Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 2, 2016

Clinging to God & Not Fear

may 2“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (ESV)

Ever find yourself running into one of your toughest fears?  We all have them.  We try to avoid them.  We excuse them away and offer them to someone else.  Why? Because we fear our fears.  And the very thought of them can send us hiding under the bed.  What’s your greatest fear?  Public speaking, heights, ocean waves, or confrontation?

How do you handle you fears?  Avoidance, denial or perhaps stepping outside your comfort zone clothed in God’s confidence.  Wow, I wish that was the way I always responded when my fear buttons were pushed, but I don’t.  My normal go to line is “let someone else do it.”

Sound familiar?  Problem is when we don’t face our fears, they continue to dominate us and rob us of the joy of fully trusting God.   Spiritual growth is stunted when we don’t exercise our faith in God  – leaning into His ability to empower us despite our weaknesses.  Staying safe positions us to look back in regret wondering what would have happened if we had only trusted God.

Amazing thing about our God is that He doesn’t take “no” lightly.  He continues to offer us chance after chance to step out on the waters with Him.  Why? Releasing and overcoming our fears demonstrate our dependence on Him.  Our faith walk hinges on “yes” moments when we choose to cling to God rather than our fears.

Faced with an overwhelming fear, I chose to allow emotions to camouflage the very character of my God.   I kept moving forward with my abilities, until they ran out.  God gently picked me up and reminded me He was all about the details.  He played the memory tape showcasing how He had orchestrated every detail ahead of me.  My fears were false when measured up against the truth of who my God is – the One who goes before us, beside us and behind us – He is faithful and true!

“Father, help us to lay our fears down and trust confidently in You.”

 

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 29, 2016

Resisting Sick

apr 29“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” Matthew 4:23 (ESV)

We can definitely deny some things in life, but no one can persist in resisting sick.  Have you ever been there when you kept pushing and pushing yourself despite what your body was screaming?  Not a pretty fight is it?  Despite our chills, fever and aches; we’re still doing it all.  Stretching the limit until the string finally breaks.  Exhausted, our denial fades and we finally accept what we tried so hard to resist.  We are sick and in need of some meds and bed rest.

Wonder what propels us to deny the symptoms and excuse the obvious?  Admitting weak and seeking help doesn’t make us lesser than – it makes us smarter than.  Facing sick positions us for living well and isn’t limited to the physical.

How many times have we been spiritually sick yet our lips resound with “I’m doing just fine?”  Too many times for this Bible study girl to count.  Everyone else could see the visible results and yet we kept pressing on as if no one else knew.  You can’t hide soul sick for long before it starts to unveil itself in the most unlikely ways and places.  Attitudes, choices, words – you get the picture. Sick is sick and in order to heal, we have to face the truth. We are sick and in need of our Healer.

Love these words in Matthew that tell us that Jesus healed every disease and sickness.  He didn’t make a list of those who had earned wellness. He didn’t pick and choose who deserved relief.  Jesus simply went proclaiming the good news and healing was part of the package deal.  Note to Self:  Jesus hasn’t changed.  He’s still the proclaimer of truth.  We are never too sick or too wounded that Jesus can’t transform our “just fine” into “totally awesome.”

So let’s admit sick. Let’s stop running towards the life that doesn’t serve us well.  Let’s run into the arms of Jesus – the One who heals all our diseases.

“Sweet Jesus, we so need your healing touch in our lives – gives us the courage to seek soul wellness that is found only in You.”

