Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | August 3, 2015

Tough Truths

cb devo aug3“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Ephesians 4:25 (NIV)

Never been a fan of tart or sour, but I can definitely indulge in some awesome sweetness. My little cup of frozen Sweet Frog goodness is totally hidden by all those yummy toppings. Wonder what happened to my nonfat, sugar free frozen yogurt? Bet it’s covered up with Oreos, heath bar crunches and caramel syrup. See what I mean? I’m addicted to sweetness. Too much sweet, however, never serves us well. No matter how much we love it and desire it – our health can be totally compromised if we over indulge.

Ever sugar coated words of wisdom? We really knew what we needed to say. We’d earned a place in their heart to say tough truths. We loved them so much……yet the truth seemed hard and harsh. So we choose to ease over what we knew God was telling us to convey. We dismissed His promptings and open doors and overlooked a divine appointment.

Too much sweetness when we really need tough accountability will sabotage our spiritual growth. And the truth about our lives, even when spoken in love, is hard to take. But if no one takes a bold stand and says what we really need to hear then we might end up tasting the bitterness sin births.

Godly accountability strives to draw us to His truth – not popular opinion or their opinion. And that dear one that stands in the gap praying, confronting and speaking truth into our life truly glorifies the Father. Tough? You better believe it. Worth it? A thousand times! Never met one who was saved from the brink of their own disastrous choices who didn’t praise Jesus for the friend who chose to exchange sweetness for godly obedience.

“Father, speaking truth into difficult situations can be overwhelming, yet we know You will empower us with the right words to say at the right time.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 31, 2015

Glorifying God

cb devo July 31“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3 (NIV)

Home Economics was never my favorite class. In fact, I actually only made it through one semester. For some reason, cooking and sewing were foreign to me in my high school years. Maybe it had to do with the fact that my Mom rarely shared her kitchen. Regardless, I have grown to love cooking, but sewing is still on the back burner. I don’t even like the thought of sewing on a button, and I could never hem a pair of pants. Just the thought of a needle and thread sends me running in the opposite direction. Yet I would be the first to admit, I admire people who pick out fabric, a pattern and create something beautiful.

Amazing how God does the same thing. Created in His image, God picked us out and patterned our lives to convey the beauty of His glory. Like a single thread, He desires to weave all of our actions, words and thoughts into a tapestry of His glory that is beyond our imagination. We might look rough and messy on the flipside, but the One knitting our lives together will shine through for all the world to see. When we yield ourselves to the pattern of His love, our Designer label will draw others to admire His handiwork.

“Father, we magnify Your name, we praise the works of Your hands and we stand in awe of Your creativity. You alone are to be praised; use our lives to show the world how beautiful You truly are!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 30, 2015

From Spectators to Doers

cb devo july 30“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)

Just as a body has many parts and all the parts work together for the benefit of the whole, the family of God is spurred to encourage and build up one another, so the family lives in harmony.

In an old episode of The Waltons, John Boy (John Walton, Junior) was faced with an emotional crisis. He witnessed a historic disaster; the explosion of the German airship LZ 129 Hindenburg. It was a hard structure aircraft carrying 97 passengers, and as it was preparing to land at the Naval Air Station Lakehurst, near New Jersey in 1937 it exploded. John Boy was an aspiring journalist from a very small town. The fact that he witnessed the catastrophe and would write about it for newspapers around the area turned John Boy into a hometown hero. Everyone was singing his praises for having been present at such a horrid event.
What the townspeople did not know, however, was that John Boy wasn’t excited about what he had seen or experienced. On the contrary, he was tormented by visions of what had taken place, especially one female passenger who was severely burned by the oil from the aircraft. She exited the wreckage in flames screaming at him for help. John Boy did not want to make a name for himself by putting into the written word the chaos and panic that took place in New Jersey on that day.

Sometimes we are numbed to other people’s pain and suffering. Instead of extending a hand and helping, we watch as people get hurt and killed as if that were supposed to be the norm. We really should stop to consider that the same tragedy could happen to someone close to us. A good Samaritan once taught us a lesson of kindness. What did he do? He saw the need, and he reached out to save the life of a man he never once met before. We can, too!

“Father, remind us to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”
For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 29, 2015

One Missing Step….

cb devo july 29“…..there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10b (NIV)

Ever tried a new recipe and it just didn’t quite turn out? Happened to me last week right in the midst of making something I thought would be delish and healthy. Chocolate is my one true food of choice. I would skip steak, chicken, pasta – all for the devouring of a great chocolate dessert. So when a friend shared her Black Bean Brownie recipe, I couldn’t wait to make them myself.

