Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 31, 2014

Changing Seasons

cb devo oct31“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a (NIV)

Love standing in the warm rays of sunshine on a cool Fall day. Clinging to every glimpse of color – admiring the morning sky painted in hues of pink and dark midnight. And when evening’s heavy fog settles in, awe reminds me that the edge of winter is before me. I smile at God’s grace letting me relish in one more day. It’s a fading away – a moving to another place another season. Love greets us at every transition even those we’d rather not embrace. Mercy follows us when the road is hard and the chilling cold settles deep in our soul. Grace covers us in the early dawn as we converse with God disagreeing and struggling through disappointment. Peace surrounds us when our heart still aches for yesterday. Worship overwhelms us. Seasons He allows – seasons we choose to question. Moments we endure; moments treasured by a loving God. Growth that blossoms adorned in pain moving us closer to the breath of God. Life fertilized in His wisdom producing fragrant, everlasting beauty. An opportunity to reflect God’s image mirrored to a hungry world while our world is emptied out. Yet we often long for the easy life, the calm season – the tranquil path. Simple, undisturbed seasons resonate within our souls. Choosing the deeper places rather brings Him the highest glory. God welcomes each season of our lives; His signature etched on each one. He dances in the raindrops of our laughter. He collects our tears in the sleepless nights. He jumps for joy in our victories, and He stoops to make us great in our defeats; our awesome God whispering I love you in every season.

“Our everlasting God, we cherish Your presence in all the moments of our lives.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 30, 2014

Bear One Another’s Burdens

cb devo oct30“Then they [the children of Gad and the children of Reuben] came near to him [Moses] and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock and cities for our little ones, but we ourselves will be armed, ready to go before the children of Israel until we have brought them to their place…” Numbers 32:16-17 (NKJV)

It is truly said that we are either coming into, going out of, or in the middle of a crisis at all times. We seem to have trials on a daily basis, but how sweet it is when we have a season of rest! When we get that time of calm, we should remember Moses’ instructions to the Children of Gad and Reuben. Moses needed the men from those tribes (in their season of rest) that were going to live on the west side of the Jordan to come alongside the other tribes until they, too, were settled in their land – their time of rest in securing their inheritance.

When our brothers and sisters in Christ are fighting their battles, we need to be there to offer encouragement, meet physical needs, and pray with them and for them until they, too, have reached a season of rest! When our lives are free of trials it’s so easy to overlook those around us who are in the midst of the battle, but God gently reminds us to come alongside and bear one another’s burdens.

“Father, we long to serve others as a way of serving You; to meet needs in our brethren who are weakened by a crisis. Help us to be aware of needs, showing compassion to the family of God, until we reach that Day of Eternal Rest!”

For His Glory

Sandy Day
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 29, 2014

Taming Out Of Control

MP900438953[1]“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” 2 Samuel 22:33 (NIV)

Culmination – the end or final result of something. I’ve been feeling, squeezing into and admitting that the culmination of my food choices and giving into hormonal craziness doesn’t serve me well. But it wasn’t just my food choices that reaped the benefits – my poor husband has been left with some deficits. I’m finding myself short on patience and long on speeches. Everything seems to deserve a dissertation.

It’s more than a waistline of excuses – it’s ultimately about a wasteland where God is minimized and lack of self- control is magnified. I can justify away the piling on of repeated actions that don’t’ serve me well, but their effects will remain. Bottom line – any area of our lives that is out of control will accumulate not disappear. The more we ignore it, the more it accumulates and eventually culminates into something we don’t want.

Taking responsibility for the culmination of any out of control zones in our lives will serve us well. Excuses fade when we choose to look beyond the action to uncover the source – the real us. Only by surrendering those areas to God will we see lasting, eternal change. He will empower us to be victorious, despite our hormonal craziness.

So what has accumulated in your corner? Has it served you well? If not, join me in not letting it follow us through the end of this year.
“Sweet Jesus how we need your grace in these moments of life. We succeed, we fail, we splurge, we refrain – it’s a constant cycle that desperately needs Your touch. Fill us with Your Spirit that brings all things under Your control.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 28, 2014

Sweet Like A Jar of Pickles

cb devo oct28“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1 (NIV)

There are sweet little things in life that bring us much joy, the type of joy that makes us scream, shout, and do a happy dance, as if it were the best thing we ever experienced. A few days ago, I witnessed something similar with my neighbor’s seven-year-old daughter. When she came over, she was holding something in her hand, from which she took tiny little bites. When I asked her what she was eating, her eyes lit up, eyebrows perked up, and with the biggest grin on her face, she quickly answered, “it’s a pickle, Ms. Luska!”

After that episode, I did not see little Addie for several days. While at the grocery store to buy some food items, my eyes were caught by this giant jar of pickles. It immediately made me think of my friendly little neighbor, so off to buy it I went.