 

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 28, 2016

Hope Through New Life

apr 28 “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”  Psalm 127:3 (NIV)

My youngest son Lukas and his wife Jesie are expecting their first baby in May. They are all excited about the little bundle of testosterone that is about to arrive and are making the necessary changes in their home in order to be well prepared. Having a baby takes adjustment, as we prepare our homes, lives, and our schedules to be baby-ready; however, birthing a child also instills in us a sense of hope like no other. We hope that somehow, our child’s life will be better than our own and that he or she won’t have the same troubles

There was a very young woman once, who lived in a land far away, also trying to adjust herself and her life to the fact she was expecting a baby.  She had to deal with some issues the average mother does not have to face. First, this young woman was pregnant without ever having been with a man, as she had been chosen to be the mother of the God-child, Jesus, the Son of God. Second, she belonged to a society that did not accept pregnancy before marriage. Third, she and her fiancé had to flee their land in order to not have their first-born killed by a mean king. And lastly, no one wanted to make room for the couple as the young woman was starting labor. She ended up delivering her firstborn child in a stable. Wow! A stable! No beautiful nursery, no crib, no nice blankets, and no toys. Nothing. Yet, that baby was the Savior of the world, the One who brought us hope of eternity in heaven with the Father. The young parents rejoiced in the hope that child brought to them instead of getting themselves beaten down because of their circumstances. After all, a stable is no place for a first-time mother to deliver her child.

Life isn’t always about splendor, or pomp and circumstance. It’s not about showing what one has or lacks, either. It’s about redemption. It’s about deliverance. It’s about using what God has given to us, to bring others hope. It’s about new birth. It’s about the baby.

“Lord, thank You for entrusting us with the gift of motherhood. Thank You for showing us through Jesus as a baby, that there is always hope for mankind.”

 

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 27, 2016

Exactly What We Need

apr 27“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

 

One time in college, I was at the mall having a very relaxing day. I went out to my car and when I tried to start it there was no sound, no creak, nothing! I just knew I had done something wrong, and once I turned the key again it would start right up! So I turned the key one more time and  again nothing.   So, I walked back in the mall to call someone. (Yes, this was before cell phones and YES, I’m THAT old!) I tried everyone on campus I could think of and I was feeling rather defeated, so I called my Dad. My Dad is the one I always turn to when I have problems, especially with cars. When I told my Dad the problem, he calmly said, “Melissa, I’m eight hours away, what can I do?” I didn’t know; I just knew I needed my dad to tell me what to do.

Psalms 34 is one of those passages I go to when I need God to tell me what to do. I often find myself on my knees talking to God and asking Him to show me the next step. I never have trouble with verse 6, “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles.” Isn’t that glorious? I can call on the Lord and He will answer and meet the need. If you have been going through a difficult period in your life, crushed by some unkind deed, or if you have lost a loved one and are feeling the pangs of loneliness, remember the psalmist’s words, “the Lord is close to the broken hearted” (Psalm 34:18).

“Lord, thank you for always being there for me, when I have no one else.  I am so glad that I have you to lean on for all those answers that I’m searching for.”

 

For His Glory

Melissa Tucker
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 26, 2016

The God of Angel Armies Is By Your Side

apr 26“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”  Psalm 91:11 (NIV)

When I was in third grade, there was a girl in my class who intimidated everyone, but especially me. Though she was just months older than me, that girl was a lot bigger and stronger than me.  Most boys in our class would not mess with her, because she could strike all of them together like bowling pins.

For some reason which, to this day, I cannot figure out, that girl simply didn’t like me. She picked on my clothes, shoes, lunch box and even my name. She followed me around the school yard as if I was a prey and she was a watch dog sent to attack, but not before I did something that she could excuse her behavior by hurting me. I dreaded going to school because of her. In today’s lingo, that girl was a bully, and that bully gave me a very hard time in third grade. Whenever the school bell rang, I’d run for my life, finding the quickest way home before she got to me.

One day, as I was getting ready to leave for home, my worst nightmare started to unfold, as my foe was walking towards me with two other soldiers from her army of bullies. I don’t know where I learned to run so fast, but I did. I ran like Forrest Gump when the football stadium told him to run. And I ran to my Daddy’s office because I decided I would no longer be afraid of going to school or to be myself around my friends just because someone in my class had decided to make my life miserable.  I told Daddy everything I had been dealing with at school, and he nipped the problem in the bud by speaking with the school leadership, who ended my agony by contacting that girl’s parents.

Are you facing some bullies of your own? Is Satan using his army against you? Are you afraid to live life to its fullest because you have been brought down too much, too often? Go to God. He is your Father, your Abba, your Daddy. He cares. And He will send His army of angels to rescue you.