Now, I have to admit my enthusiasm changed once I took that first batch out of the oven. You see, I skimmed through that recipe really fast as I blended all my ingredients together. Looked so dark and yummy, I poured them in the pan and waited anticipating my first bite. The smell was amazing when I opened the oven, and they looked absolutely perfect. But when I tried to cut them later, my brownies were more like a chocolate shake. Read back over my recipe carefully – yes I had used all the ingredients, yes I baked them at exactly the correct temperature. But I failed to do the most important step – drain the black beans before putting them in the food processor – now that explained a lot.

Amazing the difference one step can make from slightly imperfect to sweet perfection. Found it so true when my heart speaks confession yet leaves off true repentance. A simple turning away from sin and turning toward God. Caught up in the aftermath of our sinfulness, we long for relief of guilt and consequences. Admitting to God our wrongs and then unfortunately slipping right back to the same sin – leaving off the turning away.

Quick is our take these days. The faster we can put something behind us, the better we feel. Repentance, however, isn’t about a feeling it’s a determined mind to obey God’s word. It’s a deep abiding reverence for following His instructions and not leaving off even one step.

“Father, so thankful for Your grace that covers me and Your strength that empowers me to rise above my weaknesses. Even in my imperfections, You come and find me – leading me back to truth.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 28, 2015

Fruitful

cb devo july 28“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” John 15:16 (NIV)

When I arrived at the home of my friends, the husband was replacing the mulch on their flower beds. The wife was hard at work in her vegetable garden, harvesting all the goodies that they had planted earlier in the season. I observed how they diligently worked the soil and trimmed leaves and vines with the artistry and expertise of knowing how to get the best from their plants.

I was amused at my friends’ dedication to their plants and was amazed at how those plants responded by yielding so much fruit. Within minutes of my arrival, my friends went inside their home to fix dinner for us. Along with them was a basket full of tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, parsley and chives. The table was plentiful with the fruit of their garden.

Amazing how the fertile ground can yield so many good things that feed us and help us stay healthy. Nevertheless, someone must take the time to prepare the soil, plant the seeds and take care of the new plants so that weeds and critters won’t destroy them. The garden’s caretaker must devote many hours nurturing his or her project in order to see the harvest.

As Christians, we are like those gardeners. We must carefully prepare the soil in someone else’s heart in order to plant the seed of salvation. If we treat people kindly and show them the love of God, they will be more receptive to what we share. If we do not take the time to nurture them and show that we really care, they probably will not listen and may not be open to receive what we share. Likewise, a new believer is like a baby that must be cared for 24/7 by its mother. With the proper care and spiritual feeding, the new Christian will grow spiritually and be aflame for God and bear much fruit, also sowing seeds for the kingdom.

“Lord, please help us to be fertile soil and yield good fruit for Your kingdom.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 27, 2015

Joy Ever After

cb devo July 27“Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place.” I Chronicles 16:27 (HCSB)

Got a fav thing you love to do in the summer? Mine is soaking up some rays of sunshine, sipping a refreshing Diet Coke and grabbing a great read. All in that order. It’s my chill time on Saturday that refuels me for the week ahead. And yes, I still flip through the pages of a real book – there’s just something about it that I will always love – the tangible story unfolding right before my eyes.

So what makes a great read? Interesting characters, mysterious or challenging circumstances and the perfect ending. But sometimes real life plays out and the happily ever after doesn’t quite happen. We keep hoping and waiting. We read faster and faster anticipating the story line will change any moment so we can have our perfect ending. And at the most pivotal point, we realize the writer has something totally different in mind. Real life can definitely unfold contrary to what we expected, planned or envisioned. Sometimes life surprises us with the sweetest blessings we never imagined possible. Sometimes life invites us to read between the hardships and trials to uncover the lessons buried deep. And yes sometimes our conceived Happily Ever After meets head on with a chapter we never wanted to write or read.

Regardless of the story unfolding in our lives, we can count on God’s Joy Ever After. Happy is never a permanent position, but Joy is a forever place. Because living within the soul of each of His children is a Spirit of Joy just waiting to sprout. Unlike the temporal emotion of happy, joy is a fruit that flourishes despite our circumstances. Why? Simple truth – joy is unshakeable confidence that God is in control, God is still good and God is always present. Isn’t that really all that we need? To trust completely in the One who gave us life to orchestrate every moment of our days – now that’s Joy Ever After. “Sweet Jesus, come and fill us with Your unspeakable joy!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin

TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 24, 2015

Inspiring Sisters

cb devo july 24“When his (Joseph’s) brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” Genesis 37:4 (NIV)

A simple compliment. A string of praise. All innocent accolades of appreciation. But what happens when we make one person the target of our praise? How do others feel when we overlook their contributions or ignore their positive qualities?

