Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 18, 2018

Unpacking What Really Matters

“He (Job) said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die…” Job 1:21 (NLT)

The life of Job provides us with an encouraging example of bravery in the midst of unbelievable adversity. Job in one day’s time went from prosperous to poor, from father to childless and from health to sick. Through it all Job never asked God “why,” he doesn’t blame God, he doesn’t curse God and he doesn’t doubt God. He actually praises God (vs.21).

Job realized we all come into this world with nothing, and we all are leaving with nothing. So, what really matters in life? Can our family, friends, neighbors and work associates say we have our priorities in the right order? Are our lifestyles keeping us at the office too long and too late? Are we missing family events, absent from the dinner table or traveling all the time? I doubt we’ll ever hear a person on their deathbed say, “I wish I had worked more.” But more importantly, I hope we never hear, “I wished I had spent more time with my spouse, children and grandkids.” Job understood being the wealthiest corpse in the cemetery doesn’t matter…everyone is still dead and takes nothing with them.

Fast forward thousands of years, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Where our hearts are is where we’ll find what we treasure most and what matters most…loved ones, friends and people. May we leave a legacy devoted to God, family and pointing a lost and dying world to Jesus. If we want to know how we impact our families and friends, we can’t ask ourselves, but ask those impacted by our lives. May our presence in people’s lives be more valuable and enjoyable than our resources and assets.

“Father, may our legacies long outlive our physical lives with fond memories bringing tears to eyes, smiles to faces and joy to the hearts of family and friends. I hope our lives will be an example to the lost and hurting…modeling the unconditional love and grace You have shown us our whole earthly lives.”

For His Glory

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

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Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 17, 2018

Carving In Margin For Rest

“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day, you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.” Exodus 34:21 (ESV)

Ever feel like you’re just trying to stay ahead of the game but the game is going faster that you dare imagine? Most days can feel like that – from sun up to sun down. Amazes me the speed of 24 hours, and the tasks that just keep getting carried over. I’m a planner kind of girl so I love checking things off my list even if I just added them a few minutes ago. Frustrating to hit Friday and the reality of what never was tackled is staring me in the face on Monday morning. To be totally honest that list can haunt me all weekend – releasing margin for catchup robs me of peace.

Love this sweet reminder from the One who knows how to carve in margin for rest. In awe of the example God set before us with creation – six days of creating and one day of rest. The One who holds it all together challenges us to let it go, to take on His yoke which is light and embrace margin for rest.

Wish it was ever so simple to release agendas, lists and busy. Ever find yourself in that trap – desiring rest yet resisting still?

Plowing time and harvest were busy seasons for farmers. No Walmart or Target around the corner. Critical times to plow, plant and tend the fields. Doing the next thing from sun up to sun down – maximizing daylight to the fullest. And when the crops come in, you can’t just ignore harvesting, picking and storing up for tomorrow.

Yet God commands, invites us to a better way – a day of rest. Right in the midst of crazy, chaotic and endless lists, He knows rest soothes the soul, rejuvenates our spirit and clarifies our mind. Pulling away gives us a clearer perspective – a God perspective – trusting His agenda and His plans. Even when urgents seek to steal away still, we can resist the tendency to cast aside rest. Awesome moments without a list and totally free to relax, reflect and receive the sweetness of His presence.

Won’t you join me? Carve in white space for rest. Resist the urge to keep doing. Enjoy a prayer walk. Read a great book. Remove distractions. And when Monday comes, we’ll be amazed how much gets done.

“Father, You have set the pace now help us to obey and receive the blessings of rest.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 14, 2018

When Urgent Collides With Slow

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8 (ESV)

Ever find yourself getting lost or better yet overwhelmed in the urgent trap? If we don’t respond fast enough on our phone or with an email, someone will instant message us and that flashing light on our computer won’t go away until we respond. If someone needs anything – it’s urgent.

Get the picture – so what happens when our urgent mentality collides with slow? I don’t know about you, but when I have to wait for anything my patience slides right out the door. I’m so used to people pushing my urgent that I can easily perceive others should do the same for me. Waiting rarely is an option in our get to the next thing mode.

Flip back through the pages of scripture and we will find that Jesus did not allow others’ urgents to dictate His agenda. In fact, some who loved Him the most thought He was late in responding to their miracle. Those who walked the closest to Him often thought He should stay put, heal more and not retreat.

