Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 21, 2018

And We Thought It Was Spring…

“Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.” I Kings 17:24 (NIV)

Woke the other morning to the sweet sound of robins and my soul is thirsty for warm. It’s the moment I live for – the exit of Winter and the birthing of sunshine. And just when we thought it was Spring, snow blanketed my green grass. Covered up my sweet buttercups peeking out from underneath cold. Coats, scarves, gloves and boots revisited just when I was ready to pack them up. Shouldn’t catch me unaware, surprised and just plain disappointed – this seesawing between Winter and Spring. The birthing of one and reluctance to exit of other just plain happens.

Been there myself when I could taste joy, happy, victory…..the end of a long Winter of my soul. Exhilaration coursing through my veins. Newness greeting me. Relief kissing me. And just when I thought the story I deserved, earned and scripted was within reach, I witnessed the emptying of me back to cold.

Scripture unfolds the riveting chapter in the life of the widow of Zarephath. Desperate dictated her path. No rain. Little food. A child to feed. Ready to fix their last meal, she meets Elijah. He comes wanting bread and water. Quite challenging for one whose cupboards are bare. She shares from her empty, follows Elijah’s instructions and watches in amazement as God multiplies. Life was good – the perfect ending…..until Winter moved in and crashed her Spring. The widow’s son becomes ill and the breath of life leaves his lungs. Overwhelmed with grief, she confronts Elijah; this wasn’t the way the story was supposed to end. Elijah does the only thing he knows to do. He prays. He begs and then God restores; the boy is brought back to life.

In those moments when reality clouds our view, we get to choose. Zero in on self or trust God’s plan. Have to admit my gut response is to sink into the depths of me. And the very thought of sharing my empty doesn’t even appeal to me. But, this widow trusted a stranger and witnessed God’s provision. And when her world fell apart again…God showed up.

No matter what chapter is unfolding in our lives, we can trust God to meet us in the midst of the most devastating circumstances. His presence, His power and our obedience is the winning combination to rise above the Winters of our soul; the perfect ending that showcases His power and glory.

“Father, You are fully aware of every thing that touches our lives. Help us to trust You even in the cold.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 20, 2018

From Strength To Weakness

“God arms me with strength, and He makes my way perfect.” (Psalms 18:32 NLT)

Why would you want to be that? Why would you want to be strong? My, how the Lord had changed my perspective. I remember struggling over the very same issue. Moments of weakness that I wanted to run from drove a need to set aside weak and pick up strong. If only I could.

Barely a teenager, as one parent left and then the other, a teacher declared that one day I would be so strong. I equated that to work, and work I did. Picked up talents that I admired that were never mine to perfect. Studied for career heights that I couldn’t quite grasp. Thought travel, money and title would bring contentment; that didn’t. And with a mess I called my life, behind the façade of strength and accomplishment were disappointment and struggle. Slowly, my empire would tumble. And in the rubble of lost hopes, dreams and plans was my God.

My Bible teaches that God is strong: He is strength in times of trouble; all things are possible; God is the saving refuge of His anointed; vindication is in His strength. As I ran to Him in heart and attitude, I was markedly aware of my weakness. And in time, realized that my weakness was good. Good because it allowed Him to be strong. I was able to set aside my need for strength and rely on His abundant ability to be strength for me. And in His strength was the protection, peace and purpose which was the very place I had longed and searched for so long.

Now, this middle-aged woman sat before me detailing the events of a hard life of lack. She had lost much and found such pride in her strength. But, why would you want to be strong? I knew better. I knew the struggle. I knew the loss. But, I also knew that I am weak. My only strength that is lasting, sure and worthy of mention is the strength of my Creator who knew all about me and still chose to love; love to the point of death. As the world thrust its weaknesses on Him, He chose strength that would last into eternity and be indestructible.

“Father, may I be weak knowing that You are strong. May I let a lost and dying world know the One whose strength is the only answer to sin and selfishness.”

For His Glory

Kathryn Hayman
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 19, 2018

Removing The Blinders

“Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23-24 (NIV)

Don’t know if you are like me or not but my inbox is always filled with junk. Used to be my mailbox that overflowed with countless things I didn’t desire to open. Now it saturates my email like a pesky weed that keeps coming back. Solution – instead of deleting move the junk to Spam and it will block unwanted stuff out of view.

