Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 27, 2015

One Step Forward…..

cb devo may27“Whoever claims to live in Him, must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6 (NIV)

Ever try running backwards? How about walking backwards? Not exactly an easy task. Our bodies are naturally geared to be moving forward, one foot in front of the other. It’s the easy stride we were created for. To be honest, since we moved out of toddlerhood, we haven’t had to think hard to glide those feet across the floor. Walking, strolling, running, leaping – forward propels us to new experiences, new challenges, new growth and greater heights.

So why do often find ourselves navigating backwards? Intentionally lifting those feet, backstroking into territory we’ve already traveled. Experiencing nothing new, relishing past victories. Or perhaps we’re afraid of leaving familiar behind so we linger there locked into place. Feet firmly planted, unmoveable in the wrong direction. It takes a lot of concentration to keep picking up our feet and moving backwards. It requires deliberate action on our part to resist the natural urge to plunge forward while we’re sinking back.

Caught up in the mundane settling, we miss the exhilarating moments God has for us when we refuse to walk, push, stride, and reach forward. Leaving toddlerhood behind, real faith occurs when we trade our baby steps for energizing leaps into the arms of the One who goes before us. Exciting journeys, awesome lessons, and sometimes even failures – yet we are moving forward one foot in front of the other. It’s the easy stride He created us for – it’s a journey worth taking.

“Father we settle so easily for where we’ve already been – unlock our feet and compel us to move with You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 26, 2015

Our Sweet Redeemer

cb devo may26“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:3 (KJV)

How many times have we had someone tell us, “I know God has forgiven my sin, but I just cannot forgive myself”? If we are one of those who have fallen out of a close relationship with Jesus Christ, we know the wrenching agony of crying out, “God, I’m so sorry!” every time the sin comes to mind. Yet God holds us close as He whispers, “What sin? I don’t remember it.”

David’s confession reminds us that we have to deal with the consequences that are ‘ever before our eyes.’ Perhaps it’s a child who looks like a biological father that no one knows about, but reminders of the affair resurface when we look at the child. Like a lost limb to our body, the sin can be forgiven but the consequences still face us each day. David apparently felt this shame and pain, perhaps when he saw Bathsheba. Was there sorrow in her eyes from losing a husband who was dear to her or the pain of carrying a child for nine months only to lose him? We don’t know, but we do know that David penned those words and they comfort us. Yes we sin and it is always before our eyes, but it is not our lack of forgiving ourselves that brings pain. Knowing we have failed our Savior and those we love is hard, but when we embrace God’s forgiveness, we can walk in the freedom of His grace that redeems our tomorrows.

“Father, You know we are ‘but dust’ and fail you so often. Comfort us as we see the consequences of past actions, and send someone to those we have hurt, who will help them to know You love them. Thank You for accepting our repentance and restoring us to You. But most of all, thank You for the Cross, Lord, and thank You for the blood You shed.

For His Glory

Sandy Day
TRBC Mountain Blend

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 25, 2015

The Greatest Story

cb devo may25“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

Who What When Where & Why – the elements of a great news story – but they are also the great elements of our God. He knows Who we are and Who we are becoming. God knows What we’ve been through. Struggles, victories, challenges and incredible moments – He knows What’s been happening in our lives and What will happen in our future. Because He holds this incredible piece of the puzzle, we can fully trust Him.

When we take great leaps of faith, God is present. And When we fall flat on our face, He is there to pick us up. Where can we go without Him? God is our constant companion. There is no Where we can hide from Him, even in the dark. Where will we be a year or 5 years from now only He knows. And yes, the Why – boy that’s one that always trips us up. God has the answer to all our Whys. Like Why we don’t pursue our dreams. Why we serve others. Why we make the decisions and choices we do.

Who, What, When, Where & Why – elements of our journey with God. A headliner in the making, and one day we will meet our God face to face. All that has been unanswered, misunderstood or unspoken will fade away When we see the One Who created us, the One who knows What our days were like, the One who knows Where our mansion is and yes, the One who covers our Whys.

“Father, when I close my eyes I can’t even glimpse Your face, but I can feel Your heart beating next to me spurring me on until I behold Your beauty.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 22, 2015

Patterned By God

cb devo may22“And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” Exodus 25:40

My grandmother carefully laid an old newspaper on the floor, gently laid a dress on it, outlined it in pencil and removed the dress. Cutting the newspaper, she had a pattern for another dress (usually made from “feed sacks!”). As I was growing up, my mom made much of our clothing in the same manner. By the time I was sewing patterns were common enough to afford, but I normally began cutting and sewing without referring to the “instruction sheet” first. Do I need to say how many seams were ripped out?

