Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 25, 2016

Servants Must Serve

oct-25“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45 (NIV)

“Life is so unnerving for a servant who’s not serving. He’s not whole without a soul to wait upon…” These words were not words of anyone famous; at least, not exactly. They were words from a song featured in the Disney cartoon Beauty and the Beast, in a scene where Belle walks into the castle’s dining room and is greeted by tea pots and cups, dishes, cutlery, napkins and candle sticks. After being in cupboards for over ten years, they could not hold back their excitement to have Belle as their guest, or, in other words, to serve her with all of their might, joy and meaning.

I am a lover of children’s movies, especially cartoons, and Beauty and the Beast is one of them, for not just the story that it tells, but also for the music it offers for the delight of our ears. So, when listening to the song “Be Our Guest,” I could not help but notice that those household items were in reality sharing with those watching the movie the significance of servanthood. For vessels which were made to serve, being tucked away in cupboards without being put to use was like a slow death sentence, a loss of life meaning, somewhat like crossing a parched and arid desert on foot and without carrying water.

When Jesus was on this earth, He spent the bulk of His time serving those around Him. He wasn’t out and about shopping, taking vacations or kicking back, sipping coconut water under a palm tree while munching on dates, plums and pomegranates. Jesus was washing people’s feet, healing their physical and spiritual bodies, calming storms, and performing other miracles. He did all those things for the good of others, never for His own good. Jesus was a servant leader, and serve He did.

We sing songs about being more like Jesus, and yet we often forget how to serve. In the example of cartoon kitchen appliances, I was reminded that to be like Jesus is to serve others as if serving was our primary mission in life, as it was in His.

“Lord, thank You for modeling servanthood to Your children.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 24, 2016

Trusting God with The Bigger Picture

Prayer Book

“This is what the Lord says – Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord your God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17 (ESV)


Clueless is how we often feel in this journey.  Answers serve us better than unsolved mysteries lived out in day to day moments. Not sure why we think we need to understand it all, but for some reason we think if we just got a glimpse of the “bigger picture,” we would magically rise to the challenge. Instead we wrestle with clueless and the whys instead of zeroing in on the One who is totally in control of it all.

Love the way God always takes me back to His words when my obsession with clueless derails my trust.  Key characters in scripture were just as clueless as we are today.  They had no idea what the bigger picture would reveal.  I often forget that – I tend to think that Daniel knew he would be rescued from the lions before he stepped foot into the den.  I ‘d like to think Noah knew he would survive the flood before the waters rose.  And what about Esther – I tend to think she knew her life would not be required of her before she demanded an audience with the king.  Would love to believe that Mary and Martha knew Jesus would revive Lazarus’ dead bones before the tomb was sealed. But you know what – they didn’t know the bigger picture in those moments before God intervened

Like each one of us, they had to listen, obey and walk faithfully where they could not see.  And all along the way, God had their best interest in mind – He never forgot His children or turned and walked away.  Yes many of them experienced hard places….we’ve all been there too, but when we read scripture, we get the joy of seeing the bigger picture.  The miracles that unfolded right before their eyes; the faith walk that lead them to receive the reward God promises.

What’s the bigger picture look like for us? I honestly do not know, but I do know that God has never ever disappointed me.  In good times, hard places, losses, gains, victories and defeats – He has proven that my life isn’t about me but about Him – the bigger picture of bringing glory to His Name.

“Father, help us to trust You with the unknowns and unexplainables.  Teach us to lean in closer and move forward in faith – simply trusting in what we can’t see but holding onto what You have promised.”


For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 21, 2016

Places Of Honor

oct-21“But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”  Esther 5:13  (NIV)

Elevated to the seat of honor – higher than all the other nobles in the kingdom – second only to the King.  You would have thought that would have been enough for Haman, but the unbending knee of a simple Jewish man caught his evil eye.  Zeroing in on one, Haman desperately plotted to destroy many. Enraged with anger, he used his influence to distort the truth and convince the king that the Jews should be destroyed.  Permission granted – Haman could do with the people as he pleased, but God’s protective hand prevailed.  What Haman devised, schemed and set in place was turned around by one courageous woman, Esther, who boldly approached the throne to save her people.

Success, prestige, elevation – we face them every day.  Promotions come.  Leadership opportunities land at our feet.  Decisions that affect one, a few or many are ours for the making.  How do we handle our places of honor?  Do we humbly and graciously seek God?  Do we choose to honor Him rather than boast in our seat of honor?  Do we allow our influence to distort the truth and convince others to support our desired actions?

It has often been said that the character of a person is put to the test when success and honor decorate their life.  Entitlement carries no weight in the presence of God.  He is the One who lifts up and takes down.  God is the ultimate authority regardless of our schemes, plans and selfish pursuits.  How will we handle our next promotion, our next opportunity to lead – hopefully bowed down on bended knee desperately dependent upon the One who lifted us up.