 

“Father God, You are our refuge and strength. We are always safe in You.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 25, 2016

Caught Up In A Higher Love

apr 25“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”  John 15:9 (ESV)

I’ve done a lot of things in my lifetime for the sake of “hopeful” love.  Watched endless hours of sports.  Baked special treats.  Helped with projects.  Sacrificed time with other friends. Were all my actions the best choice?  Sometimes they were and sometimes they were not. Some served me well and others led to regret. “Hopeful” love is exactly what it implies – the hope of – but not the guarantee of love.

Want the real thing – then lean into God’s amazing love.  It’s never hopeful wishing – it is real.  We don’t have to impress Him with our culinary skills. We don’t have to serve Him in order to receive His love.  We don’t have to be perfect, beautiful or rich to benefit from His love.  God’s love has been demonstrated to us regardless of our desire to believe.  He is fully aware of all our quirks, annoyances and tendencies.  He knows our fleeting emotions and superficial love, yet God still gave His Son for us.  The Psalmist gets it so right – how deep and wide is His love it reaches to the heavens – higher than we can even see.

Wonder how many things we have done because of God’s great love for us?  Note to self:  Janet, don’t dismiss this question with a quick answer – let it settle deep.   We love many things.  We love lots of chocolate, pretty shoes, sunny beaches, purses, spa days, etc.  So many things in this world distract our understanding of real love.  We get so caught up in our own world and often lose sight of God’s great love for us.

Shouldn’t His love propel us to deeply love Him?  Wouldn’t the very thought of His sacrifice compel us to relinquish pretense and demonstrate our love for Him?

Want to get swept away by a higher love?  Then cherish God’s words – He loved the Son – the Son has loved us  – don’t miss a chance to draw near, linger long and be captivated by God’s amazing love.

 

“Father, You have loved us even when we were unloveable.  Your  invitation still stands – Come abide with Me.”

 

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 22, 2016

What Mess?

apr 22“So then, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  Ephesians 5:17 (NAS)

One day, my four year old son took the liberty of digging out a few movies.  When I came into the room, I howled, “Aidan! Look at all these DVD’s, what a mess!”  He surveyed the damage, and then quipped: “But Mom, it’s not a mess—it’s a STRAIGHT line!”   To my surprise, he was right.  The DVD’s were all lined up in a perfect row.    I had viewed his labor as an irritation, whereas he was proud of his work.  All I needed was a little adjustment on my perspective.

I wonder sometimes if we aren’t that way with God.  When things are “out of line” in our lives, it’s easy to feel like we can’t possibly be in the center of His will.  But being in God’s will doesn’t mean that life will be perfect—God often uses those rocky roads as a way to draw us closer to Him.

We will have trials and tribulations in this life, there’s no doubt about it.  But when they happen, what are we going to do, gripe —or ask God for a new perspective?   That “mess” in our lives is not really a mess!   It’s a straight line that leads right to the Kingdom of Heaven.   And sometimes understanding the will of the Lord is as simple as just submitting to His sovereignty when the road of life gets rough and wearisome.

 “Lord, please help us all to see our muddled lives as a straight path into Your perfect will.”

For His Glory

Ruby Sand
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 21, 2016

Following After Him

apr 21“I am the good shepherd…” John 10:11 (NLT)

On a trip of a lifetime to Israel while walking down a country dirt road outside of town, she stopped to observe three shepherds tending their sheep in a field. Curious she sat on the side of the dirt road watching as the shepherds exchanged pleasantries then stopped to converse for several minutes. While the men were talking, she noticed the sheep converged and intermingled into one big herd.

Wondering how the shepherds and the sheep would recognize what sheep goes with what shepherd, this lady, a believer in Jesus recalls John 10:27 “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” She thinks just maybe she will see this Bible verse lived out literally right in front of her eyes. Fascinated, she waits and after a few minutes of conversation the shepherds say their goodbyes. Then the shepherds call out in their distinct voices and in a mesmerizing sight the sheep start bleating separating into three herds and follow behind “their” shepherd.