Before heading to my place, I stopped by her door and rang the doorbell. I handed her mom the pickle jar. When my little friend saw what she got, she gave it the sweetest, most animated celebration. To me, it was just a jar of pickles, but to her, it represented her favorite thing in the world.

Have you ever experienced something similar when receiving something from the Lord, like finishing paying off a bill, getting a bonus at work, or receiving an unexpected letter in the mail with good news? Have you allowed yourself to shout for joy and dance yourself a silly happy dance? Enjoy each moment in life, big and small. Don’t let your jar of pickles pass you buy.

“Dear God, thank You for being a generous God who always blesses us beyond measure. We give you praise and glory for You are worthy.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 27, 2014

Our God Story

cb devo oct 27“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you. So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And the people were amazed.” Mark 5:19-20 (NIV)

Recent post got you glued to Facebook? Can’t get that tweet out of your mind? Instagram totally amazed you? Backtrack to the dusty streets where electronics were nonexistent. Communication happened person by person. No newsflash, no text messages – a world unconnected via the internet. Yet the word spread throughout the region by those who had been delivered, healed. They didn’t take out an ad in the local paper. They didn’t sign a book deal. They didn’t develop a platform or create a tribe. Instead, the once distraught, broken or sick simply told what God had done for them.

Wonder how that would shape our world? Who in your circle needs to be encouraged, uplifted, inspired, motivated or challenged? There’s no truth like the truth we see lived out when God interacts with His children. Miracles happen. Transformation takes place. Prayers are answered. Weeping turns into joy. Fear collides with faith. Hope outruns despair. Compassion drenches the weary. Mercy and grace covers the defeated. Peace triumphs over trembling. An endless list of all that God has done for us.

If we dared to simply tell, if we dared to focus on His glory rather than our opinions, sermons and judgments – then maybe people would be amazed. Hearts would be softened. Tears would flow. Repentance would follow and angels would sing as lost sheep found their way home.

“Father, You amaze us every day – help us to tell our God story to all we meet.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 24, 2014

Abundant Harvest

cb devo oct 24“Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a leap of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.” Mark 5:34 (MSG)

Great pillars of faith from Biblical times like Sarah and Hannah, through the ages with Susannah Muller and Susannah Spurgeon. To modern day times when women have been instrumental in the work of the Lord, whether single-handedly or alongside their husbands. When God wants to take you from ordinary to extraordinary for His name sake and His glory there’s a “right of passage.”

These extraordinary women have testified to the struggles and suffering. The trials and tribulations that besiege and discourage trying to make us quit. Not to mention mockers and naysayer’s. I believe these giants of the faith would say “hold on” for after the journey comes the fruition of the visions, dreams and the promises of the Lord.

I’ve learned in my own relationship with the Lord there’s a right of passage that is synonymous with the journey. A passage that builds dynamic faith when things look grim, equips us with bold courage to be obedient despite circumstances and gives us a steadfast trust in the Lord. If you’re in a season of “traveling” and it’s been years going from ordinary to extraordinary…your season is coming!

Be encouraged! If you are one of the ones like the hero’s of the faith who took that leap of faith and you are following the Lord in obedience. There will be a time and season when God says, “…you’re healed and whole.” But He doesn’t stop there! Because of your faith, because of your obedience, because of your expectancy you passed the test. God says, “Live well, live blessed!” And He says, “be healed of your plague” in other words your troubles and distress are over.

“Father, You are well pleased when faith births obedience and expectancy. Thank You for the harvest that awaits those who follow after You!”

For His Glory

Kim Lacey Schock
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 23, 2014

Space & Grace

Woman Turning Off Alarm“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1 NIV)

Have you ever gone through a difficult time in your life? Yes, we have all gone through trials. Let me ask you another question that only you can answer. How do you treat yourself during those times? Have you ever considered offering yourself grace?

When I am struggling, while I strive to trust God wholeheartedly and have no negative thoughts or feelings as a result, that doesn’t always happen. I also find that I tend to feel even worse about myself and my situation when I don’t trust God. While that clearly means I need to focus my attention more on Jesus, it also means that I need grace. Grace towards myself that can only come because of what God has done for me through Christ. And because of the Lord’s grace, I can be strong even during the most difficult of storms.

In addition to grace, I find that I need to give myself space. If I am having a tough time, I can’t expect to instantly feel better. Just like when you recover from an illness, you don’t typically go to bed really sick and wake up feeling 100%. Instead, it typically takes some time to recover. The fever goes down. The sneezing decreases. The appetite slowly returns. In the same way, while there are times when a huge weight is lifted off our shoulders and we breathe a huge sigh of relief, more often than not, it takes time to recover. From the loss and grief. From the frustration and fear. From the sadness and insecurity.

