices + wrong worship = wrong influence. Selfish ambition + personal agenda = death of son and ultimately Athaliah’s own life.

Fast forward to Proverbs 31 and we find the king’s mother draped in wisdom. Her influence is undeniably righteous, confident, disciplined and courageous. She lives her life in a way that impacts those who rise up and call her blessed. She’s the model Mother’s Day sermon – one we’ve heard a dozen times. Far too perfect – we could never aspire to be like her – or could we? Can we use our influence to bring out the best in others? Could we pursue excellence, compassion, honor and strength? Satan entices us to be Athaliahs losing out, throwing away the potential of impacting those who sit around our tables, share our office space or hold our hands in the dark. But God’s truth challenges us to be priceless women who calculate good and not evil. Priceless women who make right choices and worship Him alone – that’s real influence. Humbleness + surrender = amazing. Isn’t that what we long to be?

“Sweet Jesus, how we long to be women who use our influence to draw others closer to You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 17, 2014

Sweetness of His Grace

Young Woman Holding a Tray of Freshly Baked Muffins“If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.” Proverbs 1:23 (NIV)

Reaching inside the oven, I intended to touch the top of a delicious muffin to see if it was done. Instead, my finger hit the side of the pan. Ouch! Ouch! Instantly, I drew that finger back, but the redness was already appearing. When my husband heard my scream, he ran into the kitchen and made me put my finger on an ice cube for twenty minutes. I didn’t enjoy it at the time, but today I am thankful because I don’t have a blister and the pain is very minimal.

Ever find yourself reaching in or testing a hot, fiery oven of sin? Ouch! Ouch! We were looking for pleasure, but instead we met the sting and throbbing pain of sin. Sometimes, we ignore the pain and keep trudging on. Other times, we draw back and hover in the corner wallowing in the guilt and shame. However, the best reaction is to cry out to God and respond to His correction. We may not enjoy it at the time, but if we respond to His rebuke, He promises to pour out His heart to us. God’s desire is always relationship, revealing Himself to us even when we mess up. His rebuke doesn’t come without His love attached, and rejecting His rebuke is ultimately rejecting His heart. If we seek forgiveness for the sake of “feeling better” then we miss the whole point. Forgiveness cleanses us so our sin is not wasted but rather purified to receive God’s knowledge at a deeper level.

“Father, thank You for melting away the shame of my sin with your grace and lovingly sharing Your heart with me.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 16, 2014

Genuine Friends

Women Window Shopping“Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the firs. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.” Jeremiah 36:32 (NKJV)

I love my friends! I love hanging out with them, laughing with them, and sometimes crying with them. All my friends are different. Not all of them enjoy shopping or sitting around to people watch. But I have a friend who I can always count on to support me as I seek to obey God! Whenever I’m ready to give up or throw in the towel, my friend reminds me of God’s love and His provisions. Not all of my friends are like this. With some of them, if the cost is too high, their advice is to give up. While reading my devotions (Jeremiah 36:32), I learned about Jeremiah and his friends. Jeremiah was a prophet who had to tell the King he would be defeated and his family would be killed – not a fun message to deliver. But Jeremiah had one friend, Baruch, who encouraged him to do what God commanded. Baruch wrote down God’s message to the people of Judah as Jeremiah dictated it. When the king had Baruch’s work destroyed, a lesser of a friend would have given up and encouraged him to give up too, but not Baruch. Jeremiah dictated the letter again, and Baruch wrote it all over again even though he knew his life was at risk for helping Jeremiah.

Do you have a friend like Baruch? Do we appreciate the friend who encourages us to do the right thing? Are we that type of friend?

“Lord, thank You for the friend that You have provided to encourage me and help me when I need it. But more importantly, Lord, thank YOU for being that friend that is closer than a brother.”

For His Glory

Melissa Tucker
TRBC Coffee Break

 

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 15, 2014

Wisdom Seeker

Businesswoman Speaking on Cell Phone“For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)

A frazzled receptionist greeted me when I returned to work from my lunch break. Our voice mail system was crashing. All phones were forwarded to voice mail, but the system wasn’t working. I sat down at my desk and picked up my cell phone. A quick call to my landline would indicate if our customers could leave a message, so I dialed my direct line. Cell phone held to my ear, my head turned as I heard a phone ringing. Oh my goodness, someone’s trying to call me. Recognizing the number on the display was a company cell number, I finally gave in and grabbed the phone. Funny thing no one was on the other end. Second time I spoke a little louder, and the third time got even louder. All of a sudden I realized there was a weird echo in my left ear which was glued to the cell phone. I had called myself. I was talking to myself in one phone and listening to my voice in the other. Doesn’t that sound familiar? We dial up God, are given an audience with the Creator of the Universe and then we talk for ourselves and for Him. Answers flow off our lips, because we talked it over with God and this is what we need to do. However, too often we’ve been listening to our own inner voice conforming God’s answers into what we really want. Without letting any silence flood our prayer time, we chatter away endlessly as though God has nothing to say. Quieting our voice and mind is crucial to hearing God’s voice. And when we stop and listen for His input, we will be amazed at the message He leaves.