Love the patience of Jesus because He sought not the ease of people’s situation but the character development of those involved. Love the patience of Jesus when He sought the greater glory at the best time rather than ease the discomfort or sorrow of the immediate. Love the patience Jesus demonstrated to us as an example of how we are to respond in His image. Seeking God’s timing, accepting God’s sovereignty and yes, waiting for the greater glory to be revealed.

So, what can we do to embrace patience? Maybe it’s a coworker pushing all our buttons – how about relying on God’s Spirit to infuse us with a patient response. Maybe it’s slowing down our response rather than spewing out random thoughts. Maybe it’s simply refusing to let the sense of everyone’s urgency reflect anxiousness in our spirit. Resting close to the heart of God and clinging to His words rather than worrying, fearing, and attempting to meet everyone’s demands.

When urgent collides with slow, we can guarantee God’s up to something miraculous that only He can do!

“Father, transform my urgent moments into opportunities to trust You completely – waiting on Your timing and not my own.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 13, 2018

When Sleep Is Not Our Friend

“Keep a cool head. Stay alert.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

Healthy sleep is something everyone needs in order to live a healthy, productive life. Sleep helps the body get invigorated and balanced. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, is something that can jeopardize one’s ability to function properly and be alert.

I recently watched a funny video that was forwarded to me, in which people of all ages were falling asleep in all kinds of awkward positions. Children and adults alike would succumb to sleep in the middle of regular activities, such as while eating, studying, and even standing up. While watching that video made me laugh, it also made me think of the consequences of falling asleep during something more dangerous, such as while driving. Falling asleep at the wheel is one of the biggest causes of automobile accidents. As a matter of fact, The Gallup Organization, a statistics company, surveyed 4,000 drivers in the U.S. in 2002 and 37 percent of those drivers admitted to having dozed off while driving at least one time.

The Bible tells us about a time when Jesus was at the Garden of Gethsemane with His disciples to pray, and they kept on falling asleep. That was a really crucial time for Jesus and He really needed their prayers, but they could not keep their eyes open. (Matthew 26).

Sometimes in life, we go through situations that can exhaust our capacity to function and to stay focused on what is important. During those times, we must persist and stay focused, so we don’t end up weak and unable to keep faith alive. God is by our side and He will help us; all we need is to call out to Him.

“Dear Lord, You are our strength and our shield. Please help us to stay focused and to believe that all things are possible through You.”

For His Glory

Luska Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 12, 2018

When Favor Exceeds Our Expectations

“Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man. I was the cupbearer to the king.” Nehemiah 1:11 (ESV)

Who doesn’t need a favor? Even independent, self sufficient me! I’ve often found myself desperately in need of someone’s assistance or grace. And yes, I’m the one who hesitates to ask. Don’t know if I’m just simply intimidated, insecure or plain just don’t want to admit I need a favor but I have to dig deep to utter those words “help.”

Nehemiah definitely wasn’t self sufficient or intimidated. His heart was broken over the vulnerability of His people. The wall of Jerusalem was broken down by King Nebuchadnezzar and every attempt to rebuild had failed. End result Jerusalem was vulnerable to the attacks of their enemies. The people were in great trouble and disgrace; its gates burned with fire.

And where was Nehemiah? Serving as the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. So when he learned of the devastation of his people, Nehemiah desired to leave his prestigious job so he could help rebuild Jerusalem. Only problem, he needed permission from the king in order to relinquish his duties in the palace. Fasting and praying, Nehemiah needed a favor and God was the only one who could help him. And even though he was terrified to ask the King, Nehemiah feared what would happen to his people more than he feared for his own life.

God heard the prayer of Nehemiah, and not only did the King release Nehemiah but he gave him letters to ensure Nehemiah’s success. Letters written to make sure Nehemiah traveled safely. Letters that would provide timber for rebuilding. God’s favor would far exceed Nehemiah’s expectations.

How many times have we cried out for help and God delivered us in ways beyond our thinking? How many times has He moved obstacles out of our way so that we could attain success? Don’t know about you but I can’t count those moments on my hands – there are too many. Amazing encounters where God made my way easier because He divinely went ahead of me. Perfect reason to seek His help. Absolutely makes sense to ask for His favor and divine intervention. We can’t go wrong if we put our faith, hope and trust in Him.