But. With space and grace, you can get through it. Only because of the grace that is in Christ Jesus that Paul was writing to Timothy about. A lesson for one that can be applied to all. Be strengthened, friend, through this grace.
“Dear Lord, Thank You for the grace You give me. Please help me to accept that grace and give myself space to recovery from difficult times.”
For His Glory,

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

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 22, 2014

God’s Thoughtfulness

cb devo oct22“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17 9 (NIV)

I love pansies – planted some in my front yard yesterday. Why? Two reasons:

1. They brighten my days because they bloom all winter – through ice and snow!
2. And I love their meaning. Did you know the name pansy is derived from the French word pensée “thought?”

Isn’t it fun when someone thinks of you for no particular reason? Last spring, I was surprised with a hand delivered unexpected gift one afternoon at work! My precious friend said the gift she chose made her think of me! I loved it!! I welcomed this as God’s sweet way of encouraging me since I had resigned I would not see my children on Mother’s Day. I didn’t realize He wasn’t finished only beginning. Mother’s Day, I was pleasantly surprised when both my children had rearranged their schedules to come be with me!! I was one happy mama and blown away by God’s thoughtfulness of me!

Psalm 139 is a familiar scripture filled with wonderful truths. Verse 18 teaches God’s thoughts toward His child is more in number than the sand. Wow!! That’s a lot of thoughts!! Then it made me think: how often do I think of Him? Do I rearrange my schedule to meet Him? Do I make Him feel special? What makes Him a happy Father? God is always thinking of us. Pay close attention He may have an unexpected surprise – after all the holidays are just around the corner!!

“Lord, thank You for thinking of me. Teach me to be thoughtful of You and share Your love by thinking of others”

For His Glory,

Patsy Sanders
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 21, 2014

Perfect Fit

A Middle Eastern woman lying down reading“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2 (ESV)

Orange, pink, gray – loved those running shoes. Couldn’t wait to put them on. Laced up, stretches done and off I went. Enjoying the perfect stride – felt great! Three weeks later – orange, pink and gray didn’t feel like the perfect fit. Blisters on my toes and aching feet left my stride on the sidelines. No matter how much I tried to rescue my wounds and start over, I got hit with the same results – those shoes just didn’t fit my feet.

Ever experienced the perfect opportunity? From a distance, we thought it was a match made in heaven – the best fit for us. Seemed easy enough. We got this one covered. Felt great sliding into someone else’s shoes. Until weeks later when decisions are made, challenges are faced and our skills are put to the test. How did something that appeared so easy become so complicated?

We’ve all probably navigated the journey of taking on what perhaps God never intended. On the surface, we could handle it all but underneath it was never ours for the taking. Regardless of our abilities, our strengths, our training – there are some things that God simply wants us to pass on. It might look like the right fit. We may love the thought of tackling the task. Perhaps, we can’t wait to leave one to pursue another. But if it’s contrary to God’s perfect design, then we might found ourselves wounded and sidelined or overwhelmed and desperate for relief.

Solution – weigh every open door on bended knee. Seek out God’s direction even if others invite us to dive in. Purify our motives before we grasp that great opportunity. And humbling accept what God reveals is best.

“Sweet Jesus help us to discern when You are stretching us versus those times when we choose to take on something You never intended. Help us to surrender to Your leading regardless of our own desires.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 20, 2014

The Break That Halted My Routine

cb devo jan10“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

August 24, I met up with some friends and their three little girls at church. I ended up bringing two of the girls home with me. We had a great time in the backyard of my apartment complex. We blew soap bubbles, drew on the pavement with chalk, sang songs, and a bunch of other fun-filled activities. While chasing a Frisbee, however, I fell and broke my left ankle in two places. Amidst moaning and cries of pain, I endured xrays, adjustments and a splint.

Fast-forward to the end of September, I have an elevated ankle which now is the home to a stainless steel plate and ten screws. The experience with pain and discomfort has been a humbling one, and solitude (homebound) has become my next of kin. I have to resign myself to getting popcorn visits when my friends’ schedules allow.

My broken ankle has taught me many lessons, and one of them has been that we don’t know what each day will bring. We can make plans and set goals, but life can suddenly come to a halt We may find ourselves having to readjust our daily routine to accommodate what it requires – for me, it’s been bed rest and elevating my leg.

Has life brought you to a sudden halt? Are you in a situation where you find yourself needing to hear what He is telling you? Remember that He cares, and He takes care of your needs. Even if you feel frustrated (like me) for not being able to do what you normally do, remember that God is right there, walking your valley with you. Whether it is a broken bone or a broken spirit, do not give up. Trust and believe. He will see you through it.

“Lord, sometimes we pray for a ‘break’ because life is not going the way we want. In some instances, the ‘break’ is not exactly what we expected, but we must trust You to know best. Please help us to accept our circumstances and remain in You.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 412 other followers