A trip back to Egypt would quickly reveal the twist and turns within a family overshadowed by favoritism. Jacob loved his son, Joseph, more than any of his other eleven children. Unfortunately, the reality of this father’s affection was totally visible to his entire family. Unkind words, hatred and jealousy spiraled out of control as these brothers saw the special way their father treated Joseph. And if you read the rest of the story, you will find Joseph deep in a pit at the mercy of his siblings. Sold into slavery and separated from his family for years, I’m sure Joseph would have traded all those favors for a lifetime with those he loved.

So what’s our take away? Words of praise and compliments encourage us. Affirmation stirs us to exercise those gifts God has given us. As spiritually mature Christians, we should find great joy in other’s success and express our appreciation freely. But when we get unbalanced in giving praise and choose to show favor to one while excluding others, we fail to foster a climate of growth, unity and love that God desires. As a wise farmer fertilizes his entire crop so it will yield a fruitful harvest, we too should spread our praise so no one is tempted to be stunted by roots of bitterness or jealousy.

“Father, our words and actions have the power to inspire, encourage and uplift others. May we intentionally touch the hearts of everyone you bring into our path.”

For His Glory
Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 23, 2015

Encouraging Words

cb devo july 23“Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.” 2 Samuel 11:25 (KJV)

Ever went thru a trial and just in the moment you felt alone, you receive a card in the mail or have a friend call with a word of hope for you? Encouragement – everyone needs a little encouragement. Why not take time today to look around your circle of friends, family, and coworkers – maybe there is someone who is hurting and just needs a little note of encouragement, a text or a phone call. What if everyone stopped and thought about those around them? Being sensitive to others needs in the midst of our crazy busy lives means we have to stop make that one phone call, send a text or write that one little note. We need to take the time to listen when God whispers and places someone on our hearts and obey His call of encouragement. Saying we will do it later only leads to disobedience and forgetting. God uses us as His vessel to reach others – how many times have we thought about a person and later let it go? Take that moment and stop long enough today to think about who you can encourage. Pick up the pen or the phone, reach out and give that blessing.

“Father, thank you for sending others to encourage me in times of trials. Help me to be sensitive to your whispers to encourage others.”

For His Glory,

Debbie Struble
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 22, 2015

Through God’s Eyes

cb devo july 22“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:” Proverbs 24:32 (NIV)

Being impatient and tapping your nails or huffing and puffing doesn’t speed up things when stuck in a long line. Recently, I went to the post office and there was one person at the counter. I only needed one stamp and a stamped envelope. There were a couple of people ahead of me with packages, so I settled in to wait. By the time my turn was close a pretty long line had formed behind me and a couple of the people were not so patient. Including one who kept tapping her nails on the counter. If she had been observant she would have noticed:

There was only one worker, and he had a lot going on. The couple with several boxes in front of me was actually mailing care packages to military personnel. And one of the boxes they didn’t have to mail because it belonged to a relative of the postal worker; the military person had just come home.

By being observant, I was extra nice to the postal worker and went out of my way to make him smile. I also made sure I thanked him and wished him a good day. I was able to see blessings in action while enduring a wait for a simple stamp. How many blessings have we missed by being impatient? Has being impatient ever helped a situation move faster? The next time we are in line, let’s determine to show God’s kindness to others rather than become frustrated.

“Dear God, Help us to take things as they come. Whether it’s fast or slow. Everything is in Your timing and Your will. Open our eyes to people and situations around us so we may bless others.”

For His Glory

Katrina Redman
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 21, 2015

Breaking Away Stiffness

cb devo july 21“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

I was out the door by 5:30 am, because at 6:00 am I needed to be ready to start working with my physical therapist at a clinic. The next two hours were tough. I worked hard to make my ankle and foot do some things it hadn’t done in almost a year. Each time I learned a new exercise, repetitions helped my body to remember the moves. According to the physical therapist, the tendons and ligaments needed to be reminded about the part they play in making my ankle and foot work together. At times, when I had weights placed on my foot before doing the exercise, it would get hard to move, but I could not quit. I had to keep doing it so that my foot would remember that it could do those motions and the stiffness would break away.

A similar exercise we must do repetitiously is helping our heart to forgive. When the pain of the wrong done to us hurts so badly, we don’t want to set those who wronged us free. Jesus’ answer to Peter shows us that we must keep on forgiving until we are free from the pain of the hurt. If my math is right, the number of times we should forgive is 490 times. Wow! With as much exercise as that on our heart muscle, the heart will be likely to soften up, wouldn’t you agree?

Practicing forgiveness can make pain and hurt dissipate and helps us look at others through the eyes of Jesus. If we look at forgiveness as a two-way street where we need it just as much as we give it, then there is a likelihood that more people around us will be healthy and happy because the stiffness of grudges will melt with our actions.

“Thank You, Jesus, for giving us the recipe for health and strength.”

For His Glory,

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 521 other followers