Impulsiveness is something I am still trying to restrain as I continue to learn to “wait upon the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). He has, given us according to 2 Peter 1:3, “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” He has given us the “instruction sheet” for living our lives pleasing to Him, in order to fulfill His plans and purpose for ourselves, and be clothed in the beautiful robe of His righteousness as we stand before Him. I can only imagine what my robe would look like if I made it the way I thought it ought to be, without referring to His instructions! If only we would live our lives ’according to the pattern’ so that we would ‘love our life and see good days!’ (1 Peter 3:10).

“Father God, how we wish we could always make our choices and live our lives according to the pattern You have shown us! Help us, Father; increase our faith! Let us know as we wait for You to take care of burdens in our lives that the end result will be beautiful. Help us not run ahead of You or walk parallel to You, but follow in Your steps.”

For His Glory

Sandy Day
TRBC Mountain Blend

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 21, 2015

His Glorious Presence

cb devo may21“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

Amazing how much energy I have in the Spring and Summer. It’s like I’m trying really hard to cram more and more into my 24/7. Love the longer days with sunlight streaming in through my windows. Love the warm temps and budding flowers. Counting down the days until vacation. Enjoying brisk walks in the late evening with my husband. My list could go on and on…can you tell I just love this time of year?

What’s your fav thing about Summer? When my son was at home, I loved the end of another school year. We both were eager for a change. No homework. No projects. No football practice. Just an empty calendar we could fill up with different, fun things.

Creativity reigns high on the list when we push routines aside and venture outside the box. Ever tried stepping outside your norm with Jesus? It’s so easy to just keep doing the same thing. It’s so easy to default to our same routine. But God is all about creativity and individual uniqueness. He longs for us to come to Him with great expectation not dreaded familiarity. Just take a look outside your door – our Creator God delights in surprising us with the beauty of His presence. No two flowers are identical. No two sunrises are the same. No two sunsets melt into the sky repeating yesterday’s pattern.

So let’s take a Summer challenge. Shake up the way we spend time with God. Glean from a biography of a great Christian leader like Elizabeth Elliott. Sing our praises in the early quiet of morning. Dig deep in a book of the Bible we’ve never studied or explore passages of scripture on a topic we’ve never considered. Mentor another believer. Share life experiences and enjoy sweet community with someone you don’t know.

The possibilities are endless –so many ways to liven up our relationship and experience the excitement and pleasure of growing more and more in love with our God.

“Father, the great adventure awaits those who are passionate about seeking You – help me be One who leaves routine behind and steps out to embrace a deeper walk with You.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 20, 2015

Investment Pays Off

cb devo may 20“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 (NIV)

I saw her recently. A quick hug combined with a beautiful smile assured me she was well. Verbal confirmation quickly followed. Spiritually I ask? ‘Yes. I am.’ she answered. My heart rejoiced.

Why? Because our first acquaintance was in a one on one mentoring program where a troubled teenager, insecure in her identity was introduced. Little did she know her life would be radically transformed. Sadly, no one had taken time to teach her commonsensical things a young teenage girl should have known; therefore, those months were filled with a multitude of questions, practical and spiritual. Most importantly she was spiritually lost and quite open about it.

Gratefully, behind the scenes God was working and answering many prayers! About halfway through our journey I had the privilege of leading her to Christ. The investment paid off!! Over time she’s learned to walk independently, make godly decisions, find a job, finish high school, and grow in her walk with Christ.

Jesus was the greatest example of investing in others. He personally chose twelve men to pour spiritual truth into over a three-year period. Mentoring at it’s finest. They had set backs and didn’t always listen, yet he continued to devote Himself confident they were worth the investment.

What about that neighbor you have been meaning to visit but haven’t? Or the co-worker whose life is falling apart? Or that teen without a role model? Who do you see that is worth the investment?

Someone saw value in you. Investments take time. Ask God to bring someone into your life that will benefit from time well spent. It will be worth it; it may even determine their eternal destiny. It did with mine!

“Lord, please allow me to see the importance of investing in others.”

For His Glory

Patsy Sanders
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 19, 2015

Multicultural Language

cb devo may19“From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” Acts 17:26 (NIV)

Recently, I visited Washington, DC, during the Cherry Blossom Festival. I walked shoulder-to-shoulder with a crowd of people, while listening to languages I was familiar with as well as with some I had never heard. We indeed live in a multicultural world.

I wish I had the language skills to chit-chat with the Indian ladies sitting on the grass in their colorful clothes or with the Chinese couples sitting on the benches. The diversity of cultures is always something I enjoy seeing. No matter where people come from, they end up liking and doing some of the same things, such as enjoying a picnic under the shade of trees; walking their dogs; watching children play; taking photographs (and selfies!); buying iced drinks and popsicles, hotdogs and elephant ears; blowing soap bubbles and so much more.