Wouldn’t it be great if all the junk we wish we didn’t do, didn’t want to say or desperately tried to not think totally disappeared? Out of sight – out of mind. Unfortunately our junk keeps creeping back in ever so quickly despite our efforts to dismiss them.

Like pesky weeds that multiple, our unwanted junk needs to be yanked out at the root. Takes a lot of work to dig deep and uncover those things that trigger the negatives. Takes a consistent persistence to seek out why we do the things we do, why we say the things we say and why we allow our thoughts to swirl out of control. One thing is for certain ignoring the junk will not eliminate the junk.

So sweet friends let’s lean in close to God’s words. Let’s ask Him to reveal what is lurking underneath the pretense of actions, thoughts and words. Let’s allow Him to remove the blinders and desire truth even if it slays us. Let’s lay down the excuses and face any past experiences that may be setting us on the defensive. And when those weeds don’t let go easily, courageously seek input and help from trusted friends. Don’t miss the opportunity to block unwanted stuff out of our likes. Trust in God’s truths and cling to His power.

Transformation never looked better – a flourishing garden full of the aroma of God’s beauty birthed in those who chose to yank out what chokes out Gods’ best. A sweet fragrance that draws others in to glimpse God’s amazing work in us. A glorious unfolding of what God desires for all His children.

“Father we react, respond and often resolve to hang on to things that don’t serve us well or represent You best. Show us what needs to be changed and then strengthen us to do the hard work that leads to honoring You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 16, 2018

Everlasting Peace

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17 (NIV)

Life often revolves around drama: yours and mine. Good drama the kind that inspires, uplifts and embraces life fully is amazing. Sweet stories of restoration, victories won and goals achieved.

Unfortunately, we often get lost encircling those things that seek to overpower our lives – drama that stifles. Seeds of gossip, judgement, anger, selfishness and restlessness grows into weeds that entangle us suffocating our peace.

So what’s a girl to do when reality checks in and reveals our thrill of drama has stolen our joy, destroyed our fruit and produced a hearty crop of discontentment? How about a fresh cultivating of our hearts and minds poured out before the Master Gardener? God is our Peacemaker and when we exchange our drama for sweet surrender, we will flourish.

As women, God knows our hearts are full of emotion and feelings. He wired us that way, but He never intended for us to let those emotions overpower us or to allow us to get caught up in someone else’s emotional nightmare. Bringing the unsettling areas of our lives before Him, we gain wisdom and sincerity rather than feed an unhealthy diet of strife. By safe guarding our minds and hearts, God will produce an abundant crop of trust, faith and hope that rises above any drama – now that’s something to talk about!

“Father, how sweet to truly place our lives into Your hands knowing that You alone can supply all that we need.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 15, 2018

His Power Is Greater Than Fear

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel.” Numbers 13:1-2a (NIV)

Ever been afraid to take action and then realized that it was an easy task and you had no reason to fear? The Israelites did just that when Moses was commanded by God to send ten spies into Canaan to explore the Promised Land. Despite seeing all the land produced and offered, eight of the spies were fixed on one thing: the people who lived in that land were people of great stature, or “giants.” It didn’t matter that the land was fertile, flowed with milk and honey. It didn’t matter that the fruit of the land was very large and sweet. Overcome by the fear of being crushed by inhabitants of the land, they were blinded to God’s promises.

Several years ago, I sat on my kitchen floor and laughed until my belly hurt. Why? Because, I was just like those men, but the giant I feared was my big Whirlpool refrigerator. I never guessed I could move it on my own, so I would find cleaning tools that enabled me to clean underneath and beside it. I was always frustrated until I decided I would hug that fridge and pull it out of its place. I would not be intimidated any longer! As I began to pull it towards me, it came gliding like a giant swan. I almost used too much force to move it. I had no reason to fear or get frustrated, because that refrigerator wasn’t too heavy.

Sometimes our giants cause us to think we are impotent. Do your troubles seem too hard to overcome? Do your foes seem too powerful to be defeated? Fear not, when God is with you, you are the majority. Trust in Him that He will enable you to come out an overcomer on the other side.

“Dear Jesus, thank You for Your power that enables us to move forward without fear. And if fear comes, please help us to overcome it in Your name.”

For His Glory

Luska Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 14, 2018

Overwhelmed By His Love

“Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (HCSB)

Some of the sweetest gifts are birthed in the midst of our hardest places. Moments when God exceeds our expectations when all hope is gone. Times when He reaches down and unleashes His love in ways we would never imagined. Glimpses of Him that leave us in awe. Surprised, no overcome, by the giving of something more precious than we dared dreamed.

