Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 19, 2014

Releasing Chains

cb devo sept19“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.” Romans 6:17 (TNIV)

Are you a morning coffee drinker? Do you get up at the same time each day? Does the sound of your tv lull you to sleep each night? Habits happen without us even realizing they exist. We start doing something one day and weeks later we’re still doing it. Often we don’t even see the pattern our lives are conforming to.

Some habits are worth not breaking. Eating healthy food requires discipline and deliberate thought into our meal choices, but the payoff far exceeds the effort. It’s a habit that yields great results. Some habits stick around much longer than we anticipated. Avoiding housework, procrastinating over laundry, failing to pay bills or just allowing our lives to be consumed with distractions creates a repetitive pattern of chaos for our lives. It’s a habit that yields frustration and hasty reactions. Some habits slip in disguised as justification and quickly swirl into character traits we wish we could shake off. Grumbling slides in when things don’t happen the way we envisioned. We awaken one morning and allow our unmet expectations to saturate our thoughts with all the reasons why we deserve something better. It’s a habit that steals our joy and keeps us bound with chains of disappointment.

While it takes a few weeks for an action to click over to a habit, breaking that behavior requires determination, conscious effort and perseverance. It’s a job too big for us, but one that is tailor made for our God. When we seek His help in daily rising above life-defeating patterns, we will form a habit that is worth not breaking.

“Father, You have already loosed the chains and set us free – help us to create life infusing habits that glorify Your name.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 18, 2014

Today Is A Day of Grace

cb devo sept 18“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” Colossians 1:9 (NKJV)
There will be a day of judgment, but today is not that day. Today is a day of grace.

After listening to a sermon recently, I was convicted. Why do I not share about God’s mercy and grace with more people? After all, it is the power to save everyone – anyone – that includes you. No one is outside the reach of God’s grace. I know we sometimes view others as if they are. We proceed to become judge and jury. But, that is not our role. Our role is to share how Jesus Christ changes lives. To preach about what His life, death, and resurrection really mean.

Don’t get me wrong…there will be a day of judgment for each of us. I don’t want anyone I love getting to that day without knowing for sure that they will spend eternity in paradise. How can any of us be sure? It really is simple. We have to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess that Jesus is Lord of our lives. We have to repent of our sins…turn away from what we do wrong and turn to God for forgiveness and salvation. We can’t force anyone to follow Christ, but we should feel compelled to tell others about His great love.

Yes, today is a day of grace. We don’t deserve it, but God will save us anyway. Any one of us. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow – we must make today the day of salvation. It might be the only chance we have to accept Jesus Christ as Savior or to share this free gift with others. Please don’t waste it.

“Lord, instill in me a deeper, more compelling desire to tell others about You. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.”
For His Glory

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

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 17, 2014

Cherish The Moments

cb devo sept17deb“She speaks wise words and teaches others to be kind.” Proverbs 31:26 (NCV)

Do you have a friend who reminds you to “Cherish the Moments” good and bad? I have a friend who uses those exact words when I’m at my wits end and want to scream or give up. Most of the time, I don’t want to hear it. I want everyone to feel sorry for me; however, my friend is correct. When I look back at those difficult moments, they were precious times of growth. Godly friends have a way of helping us regain focus and keep us following after God’s will. They give us the needed correction even when it’s painful and the blessing of saying “You are doing a great job, keep it up.” As women, God gave us the desire for relationships. Our relationship with God should come first, but girlfriend relationships are needed. God has given us a choice; we can run to our girlfriends who feel sorry for us or we can have a true friend who honestly reminds us to get over ourselves and enjoy the growth. Which will you choose? A friend who lifts you up and encourages your walk with Christ or a friend who will listens, sympathizes and stays stagnant with you?

“Father, thank You for the desires for friendships and for encouragers You bring along our path. Help us to recognize the true friends in our lives, so we can “Cherish the moments” and not just run to those who will pity our situations. We want to grow in You and be able to teach others how to grow in You. “

For His Glory,

Debbie Struble
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 16, 2014

One

cb devo sept16“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.” Matthew 18:12-13 (NIV)

Do you sometimes get overwhelmed that you just can’t take care of everyone at the same time? Or if you try that you are just not giving your best to every person? I have definitely been in that position more times than I care to count. I get caught up in the busyness of doing good and lose sight that sometimes less is more.