Whenever my eyes caught the eyes of someone whose culture was different than my own, it would only take a second and soon we would be smiling at one another. A smile! One little twitch of our lips – that is all it takes! – and we are communicating with someone we never met before without using any words. No pressure. No stress of cost. Just a plain, simple smile. And sometimes that smile is the key that opens doors to show people that God is love. Go on: smile!

“Dear Lord, You have created us unique and beautiful in our own way. You love us all, no matter what we look like. We pray that we, too, can show that love to others who look different from us.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 18, 2015

God’s Favor

cb devo may18“Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.” Genesis 24:12 (NIV)

There was no bachelor on the scene or a rose extended. Just a servant on a mission for his master. The assignment – find a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. Wow – quite the task – yet one that Abraham totally entrusted to his servant. And one the servant totally entrusted to God. It was a transfer of utter dependence seeking God’s leading, wisdom and kindness – a prayer focused on God’s favor for his master.

Started many a morning on my knees asking God to help me through the day. Grabbed moments to whisper His name throughout my overwhelmed moments seeking strength for me. But can’t say I’ve prayed that my success, my victories, my wins would result in God’s favor and kindness toward my boss. Sorry to say…..I love to win and I love winning for me. I don’t like defeat, and I don’t like giving up. My feet are always ready for the happy dance to celebrate the joy of victory.

Wonder what would happen if instead of success for me, I sought God’s favor for my boss? Wonder how hard I would work if I knew that each task done right would bless someone else? Perhaps the greater perspective transforms my “me” focus to a grander picture that benefits God’s ultimate plan. Because when I am successful it’s really not about me but about Him – the One who empowers, the One who enables me so that others are blessed.

In the midst of our daily strivings and achievements wouldn’t it serve us all better if we prayed for God’s blessing and kindness for those we serve?

“Father it is so easy to be consumed with my world – for my benefit – help me to seek success so that all will benefit from Your blessings.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 15, 2015

Laugh Out Loud

cb devo may15“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22a (NIV).

There is something about a good laugh that energizes our soul. I remember many instances when a good belly laugh did the trick at transforming my mood. Tonight, I was reading while listening to the TV show “The Voice.” The commercial break featured an ad for health insurance that covers unexpected events. The situation they used was a wife preparing her husband’s dinner. As he walks towards the dining table, the theme song for the movie “Dirty Dancing” began to play. They immediately glanced at each other and nodded “yes.” The wife takes off running, husband catches and lifts her, for one split second she is up with her arms open. The next second both of them are lying over what once was the dining table, which came crashing down when he dropped her. I laughed out loud until my belly hurt.

Up until that moment, I was so focused on the article I had to read for school, and was also listening to the performers on the TV show. But when I saw what that middle-aged couple tried to do and how they miserably failed, I stopped what I was doing and simply enjoyed my laugh.

Letting go of our rigid schedules and savoring a simple act that can de-stress our minds is very healthy. Being able to let go of the load of responsibilities and breathe freely for a bit is fulfilling and invigorating. Things that seem silly like the commercial I watched can be just as rewarding as a one-hour session with a counselor. It’s not about throwing caution to the wind; it’s about taking good care of our sanity. It’s like taking off our dress shoes and allowing the rainwater to flow through our toes when we walk in the rain.

“Thank You for the precious gift of laughter, Lord. It is, without a doubt, a very good medicine for our soul.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 14, 2015

Hidden Treasures

cb devo may 14“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)

Saturday mornings were Grandma’s Day. She gathered up her granddaughters and we’d head out to gather treasures. One sedan and four giggling little girls with ponytails enjoying the ride. From neighborhood to neighborhood, Grandma strategically had her plan in place – hit as many yard sales as possible. We always ended up with some amazing finds that Grandma eventually ended up sharing with someone else. Us grands just loved the adventure.

Have you ever found the sweetness of hidden treasure in your adventures? It usually appears when we least expect it and in the most unlikely places. And sometimes it requires a strategic plan so we won’t miss an incredible find. Every time, we gather at the feet of Jesus, He amazes us with sweet nuggets. Truths unveiled and hope that sustains. Digging deep, He leads us to the word we need in that moment. Searching intently, Jesus reveals wisdom that forms a protective barrier around our lives. Leaning in close, He whispers worth, value and dismisses our insecurities. In the midst of worship, Jesus ushers us deep into His presence where peace and confidence abides.

Awesome treasures meant to be shared, given away and not kept for just one. Adventures that remind us all of His goodness, faithfulness and nearness. Laughter that lifts weary souls and joy that dances even in the rain. Clarity that ignites worship despite the silence. And amazing finds that are uncovered in every day moments when hearts are fixed on Jesus.

“Sweet Jesus, You invite each of us to experience the adventure of a lifetime – sweet treasures revealed to those who seek You with all their heart, mind and soul – incredible riches found in Your presence.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

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