Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 28, 2017

Filled By His Grace

“Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.” Romans 11:20 (TNIV)

 A friend recently shared that she had been feeling down and unhappy.  She was totally unaware of why she felt the way she did. Gently, God reminded her that she was allowing her family and friends to fill her instead of God. End result, she was drained from the emptiness she had allowed.

I sat back in awe as I too had felt that way many times, as I’m sure many women feel.  Why is it so hard to spend time in the Word, in prayer and let God overflow us?  Why do we tend to let our spouses, children and friends be the center of our lives?  Disobedience on our part is why.  I’m reminded daily  – God is God and I am not!  If I don’t place Him at the center of my morning, day, afternoon and evening, I slip into depression.  I get weak, lonely and feel out of sorts.

Perhaps you’ve felt that way too, but we are never alone on this journey – God is our hope. We need to stand in faith and run to Him for fulfillment.  We need not be arrogant but tremble at His feet as we realize He alone can fill us, overflow us, and give us what those around us are unable to give.  Let’s together fall back down at His feet and fill back up so that we too can overflow with His grace.

“Father, thank You for girlfriends and for life lessons.  Prune us in Your image and overflow us with Your grace and mercy.”

For His Glory,

Debbie Struble
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 27, 2017

Pursuing Freedom Through Christ

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

The speaker at the women’s conference I attended last weekend used “freedom” as her theme. She was a girl after my own heart, as she had analogies for mostly everything she talked about during the retreat, and I was right there with her.

One of the analogies she used really stuck with me. She was talking about how sin enslaves us, humans, and how we need Christ to free us. For that, she used the analogy of a slave who has been in slavery all his life and one day is set free, but does not know how to be free because slavery is all he has known. I sat there, analyzing my own life, and thinking of how hard it was for me to free myself from the burden of guilt I lived with during my marriage, even after my spouse had been gone for some time. I blamed myself for his actions, for deserting me. For years, I was living without his help and emotional support.  Yet, I could not see myself apart from him legally, because I had made a promise to stay married until death set us apart. After several years, however, there came a time when I could no longer live as I was living and I filed for divorce; the divorce he had been wanting for some time. Yet, I was not free. I did not know how to be free, as marriage was the identity that had been embedded in my mind and on my heart for the past 31 years. The struggle tormented me.

 

Just as a slave who must be taught, nurtured with and encouraged to pursue freedom, I, too, had to search for ways to find my own freedom. I prayed continually, and through my church, I enrolled in Freedom Ministries to attend Divorce Care, counseling, and other resources. Faith is a strong weapon. And when faith is coupled with prayer and good church friends for accountability, giving up is not an option. Through faith in Christ, I found my freedom and you can, too.

 

“Lord, thank You for giving us true freedom.”

 

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 26, 2017

Lightening Our Load

“They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.” Ezekiel 34:27b (NIV)

Dragging my suitcase through the hotel lobby, I wondered how I could have packed so much for such a short trip.  Did I really need all this stuff?  Perhaps the real reason was my reluctance to leave some things behind.  Regardless it was quite a load, and when I returned home there were more things to hang back up than what landed in the laundry.  One thing I did learn – heavy baggage has a way of slowing us down and wearing us out.  True in traveling and true in life.

How often do we drag around the heaviness of hurt, pain, unhealthy relationships or self-defeating talk? Reluctant to let go of things that need to be left behind, we gladly carry our “cross” rather than walk in the freedom Christ desires.   Why?   We often find comfort in the familiar wounds of our past.  Holding on tightly, we claim unresolved emotional baggage as our own rather than embracing God’s healing.   Unsure who to trust, what to believe or where to turn, we often end up relying on our track record of just stuff it down and pack deep instead of face it, work through it and let it go.

Wouldn’t we love to lighten our load and unpack stuff we don’t really need to carry?  Maybe it’s time we reach out for help and experience the freedom God desires.   Releasing what we’re clinging to, dragging behind us and weighing us down never felt better.  Recognizing the reality of how our “stuff” has hindered our joy, peace and growth positions us for transformation. Working through is hard work but trusting God with our past always serves us well.

“Father, we waste so much time hiding behind and dragging along those things that hinder the grace filled abundant life.  Help us to embrace the healing transformation found when we surrender our lives to You.”

 

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 25, 2017

Seasons Change

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” – Psalm 52:8

“Though the seasons change, your love remains.”  As the worship band repeated this refrain, God used these words to remind me how He had loved us from one season to the next.   Not just in the good times, but through some really difficult seasons.  Through the fall… when our hopes and dreams fell like leaves from the trees, and were blown away by the wind.  His love remained.  Through the winter…when prayers seemed to go unanswered, and the world felt cold and desolate.  His love remained.  In the spring…when the snow melted and beauty sprang from the ground.  His love remained.  In the summer…when change was inevitable, and we were filled with apprehension.  His love remained.

Slowly, these truths are penetrating my heart…the dreams that died and were blown away by the wind, were never God’s dreams for us.  The time of seemingly unanswered prayers taught us to patiently rest in Him.  Although we couldn’t see what God was doing, He was working behind the scenes. The blessings that bloomed in the spring, were planted by Him even before the cold winter began.  The plans He has for us, although sometimes scary and difficult, are always good. Good plans, wrapped in His love.  His love remains.