Jesus was the best example of taking care of “the one.” As the multitudes crushed around him, he felt the touch of “one” woman. In the crowd of thousands, he focused on “one” boy’s lunch. I’ve often heard the simplest phrase, “each one, reach one” used to emphasize how reaching the one grows. When we reach the one then that person reaches out to another. It keeps spreading until the “one” becomes thousands. So if all we can do in a day is bring hope to just one person, remember that hope spreads to so many more. In heaven God will blow our mind when he shows us how that “one” touch made a difference in so many ways.

“Dear God, May we always keep the one in our focus. Show us each day how we can make the difference in one person’s life that will sow a seed for so many.”

For His Glory,

Katrina Redman
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 15, 2014

Chasing Lost & Being Found

Woman Standing in a Field“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.”
Ezekiel 34:11 (NIV)

Wonder how we pack things away for a season and when crisp autumn air rushes in we can’t retrieve. For days, we search. Eliciting other’s help, we find everything but what we were looking for. Dust covered boxes. Opened lids, shut lids. The safari in the maze of clutter leaves us disillusioned and hopeless for the one thing we couldn’t find.

Ever pack up your soul, your dreams, your plans and when God offers yes, one fails to retrieve. Passions shifted in the still of wait. Longings delayed drifted far away. Searching, well that was yesterday…long ago…no more to be. Fear roams big where hope dances light. What if the one thing, the only thing we ever wanted opened wide and fear closed in stealing wonder.

Amazing grace…how sweet…the sound…that saved a wretch…..like me. Chasing lost left stains – the ravaged soul in need of grace. Mercy breathed cleansed when arms stretched wide. Chains broke loose when retrieve sought me – I once was lost but now I’m found….blind but now I see. Love, acceptance, compassion, forgiveness – all we’ve ever wanted.

Bringing back the strays. Chasing lost forgotten. Being found – sweet Shepherd’s redemption song. Hope takers believe big as fear leaks out. Perfect consuming love cast out, transforms deep and praises loud – Jesus, Son of God – Holy sacrifice. Chasing after lost and gathers found under His wings – how sweet the sound.

“Father, the desperate cry of grace runs after many things. Searches long and finds that only You truly satisfy – being found by You is amazing.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 12, 2014

Reinventing Attitude

Businesswoman“Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” Proverbs 4:24

Starring at my computer screen, I bit my upper lip and attempted to navigate through our new email system. Reluctant to give it a try, I finally succumbed when I learned our IT guys were making the old system obsolete. Too slow. Too many steps involved. No training provided. Didn’t take long for my attitude to lose altitude. Co-workers were frustrated, and I was too glad to offer my low opinion of our experts’ choice. As I heard my own negativity – the only thing I could whisper was, “Help me Jesus.” What happened to “embracing change”? I loved trying new things. I didn’t really like our old email system, but it was comfortable. Taking in a deep breath, I confessed my spiraling attitude and grabbed a notepad. Determined, I spent hours creating emails, folders, addresslists, calendars, etc and made notes as I unraveled these mysteries. Didn’t take long for my attitude to start regaining altitude. The new system did have some cool new options, and I could finally see them when I kept my attitude in check.

Losing altitude in your attitude? When we zero in on the negatives, we miss any chance of seeing the possibilities. By asking God to give us a clear perspective – one that is balanced – we can clearly evaluate and embrace change. My email challenge was conquered and my co-workers loved my notes. But more importantly, God reinvented my attitude – “Thank you Jesus.”

“Father, it is so easy to join the chorus of negativity. Fill my lips with a sweet song that creates a beautiful harmony.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 11, 2014

Recipe For Happiness

cb devo sept11The person that is not ashamed of Me, and does not turn away from Me is happy. Luke 7:23 (NLV)

Are cookbooks really necessary or is baking just a creation from the start with no guidelines? Without the basic guidelines it is easy to get sidetracked and have unexpected results, possibly not very pleasurable. Baking is something that gives pleasure to us by meeting a physical need. We need spiritual recipes in life as well. Without spiritual nourishment, we are left desolate and empty. When we feel empty it is extremely hard to choose joy. Our soul craves God’s Word and time spent with Him in prayer and reflection. Just as not satisfying our physical need of hunger can leave us cranky, tired and empty, the same is true when we deprive our soul of God’s time and Word. We often try to create our own recipe for happiness by things, people, work, etc. However when we pull out the cookbook, the recipe for happiness is God, plain and simple. Happiness is a choice we make, but without the correct recipe it is extremely hard to get the desired result. Spending time with God is a key part of the recipe, but it takes time and effort. We have 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour – for a total of 1,440 minutes in a day. How many minutes will we give to God? How many minutes will be full of happiness, when pulling the day out of the oven – the choice is up to us.
“Father, thank You for happiness. Help me plan my 1,440 minutes maximizing my time and relationship growth with You.”