You may have been abandoned by someone important in your life. Someone who turned their back on you and you have asked the question…why? The good Shepherd wants to be that person you can have a close, intimate relationship with. He wants to be the One to pick-up His little lamb that feels rejected and raise you as His own. Filling any emptiness and voids with love and nurturing. The trustworthy Shepherd whose voice will lead you down paths of righteousness will never lead you astray or make you wander. He cares and provides…protects and guards His sheep as only a good Shepherd would.

The Shepherd’s voice is unique in communicating with His sheep. When you hear His still, small voice whispering love languages of the heart, you can be confident in following after Him.

“Father, thank You that Your voice is unmistakable and trustworthy to follow leading us to green pastures.”

For His Glory

Kim Lacey Schock
TRBC Women’s Life
www.KimLaceySchock.com

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 20, 2016

Clean Slates

apr 20“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22 (ESV)

I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy. Chalk it up to the promise of Spring and cold weather keeping me inside.  Just love the feeling of everything being in its right place which hardly ever happens for this working girl.  My pantry never looked better after hours of cleaning, organizing, and yes, throwing some things away.

Note to self:  Clean not only feels awesome it’s inspiring.  My list keeps growing..maybe I’ll even tackle the garage.

Know what I love more than the obvious “Spring cleaning?”  Every morning, I get up and start my day with a fresh clean slate.  No mistakes, no failures, no regrets……God grants me a new beginning, a new chance to obey Him.  An opportunity to run after holiness.  A launching pad for the day where His mercies cover me before I even leave my house. A sparkling white that enables me to shine for Him.

I’m quick to remind you don’t paint a picture of me as saint – it doesn’t take long into my day before an attitude resurfaces, a negative thought occupies my mind or a reaction runs out of control.  Amazing how quickly our best intentions go wrong.  Sad how fast we forget His words we read or the prayers we offered. Despite my mess-ups, I still love that morning clean.  Relying on God’s strength, submitting to His guidance and reflecting His righteousness.  It might be short-lived but nothing feels better.

Wonder what would happen if we extended that clean slate to someone else?  How would they feel knowing the past wasn’t looming over their future?  I have a feeling that offering a fresh start just might be the motivation and inspiration they so desperately need too. Let’s all drink deep of His grace in those moments when our dark covers white  – accepting His clean slate.

“Father, we fail You often – we miss the mark and yet, You lovingly restore and cleanse us.  Great is Your faithfulness every morning.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 19, 2016

Paying It Forward

apr 19“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

 

As I opened the small envelope and began to read the handwritten message, I could not contain my satisfaction or withhold my smile. It was a note from someone who had taken a few minutes of her time to write a note to thank me for the attention and kindness I’d shown her. The random act of kindness yielded in me a desire to pick up a ‘thank-you’ card and write that individual back, which would defeat her purpose in thanking me in the first place, as I would be thanking her for thanking me.

 

Almost instantly, I thought, well then, ‘pay it forward.’ If you have not heard this expression before, it basically means that when someone does something nice for you, and you are not able – for one reason or another – to repay the favor to that individual, you find someone else who could use some kindness and you do something nice for her.

 

So, long story short, I grabbed a couple cards and I sat down and jotted notes to two friends I’d not seen in a while, basically thanking them for being in my life and for being my friends. I placed stamps on both envelopes, took the envelopes to my mailbox, raised the little red flag, and voilà, kindness, thoughtfulness, TLC, whatever one may wish to call it, was on its way to those two people. Now, let me share with you something I do which some people really get a kick out of: I place confetti in my mail! Yes, multi-colored, fun shaped (musical notes, stars, hearts, angels, etc.) confetti! If I am going to brighten someone else’s day, I want to add that extra little sparkle.

 

‘Paying forward’ requires NO previous niceness from the recipient, just a willing heart on the giver’s part.

 

“Lord, You always bless us with more than we need. Help us to pay Your generosity forward, Lord.”

 

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

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