“Father, You are the God of Nehemiah and You are our God working behind the scenes. Even though we can’t see it, we know that favor comes from You alone – praise Your holy name!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 11, 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 (www.KimLaceySchock.com)
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 10, 2018

Choosing Not To Settle

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one who you obey, either of sin, which leads to death or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? ” Romans 6:16 (ESV)

Ever lose your fave recipe? I have too many times to count. This past week, I searched diligently for my oatmeal, almond butter cookie recipe. We love it – perfect combo and very healthy too – tastes delish. I searched thru drawers and piles of recipes before taking to the internet. None of the ones I found came even close. The ingredients were off. The procedure wasn’t right. I wanted my recipe; I could taste those cookies melting in my mouth. Giving up, I finally settled for another one.

Got up Saturday morning to take my vitamins and guess what I found folded up in my drawer? My cookie recipe! I was so excited! No settling for this girl, I mixed up a batch and it’s chilling in the fridge right now – can’t wait to bake them.

While my fave recipe involved delish cookies, God has a recipe for successful living – it’s called obedience. That’s right – nothing else will do. There is no substitute for doing what God has told us to do. It’s easy to try to do life our way and skip His wisdom, but the settling for my will versus His will definitely leave a bad aftertaste.

Obeying the voice of God may seem simple and familiar, but over the past few weeks I’ve been focusing on a Bible verse each week. Amazing how those verses have propelled me to examine my obedience. Do I intentionally listen and obey His voice? Total confession here – no! One particular day, I said something “gossip” at work that wasn’t edifying or encouraging yet I totally dismissed it. Next morning I’m reading over my verse for the week and knew I’d missed the mark.

Perfection will never be our seal in this world. We are constantly battling our fleshly desires, yet God never asks for perfection but a seeking after His holiness – a desire within us to obey His voice. A daily pursuit of prayer, Bible Study, obedience and growth.

Love His grace for those moments when we fail to follow His recipe. But don’t want to settle there and excuse away the things we know displease our God. The end result never serves us well. So sweet friends, I’m praying we heed His words and obey His voice even if it’s a habit we’ve excused before. Choosing not to settle. Choosing to please Him because obedience is His fave response.

“Sweet Jesus, how we need You to help us resist the urge to disobey. To stand strong and walk boldly in obedience knowing You lead us to abundance.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 7, 2018

Blessed In The Midst of Unknowns

“When I called him (Abraham), he was only one; I blessed him and made him many.” Isaiah 51:2b (HCSB)

Leaving familiar behind is not quite my easy stride. I love the comfort zone. I enjoy repetition. I don’t get bored with same. Routine is my best friend. But moving away from what fits me pushes me into uncharted territory. Places I feel uncomfortable. Places that stretch me. Places that dare me to be bold and courageous.

Have you ever been there when leaving what seems ordinary and easy beckons you to come? Perhaps it’s a new job. Maybe it’s a move to another area. Perhaps it’s stepping out to share your faith. Maybe it’s taking the next step to be all that God has called you to be. Perhaps leaving means different things in different seasons of our lives – navigating through the stages of our lives.

Abraham’s was the ultimate sacrifice. Leaving everything he knew. Leaving his inheritance. Leaving his relatives. Walking with God faithfully to a place he had never seen. Following after God in a direction he didn’t even know how to take. Goggle maps couldn’t lead him. Facebook couldn’t connect him. Twitter couldn’t encourage him. Instagram couldn’t remind him. Totally uncertain of whether he would ever return to his homeland, yet faithfully trusting the unknown to the One true God who called him.

Scripture is filled with over 200 references to Abraham’s faith journey. Was he without fault? Absolutely not. Like you and me, Abraham had moments of reactive fear. Like you and me, Abraham learned how to trust God completely. Like you and me, Abraham was faced with God’s supreme test in laying down what he loved so dearly. Like you and me, he sometimes failed.

Love the promises of God sprinkled throughout Abraham’s life. Constant reminders that He is the rewarder of those who live righteously. He blesses those who remain faithful to the very end of life in this world. And our God knows precisely when and how to stretch us out of familiar.