“Sweet Jesus, it is so easy to get caught up and self absorbed in who we are – help us to realize that we are nothing apart from You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 20, 2016

Dust Off The Tea Sets

oct-20“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”  Psalm 133:1 (NIV)

When I was a young girl of 4, my paternal grandparents gave me a red tea set made of plastic. My dolls, as well as my friends, enjoyed that tea set as much as I did, as we often hosted tea parties for ourselves and our imaginary friends.

From that simple plastic tea set, I learned valuable lessons. I learned that sometimes we are the hosts of the event or the givers.  At other times we are guests on the receiving end, and we must learn to follow the lead of the person hosting the party. I also learned responsibility, as I had to be a good steward of the tea set by keeping it in a safe place so the dog would not chew on it or my younger siblings would not lose any of the pieces. I had to keep the tea seat clean, as we did not want ants getting in my room from the juice we often served in the tea cups. Last but not least, I learned the importance of not taking criticism personally as I served my friends and catered to their needs and wants during our tea parties.

“Breaking bread together” is something that people of all nations enjoy doing. Sharing a cup of tea (or coffee, or a glass of milk or other type of beverage) while eating a full meal or an appetizer is simply a great way to spend time with friends catching up on our day-to-day lives, to encourage and edify one another.

My little red tea set got so much wear from my “social engagements” that eventually the cups had holes in them. The day I parted with that tea set was a mixture of sadness to see it go and joy from all the memories of all the wonderful tea parties it helped me host.

When was the last time you had a tea party with your girlfriends to unwind from a busy day? Don’t let your tea set get dusty on the shelf, waiting for the “right time” to call on your friends for an informal girl time or to partake in some needed encouragement. It is hard to keep track of time when life is hectic, so if necessary, pencil in some “tea party time” with your friends.

“Father, thank You for friends. Help us to never take them for granted. Amen.”


For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 19, 2016

Abundant Harvest

oct-19“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 “rite 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 rite 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 Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 18, 2016

What A Wonderful World

oct-18“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

As much as I grumble about getting up and taking the dogs out in the morning, I have to admit, secretly I enjoy this time. Often it is still dark. Although I can be a little fearful out in the yard in the dark, all of that goes away as soon as I look up. The beauty of the stars and moon in the sky takes my breath away. And I’m not afraid, I am in awe.

It has always amazed me that when God created the earth and everything on it, that He did so in such a beautiful way.  He could have just as easily created a no nonsense practical world with the very basics.  Things could have been bland in color, lacking in creativity or even uninspiring, yet at the same time we would have had everything we needed. But He didn’t. Instead He gave us a gift. God with His infinite love for us made this world beautiful. Just look around and you will see. He created plants to not only provide food and oxygen but that were lovely to look at as well. He gave us a sparkling night sky and a bright sunshine day sky that is also our calendar. He made animals that give us entertainment and joy as well as nourishment.  All of this was done for our benefit and our enjoyment.

So what is it for you? Animals, flowers, the moon and stars, the sun and clouds, ocean waves or mountain tops? Whatever your favorite part of creation is, take some time today and every day to feast your eyes on the wonderful world around us.

“Thank you God, for this beautiful and functional world You have created for us. Help us to take notice of the beauty that is all around us every day.”


For His Glory

Josey Bozzo
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 17, 2016

Authentic Worship

oct-17“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” Job 1:20 (ESV)

Ever experienced the amazing sweetness of sacrificial worship?  It’s the kind that flows from an aching, broken heart that chooses to still praise God. It’s the overflow from those who don’t need blessings, gifts, and yes answers to fuel their praise. It’s the sweet rhythm of souls eager to lay down all that is left at the feet of Jesus and lift empty hands in praise.

Hurricane Matthew birthed some of those moments.  Hundreds of miles away from the US, the country of Haiti was devastated by the storm.  With the death toll rising daily to now over 1,000, Haiti is one of the most impoverished countries in our world.  The 145 mile per hour wind whipped through their villages and left over 1.4 million people in desperate need of help.

Despite the loss of family members and homes, survivors of the hurricane got up on Sunday morning and put on their best clothes.  They walked among the devastation and gathered at churches where roofs were gone and walls were shattered.  Some Haitians were even found setting up an altar and praying outside of their crumbled sanctuaries.  I would have loved to hear their voices praising God.  Sweet, powerful and authentic worship not dependent on what they had but rather enlarged by their losses. I’ve read the news article over and over again and each time I am captivated by the depth of their love for God.

Sunday, I got up and rode to church; I didn’t have to walk.   I took a hot shower, washed my hair and put on my face – did I mention I had water?  I rummaged through my closet and grabbed a new dress from among many.  I ate a delish breakfast with my sweet husband – no one was missing from our table.  My life was full and not empty.  I sat among others in our beautiful church with stage lighting and great acoustics and wondered if God loved hearing my voice?  Was my worship real or was it dependent on the ease of my life?  Would I be there lifting my hands and voice if all I had were stripped away?

Deep in my heart, I pray that I would be that real, authentic worshipper. That I would not offer Him anything that did not cost me something.  That I would forever recall God’s faithfulness and love Him for who He is and not for what I have.