If you ever have one of those moments – capture it, hold it close, treasure it – because God’s provision of what we so need is priceless. Not easily forgotten.

Spent last weekend receiving one of those gifts mingled in with deep sorrow. Our bestie Jane has battled cancer long, hard and courageously. She has fought her battle with grace and faith. We prayed, prayed and begged but out of God’s deep love He was preparing to bring her home.

Our circle of three had no idea how much we would miss our fourth. When we entered her hospice room reality overwhelmed us but a beautiful smile and tears graced Jane’s face. Sending everyone else out of her room, she wanted time with us – a slumber party in the midst of hard. And so we sat through the night (the three of us) surrounding her bed. Rubbing her back, her frail hands and feeding her ice chips. We laughed, we told stories and we listened. Fully aware of who we were. Engaging us in conversation. Jane even tried to leave with us the next morning– the gift of true friendship knows no limits. Within 24 hours, hard would become harder. Jane would be nonresponsive, peacefully sleeping unaware of anyone in the room.

Memories flood my mind now. And yet, the one I love the most is found around that hospice bed. God knew what Jane needed; He knew what we needed and He held nothing back – isn’t that just like Him. Right in the midst of excruciating grief, He showered us all with His presence and His love.

Don’t know what hard places you may be experiencing. Haven’t walked your journey with you. But one thing I do know is that we are never forsaken and never alone. From the moment we breathed our first breath to the transitioning of our lives into His presence, God’s love runs deep. He is aware of every little detail especially the ones we don’t even give voice to. And even in the heart wrenching goodbyes, God whispers – its only for a little while.

“Father, You have given us the sweetest gift – one we will never forget. A treasured connection, we will never forever cherish.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 13, 2018

Disappointment’s Hope

“When He (Jesus) was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.” (Luke 24:30&31a NIV)

Another opportunity to respond to a situation with grace, maturity and acceptance, and I …. crumble. Oh, to anyone looking on, I took the news rather well. Said little, maintained stoic facial composure and continued doing what I had always done. But, inside and alone, hours spent trying to understand the mysterious sting felt. I swore I wouldn’t let this get to me again. And yet, here it is. Present day event that uncovers past tense wounding. The hidden places of my soul that are bruised yet again.

In these moments, I must choose. I can allow the puss to spread and infect my attitude towards other areas. Sidetracked with self, a root of bitterness forms without even trying. In time, walls of isolation develop and anger mounts. Forgiveness not even the slightest consideration. Disappointment appears to win.

How disappointed was Cleopas and his companion? In chapter 24 of Luke we follow the story. Jesus of Nazareth, the one who was to redeem Israel, had been crucified. Sure, these men had heard rumors of angels and a missing body, but without seeing Jesus they didn’t believe He was alive. The miracle in the moment was not seen. Nor did these men recall the Scriptures of promise or the character of their God. Disappointment and unfulfilled expectations flooded their reality.

Then Jesus revealed Himself.

In our moments of disappointment do we allow Jesus to reveal Himself? The Word of God displays the mind of Christ. God’s covenant of love is written on our hearts. The Holy Spirit is close at hand to comfort. I must surrender my self-will to God and trust His sovereignty in all situations. Determined to respond in a way pleasing to Christ, I allow God to hallow the cavity of infection and fill it with the healing power of the Holy Spirit. When disappointment reveals my heart, may it expose my love for an Almighty God who wants only the best for me. And so, I repent for the root of bitterness and replace it with a spirit of trust.

“Father, it is so easy to get caught up in self, in position, in esteem and miss the mark on what really matters. In those moments, thank you for lovingly revealing Yourself, Your Truth and Your Ways.”

For His Glory

Kathryn Hayman
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 12, 2018

When Disobedience Is Our Choice

“Pick me (Jonah) up and through me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Jonah 1:16 (NIV)

Love those moments when we choose to accept God’s truth and obey His truth. Nothing sweeter than the reaping of doing what God asks. When we obey His commands, we walk in the fullness of His abundance: joy, peace, wisdom, strength….the list is endless. Good consequences occur when we heed God’s wisdom.