For His Glory,

Debbie Struble
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 10, 2014

Embracing Freedom

MP900437308[1]“And God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Exodus 20:1 (NIV)

A personal God who intervenes on behalf of His people – who would ask for more? His desire is release, freedom and deliverance so that we can enjoy the abundant life. Who wouldn’t be empowered to seize their Promised Land? Yet the Children of Israel seemed reluctant to embrace the road to freedom. God alone was the one that knew every detail of their past. He saw them getting caught in the snare; He witnessed their wanderings, bargainings, and complainings– yet God excused none of it. They didn’t move out of their bondage due to a twelve step program, diligence, or discipline. They moved out because God’s mighty hand led them out. Lingering back, His people often cherished the memory of the very life that kept them enslaved.
Sound familiar? Aren’t we guilty of looking back and seeing the good, while God looks back and sees the path to destruction? Redeeming His relationship with us, God proves His power to lift us up and beyond the remnants of our sinful past; however, God isn’t just the God of the past. He is in our present and our future. He knows what it will take for us to reach our Promised Land and some of us won’t pay the price. We will settle for Egypt and chose slavery to past sins, habits, devastation, heartbreak, etc. And when we do, we will miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

“Father, transforming our lives is the goal of Your deliverance. Teach us to grab a hold of Your hand and cherish the freedom You offer.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 9, 2014

Yes, There Is Joy After Pain

MP900443668[1]“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Being afflicted by pain and sadness is not something we seek. As I went through some trials over the past few years, I cried a lot before the Lord. I stayed up late praying and reading the Bible. I cried out to Him and yelled in my anguish, because I neglected the fact that He heard me. I was in pain and wanted relief!

Humiliated by those whom He loved so unconditionally, Jesus was hurt and grieved. Later, He endured even greater physical pain and a death reserved for thieves and murderers. Jesus was anguished by the pain afflicted upon Him, and yet He didn’t flee. He knew God’s plan for Him and humanity, so He followed through with the plan.

Knowing what awaited Him, Jesus comforted His disciples with an analogy. Like a woman birthing a child, pain and anguish do not last forever. Jesus reassured them that their grief would turn into joy.

My tears and grief have given way to joy and peace. I delight myself in the Lord, and I am grateful for all that He has done through my time of grief. I kept my focus on Him and learned to persevere. Jesus has promised us that, just as He overcame this world, we, too, will see better days if we remain in Him. If you are experiencing pain and sorrow, I encourage you to trust Him. He will see you through this time and take you into the next, a time of rejoicing.

“Dear Jesus, thank You for being the best example of what perseverance and trust can do in our lives. You walked Your talk on this earth. You are our role model and encourager. Teach us to be more like You.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 8, 2014

Guarding Community

cb devosept8“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (ESV)

Love the way we connect with others in community – our common bond – Jesus Christ. Love the fact that prayers transcend distance. Cherish the way our testimonies – the telling of God’s work in our lives – engages and inspires. Awe struck at the cheers, challenges and compassion found when we do
life together.

We can derive community from any source. We can lock arms with the world and entertain the thought that it will be enough. But if we exclude God out of our community, then we will find that regardless of the people, the group, the gathering – it just won’t be the same. Reality is we will probably find ourselves excluding God if everyone else in our community does the same.

Guarding our community doesn’t equate exclusion of those who don’t share our common bond – Jesus Christ. But it does mean that we guard the influence, the impact – we set boundaries. We protect the sacredness and holiness of the One who created us for community. We strive to love and pray for others. We accept open doors as invitations to weave the thread of God’s amazing work. We extend grace, we share truth, and we listen. And when God moves, we’re the one who can help them find their way – because they have seen through us that He is the way, the truth, the life – uniting our hearts together.
“Father, blending in is not part of your agenda– neither is exclusion. Help us to be Your light to this world that so desperately longs for You.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

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