Is God beckoning us to a deeper walk? Has he nudged us to leave comfort and easy? Is God inviting us to trust Him more with each wobbly step toward the unknown? Sweet friends, let’s answer when God calls and embark on an incredible journey of faith.

“Father, help us to be women who aren’t afraid to step out of our comfort zone and joyfully follow your leading even towards the unknowns.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 6, 2018

Anytime….Anywhere

“When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Luke 13:3 (NIV)

I love stories that show how God is not bound by rules and regulations, or the so-called “red tape” as we know it. When God decides to act, He acts, and that is it. Period. No questioning. So, allow me to share this one true story with you. The Lord Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on a Sabbath, surrounded by Pharisees. If you know anything about Pharisees, you also know how defiant they were; their title and position among the Jewish leaders imposed a certain ‘aura’ of unrelenting pride. Those gents would demand the rest of the people to strictly observe and follow written, traditional Jewish laws, thus giving themselves the right to judge whoever would not do just that. Well, the Son of God was not just anyone, and He certainly did not refrain from blessing people when the Spirit led Him to a person in need, whomever that person may be and regardless of where He may be, including a synagogue!

Per the story, on that Sabbath day, as Jesus taught the people, a woman who had been crippled for 18 years showed up in the crowd, and as she did, the Lord Jesus noticed her. She did not have to say anything – anything, at all! He called to her and out He cast her infirmity. The watchdogs, I mean, the Pharisees immediately pointed their finger and their disgust to the Lord, telling the crowd that if they needed healing or anything else, they should return to seek it on another day that was not the Sabbath.

Can you believe such a thing? Instead of praising God for the evidence of His power in their midst, they rebuked the people for seeking their healing, and rebuked Jesus for giving it.

Friends, let us never turn into such people. Let us seek to be more like Jesus and to never forfeit an opportunity to bless those in need, worrying that others may judge us. An opportunity missed may be an opportunity forever gone. Don’t miss it.

“Lord, we want to be your hands and feet to this world of need, seeking out opportunities to bless others. Help us, Lord, to stay faithful.”

For His Glory

Luska Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 5, 2018

When Knowing It All Doesn’t Serve Us Well

“Exhort one another every day that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13 (ESV)

Remember those days when we thought we knew it all? Our parents, well, they were lost in a time warp unaware of what was going on. Us, we had the answer to everything or at least we thought we did. Age seventeen, I took the plunge and married my new boyfriend. Dismissed all the advice from friends and family – after all I was old enough – I knew everything. Didn’t take me long to realize my dependence on “self” wisdom was way off course.

Perhaps you have found yourself in the same place. What appeared good, exciting and adventurous in a moment evaporated all too quickly. Wore out my knees on cold floors many times crying out to the very One I never consulted because I knew it all. Held out that just maybe things would turn around, and they did but not for the better. Found myself a single parent at age thirty struggling to survive.

Wonder what would have happened if I had listened, waited and accepted the truth staring me in the face? I’m sure this girl’s story would have been different, but my heart was so full of self and not enough of Jesus. God’s truths had saturated my mind the moment I had air to breathe. Church was my first trip as a babe and Sunday School stories filled my days. Flannelgraph and all – I knew them one by one. Yet knowing and doing are two different venues. My heart was fooled and my mind was hard, steadfast determined to do life my way. It didn’t serve me well.

Love this reminder from Hebrews. Gentle words not harsh. Simple phrase to exhort, encourage one another every day. Temptation, distractions, harshness seek to form a crust over tender hearts ready to receive His words. Before we even know it, we’ve slipped further away. Reading His words doesn’t soak in; they’re just simply duty. Truths that should propel us away from ugly consequences are rationalized quickly.
Despite my “self” wisdom this Jesus girl is thankful for His ever presence. When I kept turning away, God kept seeking. Planting people all around me to encourage, exhort and soften my hardness. Blessed to know God has enough mercy for our mistakes, failures and outright disobedience. Grateful for His grace in never leaving us nor giving up.

Lessons well learned living hard roads. Encouragement abounds when we’ve experienced it washing other us. Note to Self: Hard hearts reap hard places – soft hearts reap His joy.

“Sweet Jesus sin is a our great deceiver leading us further and further away from You. Protect our hearts, shield our minds and keep us on our knees totally dependent on You alone.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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