But if you and are honest – we tend to land in the pit of the not so good consequences. Our human nature often excuses away God’s warnings. It’s a sneaky lie from the enemy that God is withholding what we deserve. Started out in the garden, and the game plan has never changed. We simply overlook, ignore and discredit God’s commands because we want something different.

Ever find yourself there – drowning in the waves of self? I certainly have. Whatever pleasure I gained was short lived. Fun evaporated quickly, and the reaping of those moments definitely were far from sweet. No lasting joy can ever be found in disobedience.

Real problem – we often take others down with us. That’s exactly what happened to Jonah. He’s a prophet on the run that jumps aboard a ship headed in the opposite direction of where God intended him to go. The sailors were in for a scary ride when they allowed Jonah to join them. A violent storm arises out of nowhere. Storms were not new to this crew but they had never seen anything like the one brewing toward them and the runaway prophet.

Right in the midst of his life threatening consequences, Jonah does the brave thing. He admits he’s the one at fault. Reluctantly those impacted by Jonah’s disobedience throw him into the sea and the raging waters calmed.

Our choices affect others far more than we ever realize. Running away from God’s truth will stir up the worst storm. And when we’re the reason others are feeling the assault of our disobedience – be brave and step up to the plate – admit our wrongs and seek God’s forgiveness. Throw those empty excuses aside and humbly accept His grace.

“Father, You never force obedience but You love us too much to leave us on the run. Praising You for bringing storms that bring us to our knees.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 9, 2018

What We’ve Been Hiding Too Long

“Above all maintain an intense love for each other since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8 (HCSB)

Ever find yourself running for cover? It’s kind of how we’ve all felt – like Eve we instinctively know when we have done something wrong. A stirring in our hearts, a sorrow in our soul. Maybe, just maybe we could run and hide. Cover it all up for no one to see. Or better yet, just pretend it never happened. Has that one ever served us well? Pretending is simply denial and denial always rises back up to the surface just when we least expect it.

Hiding isn’t really hiding – we all know that right? We may think we’ve got them fooled, but the people who know us the best usually see right through our ugly places. And if they really, really love us then they ask those hard questions. Takes courage to love like that. Takes boldness to love like that. Takes humility to love like that. Why? Because we’ve all been there. We’ve all fallen short. We’ve all desperately needed washing from head to toe. We’ve all landed outside the boundaries of obedience and attempted to excuse our way back in.

Praising Jesus for those who roped me back in. Thankful for love that propels hard words that softens my dead heart. Grateful for do-overs and grace that covers exposed, forgiven places. Remembering that intense love hanging on the cross covers all our sin – past, present and future.

Ready to stop running? Tired of trying to cover it all up? Pretending getting old and burdensome? Listen intently to the people who love enough, who care enough to not give up. Then gather at the feet of Jesus, confess what He already knows and allow His love to cover the wrongs we’ve been hiding too long.

“Father, Your love runs deep and wide washing over all our sins – our chains are gone we’ve been set free.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 8, 2018

Fearless Living = Godly Confidence

“…but he called out to them, “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” John 6:20 (NLT)

I remember a season of my life, I was scared to leave the boundaries of the small town where I was raised. As long as I was in town or one of the surrounding small towns I was fine. However if I ventured out of my safety zone, I would lay my head on Mama’s lap and cry until we reached our destination. My Mom was baffled the whole trip as to why I was so scared. As I look back, I think about how silly I was, but at the tender age of seven it was real.

How many times has God said, “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” But we are so paralyzed with fright we don’t hear Him. Fear is for real and can be debilitating for some. Fear is the opposite of love and is a successful scare tactic of the devil. The devil is so cunning that he can even invite fear into positive or happy occasions like a promotion or getting married.

Our relationship with Christ should be viewed as the “Daddy” we call on when situations and circumstances have us frightened. A weapon may form against us, but whatever weapon (health, finances, chaos, tragedy, etc.) the devil tries to use to terrify us with – God says, “… it will NOT prosper…” (Isa. 54:17).

Decree today the evil one has no authority or power to scare us! Choose to be and live unafraid because of Jesus. Declare I am never alone for the great I Am lives in me and loves me. So who or what shall I fear? Whenever fear tries to creep its way into our hearts and minds be listening for God’s still, small voice saying, “I am here! “Don’t be afraid.”

“Thank you Father, because of the confidence of who we are in Christ, we can live totally fearless!”

For His Glory
Kim Lacey Schock(
TRBC Women’s Life

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