“Father, we struggle to listen and search out Your wisdom. Help us to wait patiently and eagerly anticipate the sound of Your voice.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 14, 2014

Surrendered At His Feet

janet clip“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)

It’s another Monday morning, and I’m hitting the 7:00 am traffic – not too much happening in the Burg. Nothing unusual, extraordinary or wild about my drive to the office after a holiday weekend. Making my mental lists and checking them twice. Trying to see how much I can squeeze into my day. Typical morning – normal. Then my mind remembers. Today is Monday – the day my sweet friend, Jane, finds out if she can have another round of chemo. She’s not dodging cars in speeding traffic; she’s dodging cancer cells. Her lists – well it’s been narrowed down to surviving the day, resting and waiting. Trying hard to see how much she can squeeze out of her day – grabbing every moment. Typical morning – her new normal. Amazing how easy, blessed and free my day becomes when I remember that health is a treasure, a gift. One that Jane cherishes every day she wakes up. What’s your new normal? Perhaps you’re facing the uncertainty of a strained relationship totally out of your control. Perhaps you’re doing normal, sliding through another day effortlessly, carefree. Perhaps you’re standing on a mountain top after a difficult and lonely climb. Wherever we find ourselves traveling, we are never alone. Emptiness can reside in the fullness of life just as easily as fullness can reside in the emptiness of life. Late morning text from sweet Jane – chemo is a go for Tuesday. Who would have thought that would bring tears of joy? Normal walks out and new walks in – a simple exchange that yields beauty when surrendered at Jesus’ feet.

“Father, how sweet to know that You are always holding onto us – the Great I Am – even in the midst of a storm.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 11, 2014

God of Wonders

MP900400219[1]“I will mediate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:12 (NIV)

Memories are the snapshots that tag along with us as we journey through life. Have you ever felt as though a memory was slipping away? My daughter has lived in the presence of Jesus since the age of two. Months after she left this world, I found myself overwhelmed with the fear that I might forget her. After all, we only had enough memories from those two short years. What if I didn’t remember what her voice sounded like or I forgot the smile that graced her face? Pictures helped, but I longed for the remembrance of her real, daily presence in my life. So I asked God to keep those snapshots of her fresh in my memory bank. Recalling her first steps, her laughter and joy rather than focusing on what I lost. Remembrance is an incredible treasure – one that soothes the ache of loss and invigorates steps of faith. It’s the crucial element that deepens our relationship with God. Like the Psalmist, we can intentionally purpose in our minds to recall God’s faithful deeds – His miracles and mighty works on our behalf. If not, we will allow those moments to fade away like a distant memory blowing in the wind. And when life gets hard, our mind will not reflect on the awesome deeds of our mighty God. We will have no memory bank to draw from if we have failed to fill our minds with the goodness and loving character of our God. Unveiled in scripture and in the lives of each of His children are the incredible memories of God’s faithfulness – choose today to keep Him fresh in your thoughts.

“Father, how awesome to know that Your works are unfolding in my life creating a scrapbook of memories we will one day share for eternity.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 10, 2014

God’s Masterpiece

Young Woman Standing with Arms Stretched OutYet, O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64: 8 (NIV)

Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet. One of his most famous works was his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He spent four years on a flat wooden platform, and painted in an uncomfortable position standing with his head tilted upward and his arm raised. I wonder what the people thought when they walked in the chapel and looked up. I’m sure they commented on his work – some good, some bad. In my mind’s eye, I can see Michelangelo looking down and saying, “It is not finished!”

In our lives, God is constantly working and there are people who will comment on the stage of our life – some good and some bad. And God wants to say, “It is not finished!” Now I have to admit, when I look at my life I see all the splatters of paint and uneven brushstrokes; but God has a master plan and is making me beautiful and spectacular. The real masterpiece God is working on in our lives isn’t about a finished or flawless product, because we will never see that completed beauty on this side of eternity. However, our restoration will be complete in the presence of God when we see Him face to face.
As you begin your day, and are thinking about your life, listen and I’m sure you will hear, “I’m not finished!”

“Lord, I am so thankful that my past sins do not define me and the transformation You are making in my life is not finished. Please mold me and shape me into a beautiful reflection of Your love and glory.”

For His Glory

Melissa Tucker
TRBC Coffee Break

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