When you find yourself in a difficult season, trust His love.  When you can’t see what He is doing, trust that He is at work.  For your good, and His glory.  In every season, know that He loves you…He sees you…and, He has a plan for you.  His love remains.

“Lord, help us to trust in your unfailing love in all good times and hard times.  You are always at work behind the scenes. You promise never to leave us or forsake us.”

 

For His Glory,

Ann Skalaski
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 24, 2017

Facing Our Weakest Link

“By this I know that You are well pleased with me, because my enemy does not triumph over me. “Psalm 41:11 (NKJV)

Regardless of what happens in our day, God is pleased with us if I don’t let the enemy win. So each day, we have to be strategic in doing some preventative planning to extinguish the enemy’s plan. Because he knows we’re trying hard, he is always ready to strike. For each of us that attack occurs in different ways: it may be caving into fear, neglecting the Word, excusing His voice, resisting His will, depression, worry,  sabotaging His agenda, etc. Unfortunately, we usually know what our weakest link is – but we often feel like we can handle it – that’s where we always go wrong.

Anytime we feel we can handle the enemy, we are headed for sure defeat. Only when we seek God’s help, cling to His words and breathe prayers in His direction do we really win. We can plan all we want, but our strength to defeat the enemy is based on our sheer dependence on God. Without that intimate connection, we’re just another twitter hashtaging a lot of hot air  – giving the enemy ample space to rule.

Our Heavenly Father has given us the weapons, the words, the instruction to be victorious and He is ready to empower us to defeat the enemy in His strength.  Claiming His promises, singing His praises and praying God’s word sends the enemy cowering for cover.  Love these words -let’s commit to praying them together:  “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you (Luke 10:19).

“Father, You have promised to help us stand against all the enemy wants to steal from our lives. Show us where the enemy is striking and help us to gain victory. Reveal our weaknesses and lead us to walk in the Spirit not the flesh. Thank You for extinguishing what the enemy has sought to devour.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 21, 2017

Drenched In His Glory

“Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Ezekiel 1:28 (NIV)

Fresh smell of rain hitting dry ground. Lightning dancing through the sky. Wind swirling everything in sight. Yes, even in the midst of a storm, God’s power shines bright. He opens up the skies and replenishes the soul, the dust of His creation. And if that wasn’t enough, His fingertips paint the most brilliant, soft colors that melt into the heavens. Ever seen a rainbow that didn’t steal your breath away? Sweet reminder of God’s love, mercy and promises kept. Need those after the storm. Drenched and worn wondering – and then it appears – His glory filling up our sky. Our Keeper – the One who comes and calls us.

Love the way God calls Ezekiel. Mesmerized by God’s beauty, power and holiness, Ezekiel is face down and listening. Amazing how God hears Ezekiel’s trembling heart. Incredible the way He spelled out a journey layered with obstinate, rebellious Israelites. A prophet charged with speaking the words of the Almighty to those who discarded the very thought of Him. Fresh smell of God’s reign hitting deaf ears.
Our Keeper – the One who comes, calls, empowers and redeems.

Tough journey up ahead? Rain drenching down on our dreams? Obedience demanding our all? Embrace the Sovereign One – the Lord God Almighty whose glory cannot be contained. Who drops us to our knees so we can hear the voice of One speaking, whispering ever so sweetly – follow Me.

“Sweet Jesus, the awe of Your presence takes our breath away – help us to never lose sight of how majestic, holy and glorious You are.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 20, 2017

Embracing Jesus

“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” I Peter 3:4 (ESV)

Love warm sunshiny days. Love my dark chocolate. Don’t love warm sunshine melting my dark chocolate. Equaled one big mess in my new white purse! My husband found this humorous when I reached in and found chocolate on my keys, on my phone, on my money, etc. I’m sure you get the picture if it was in my purse it was smeared with melted dark chocolate. The evidence was everywhere.

Ever have the evidence of your attitude smeared everywhere – obvious for all the world to see. I love those days when reflecting Jesus is simple, easy and carefree. Everything is going just perfect. Husbands great, children get up on time, work is easy and the pieces all fit together nicely. But there are those days when the darkness of our attitudes collides with His. Our feelings get hurt, and we are quick to respond. Nothing is going the way we planned, and we bail out. Or regret steals away our last ray of hope and discouragement overwhelms us.

End result one big mess smeared everywhere. Our dark smudges touch everyone in our path – an unsuspecting husband, children caught off guard, strangers standing next to us in line – do I need to go on? We can’t hide our dark smudges no matter how hard we try. Despite our imperfections, God specializes in cleaning us up and rinsing us off. When we embrace His thoughts, His responses and His reactions, we avoid a lot of messes and His beauty shines through. Isn’t that what we want the world to see?

“Father, perfection is far from our grasp – help us to reach out and trust You to guide us, lead us and direct our steps.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 19, 2017

Suddenly….