“Father, in the depth of great loss our worship unveils what we really worship.  I want to be that woman who stands with hands full or empty praising You – blessed be the name of the Lord!”


For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 14, 2016

Illuminating Hope

oct-14“But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you (God) more and more.”  Psalm 71:14 (NIV)

Empty cup viewed as full – the way my Dad saw all of life.  Regardless of finances, struggles or defeats, he never lost sight of the Hope Giver – confident, trust in God is contagious.  When we see and watch others living out their faith day in and day out, we desire what they have.  We want the Abraham faith that walks in obedience regardless of the sacrifice.  We want the Noah faith that acts in obedience regardless of what other’s think.  We want the Sarah faith that despite emotions and doubts reaps the blessing beyond human logic.  We want the Rahab faith that believes in the One who redeems and invites despite a record of wrongs.

Confident, trust in God fills every inch of reasoning, and welcomes Him as the Only One who can fill us up. Placing our faith and trust in His abilities spreads beyond our story and unfolds in those who watch remembering what God has already done.  Like a raging epidemic, hope realized inspires us to hang on, hold on, cling to, depend in regardless of the circumstances.

Empty cup viewed as full – always when we put our faith and hope in God.  Positions us to draw others to the amazing character of our God.  Speaks volumes to a world longing/searching for someone to believe in.  Encourages obedience even when the price is high.  Awakens obedience despite the outcome.  Inspires obedience when perceived solutions don’t add up.  Desires obedience regardless of our past. Women living out their faith day in and day out  – blessings that overflow – hope that surpasses our wildest dreams.

“Father, open our eyes to see all that You have done – infuse us with Your hope that sustains and uplifts.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 13, 2016

Feed Me!

oct-13“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk.”  1 Peter 2:2 (NIV)

I went to Buffalo, NY, over Labor Day weekend to see my children and grandchildren, and most especially, my new grandson Tristan, who was born in June. That baby has the fairest skin and bluest pair of eyes I have seen. Oh, and he has dimples that show up on his cheeks any time he decides to display a gummy smile, which is any time when he is not trying to find solace at his mother’s breast. One who would not know better, would think that the poor baby was starving to death, as his cry for his mother’s milk was rather intense, strong, and somewhat unstoppable, unless, of course, mama made herself available to his demand.

In my early Christian walk, I was somewhat like Tristan, with my hunger for God’s Word. I had this unquenchable desire to hear more about Him and learn how to be a better child of His.  I wanted to be a good steward of the things (and the people) He had entrusted to me, as well as to hear the testimonies of others who leaned on their faith in God as a survival tool. My appetite was voracious, and I could never seem to get enough. As the years passed and I have experienced more of God’s power in my life, I have learned to discern what I need to stay well-nourished and strong in my faith. I have also always relied on other Christians in my life to help ensure I stay the course, as I have made myself available to mentor others in their walk of faith.

Some of those key ingredients for a strong spiritual life include trust in God, perseverance, obedience, submission to His will, prayer, and fellowship with other Christians (the church). Spending time in prayer and seeking the Lord’s guidance, fasting, and reading his Word help us to recognize that we need Him especially in order to overcome the difficult times we often face in life. And our family in Him helps to secure a safe environment for our growth.

As baby Tristan grows and starts to eat more solid food, he will no longer be so demanding on his mama, though he will still need his parents to watch over his diet to ensure he grows healthy and strong.  Likewise, we need fellowship with other Christians, which helps ensure that we have a balanced spiritual walk.

“Lord, may our desire to please You never be quenched.”


For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 12, 2016

Escaping Compromise

oct-12“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine…” Daniel 1:8a (NIV)

Settling on the edge of compromise is the place where flesh wars with spirit.  Been there and wallowed in the revamping of me.  Weakened and impaired by the desire to fit in.  Accommodated and quieted my voice to squelch discord while my spirit screamed.  Amazing how much control, how strong our will is to settle.  Unreal how uncontrolled, how weak our will is to stand strong.

Cast into the mold of transforming  him into service for the king, Daniel faced the edge of compromise – the place where flesh wars with spirit.  Part of the elite, Daniel was handpicked  by the king’s official because he was handsome, smart, without physical defect and a quick learner.  Without entertaining a thought of revamping himself.  Without a moment’s hesitation or desire to fit in.  Daniel’s voice screamed quietly from within and he resolved, determined and concluded to stand strong.  Denying the royal food and wine would separate him and his three Israelite companions from the rest; but they would be honoring their God – the place where spirit wins over flesh.  Favor, blessing and abundant wisdom follow those who choose to stand versus settle.  Daniel and the three were healthier, wiser and none equaled them.  Their deliberation to conclude that serving God was their top priority spoke volumes.

Ever caved into your gods of compromise?  Ever attempted to fit in, be accepted and not rock the boat? Ever laughed or joked in the face of sin?   Daniel reveals the secret to flesh versus spirit – absolute devotion to the One true God – the only answer when we’re faced with the edge of compromise.

“Father the temptation to settle, give in and accept what doesn’t please You is strong.  Help us to respond with bold conviction and glorify You with our choices.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life



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