“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Proverbs 29:17 (NIV)

I always think I have more time than my calendar tells, and procrastination never serves me well.  But somehow, I often convince myself that tomorrow is a better day for what I’m not doing today.  I can wait until next week to call a friend for dinner.  Or sometimes I really don’t want to deal with a situation today, so let’s push it side to another time.  We have plenty of time to catch up  – right?

Time is elusive and if we aren’t intentional it slips through our fingers.  All those things we push aside open wide the door for potentials that never happen.  And before we even realize it, we’ve forgotten our “put off” to another day things because after all, we have plenty of time. Sounds good to my ears, but rarely flatters my heart.

Step inside my little world over the past few weeks and witness how quickly tomorrow fades.  A co-worker’s son has a massive heart attack and within moments he is gone.  A friend’s husband chats with his wife via facetime, signs off and within moments collapses to the floor leaving this world.   Early morning a friend’s father breathes his last breath.  One young man who worked in our office on Friday didn’t return on Monday – a fatal accident stole away his tomorrows.

Suddenly all of these left our world.  Without warning.  Without a chance to greet tomorrow.  Without one last glimpse in the face of eternity.

What God allows me to see in the midst of repetition beckons me to stop, listen  and draw near.  All these suddenlys never got a chance for one last hug, one more I forgive you, one more I’m sorry or one more……. you fill in the blank. What’s our one more we would want to right before leaving this world?

We don’t always get to clean up our messes. To tidy up our space for the ones we leave behind. We aren’t guaranteed advance notice of what tomorrows will or will not bring.  We aren’t privileged to stop time in its tracks and avoid the inevitable, but we can seize today making the most of every moment.  We can forgive big and extend grace wider.  We can release grudges, criticisms and complaints, because suddenly could be sooner than we think.

“Father, help us to live intentional lives –cherishing every moment – reflecting You in all we say and do.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 18, 2017

Divine Intervention

“God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.” Psalm 46:5 (NASB)

 

No one is immune from life’s valley experiences. It’s easy to praise and worship God from the mountaintop, but what really counts is our faith during the journey between the rut to the top. Life is full of twists and turns; in an instant, life’s circumstances can bring us to our knees or catapult us to victory.

A dear family was in trial after trial. You name it and this family has endured it…addiction, divorce, finances, health, etc. This family reminded me of a modern day Job. In the midst of all the pain and suffering this family clung to Jesus believing and trusting He would heal, mend and supply. Over a course of time and to make a long story short, God did intervene. I am happy to report the addiction was overcome, the marriage restored and health healed. However, the family finances remained in shambles, cars were being repossessed, the mortgage was two months in arrears, the monthly living expenses behind and bank accounts were in the hole.They would wake up, go to work, tarry through the day’s routine and crawl in bed with the family finances heavy on the heart. Their hands were tied; God had to intervene. They knew God was their only hope.

Recently, one morning, God answered the prayers to their finances. With one knock at the door an “angel” appeared holding an envelope containing five figures in CASH to pay in advance for work this person wanted to have done. That night the family would go to bed with their debts paid in full. God did a new thing…a miracle…resulting in a divine intervention! When God is in the midst of our hope, we will never be helpless.

“Father, answer prayers of intervention where only a work of Your hand can deliver us from the snares of this world. Knowing Your resources are not limited to what our mere human minds can conceive. You have a miracle designed for each impossible situation. Grant peace through the process while waiting. Until that day of rescue give us the strength with confidence of believing and trusting in Your loving goodness.”

 

For His Glory,

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

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 17, 2017

He Is Alive & He Loves You

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!” Luke 24:5-6 (NIV)

I had the privilege to visit Israel a little over a year ago, and while there, I got to visit the Garden Tomb, the place where Jesus’ body was laid to rest after His death. Though Jesus’ body was not there, the mere idea that one day it had been there, keeps in that place an aura of reverence that can bring people to tears and to their knees; that is what happened to me.

To me, it was a reminder of all He had to endure – a death on the cross – to cover my multitude of sins; a painful reminder that I placed Him on that cross, and ultimately in that tomb. I drove the nails in my Lord’s hands.

Nonetheless, on the door of the tomb there was a sign. It read, “He is not here; He has risen!”  My heart rejoiced with the reminder that Jesus had fulfilled His Father’s plan and  just as He had promised, He rose from that grave three days later. That exclamation point after the word “risen” was there for a purpose. It was there to add emphasis to that word. Check it out in your Bibles! The angels were telling the women who showed up at the grave at the crack of dawn to bring spices to put on Jesus’ body that their Savior, their Lord, their Master, their Rabi, their friend – Jesus – was alive and the grave couldn’t hold Him down!

I would have added a couple more enthusiastic exclamation points to that phrase, and possibly even the word “rejoice.” Rejoice! Rejoice!! Jesus conquered death! He conquered the grave! He is A-L-I-V-E!

And do you know what else, my friends? He loves you!

 

“Dear Father: Your plan is always perfect. Though at times we don’t understand it and may struggle with the processes we need to go through, we overcome with You.”

 

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Older Posts »

Categories