Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 17, 2015

Ordinary Days

cb devo apr 17“When He (God) assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,” Proverbs 8:29A (NKJV)

Like a bird released from a cage– loved stepping my winter tired feet on soft grains of sand. Sky electric blue and fresh ocean air – my fav place to be, especially after a long, cold and dreary season. Took my breath away to be reminded that God controls the edge of splashing waves that kiss the shore. Captivates my thoughts to think that the Creator of the Universe painted this sky just for me to gaze endless to the edge where sky and ocean collide. Beauty that invites me to linger, gasp, praise and walk away breathless.

Ever noticed how life lightens when our eyes are fixed on Him? Ever felt the soaring of one’s spirit to greater heights when we see life from His perspective? Have to admit I linger too long on today. I get stuck in the mundane and forget how gracious God is to me. I take for granted the awesome love of One who withholds no good thing from those He loves.

So in the midst of sandy feet and ocean breezes couldn’t we praise Him in simple ordinary days even if we’re not in our fav places? Where mundane can birth extraordinary if we choose to be freed to trust God to transform unfav places into ones of our most liking and amazing growth. And in the seasons of cloudy, dreary, God reveals a shining light that compels us. He gently reminds us that He, the Creator, controls the edge of harshness we feel and He won’t let it overtake us. God sets the boundaries, gives the permissions and protects His precious ones. We are loved – dare we taste and see the goodness of our God.

“Father, I stand in awesome wonder that You who made all things hold me in the palm of Your hands. What do I have to fear?”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 16, 2015

His Power Is Greater Than Fear

cb devo apr 16“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 Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 15, 2015

Glorious Day

cb devo apr15“If I (Jesus) go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3 (HCSB)

Happy April 15th – the day all tax procrastinators dread – the final dash to the post office or the late hours attempting to file online. Doesn’t matter that we’ve known like forever that our taxes were due. Makes no difference that we got penalized before. Doesn’t matter that every April 16th, we pledge to file earlier next year and keep better records. Selective amnesia sets in and life resumes until next year.

Wonder if we’ve forgotten that we don’t have to know a specific date in order to recognize its significance and prepare for its arrival? No one knows the day or the hour when Christ will return for those who believe in Him, but we know that His word is true. Fast track through the New Testament and we will find God’s Old Testament promises sprinkled through the gospels. Dig deep into the words of Christ and we will find He fulfilled every promise. Easter is the culmination of the promise that Satan can be defeated over sin and death. The empty tomb is the trademark reminder that nothing can stand against our God. An early breakfast restoring His beloved disciples dispels the rumors and confirms Jesus is indeed alive!

Praying we don’t forget or lose sight of His glorious words – Jesus is preparing a place for you and for me. Captivated by those words “I will come back and receive you.” Convicted that there are days when I forget and allow challenges to block my view – one glorious day I will forever be with my Jesus!

“Father, this life is but a temporary passage – a place to draw others to You – so that one day we can experience the joy of forever being in Your presence.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 14, 2015

Transformation

CB devo apr 14“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

The Bible states that, as believers, we are a new creation. In my head I understand that the old has passed away, but in my heart I still see evidence of the old me. And, what about the outside? What should being a new creation look like to others? Recently while on a walk, I was thinking about this when a butterfly fluttered across my path. It was an “ah-ha” moment, and I was grateful for God’s tangible example.

While I was born a caterpillar crawling my way through life, my faith in Christ transformed me in to a new creation. But, am I living a transformed life? Or, am I living safely in my cocoon…aware that transformation has taken place, but afraid to break out and take flight?
You’ve probably heard the story about the scientist who helped a butterfly out of its cocoon by cutting the cocoon open. The butterfly that emerged had small, unformed wings, and was unable to fly. Butterflies need the struggle of breaking out of their cocoon to force fluid in to their wings so that they can fly. The struggles we face are also critical to our transformation process. If we want to be transformed, we need to choose to embrace the struggle knowing that Christ is with us through it all.

“Lord, help us to believe that, in You, we are a new creation. Enable us to live each day based on that truth. Give us the courage to lean in to the struggle so that we can grow strong and soar.”

For His Glory,

Ann Skalaski
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 13, 2015

Unwrapping His Gifts

cb devo apr 13“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17a (ESV)

Ever noticed how some friendships slide into our lives so unexpectedly? We’re doing life – working, packing lunches, helping with homework, serving at church – our plates are full. And along the way we meet lots of people….the carpool Moms, the Bible Study group, the lunch crowd……people we expect to form our circle. But then one day, we meet someone who doesn’t fit the label – you know they don’t fall into any of our categories. We don’t even entertain the thought of friendship – what could we possibly have in common? But then God surprises us with the sweetest friendship that we never imagined.

Don’t you just love the way God fits all the pieces of our lives together? He removes the circle, the labels and uncommon ground and invites us to experience the bestest friends ever. Ones we would have missed along the way if we had not ventured outside our circle. Ones we would have overlooked had we not asked God to lead us. Ones we would have regretted ignoring had we not been open to new circles and dropping labels.

Unexpected, totally surprised – friendships designed by the One who calls us friend. Cultivated by the One who demonstrates true friendship. Orchestrated by the One who knows exactly what friends we need. Divine appointments that only God could have planned. Friends who love us despite our doubts. Friends who pick us up when we fall. Sisters who don’t leave when life gets messy. Blessings, treasured gifts – our little taste of heaven on earth.

“Father help us unwrap the unexpected gift of friendship that You have perfected orchestrated. Teach us the value of being a friend that reaches out to others – labels removed and circles open.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 10, 2015

Let Your Light Shine

cb devo apr10“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV).

I was driving home and was marveled to see the beautiful, majestic full moon shining up in the sky, surrounded by more stars than one could ever dare to count. It was a magnificent display of light, and I started praising God for giving me such a beautiful opportunity to see His amazing power of creation. That night I parked my car and stood outside staring at the sky in awe of Him. A simple reminder that God is real, cares about me, and I will never walk in darkness, as long as I keep walking with Him.

When we get to know Christ, we can’t help but see His presence in His creation and to me, the sun, the moon and the stars do just that. Like them, we must be willing to shed light in a world that is filled with darkness. We must be a light that guides others to His throne of grace and light the flame of His love among those who surround us.

Sweet sister, if you think your little light is too small to light up a room, think again!! Remember if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can tell a mountain to move and it will move!! (Matthew 17:20). Your zeal for God can do so much more if you trust Him to use you to reach others whose lives could change significantly if you are not afraid to act on it. Go forth and let your light shine!

“Father, thank You for the works of Your hands. You never cease to amaze me. My lips never tire to praise You.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 9, 2015

Praising The One Who Gave His Life

cb devo apr9“My mouth is filled with Your praise, and with Your glory all the day.” Psalm 71:8 (ESV)

Wonder how many different emotions we experience in a day? Grumpy or happy might start our day depending on whether we stopped at Starbucks on our morning commute or broke up a fight in the car as we pulled into the school parking lot. Overwhelmed might greet us as we walk into our office and see that same pile of papers didn’t disappear overnight. Joyful could have us dancing through the streets if we’ve reached a goal or overcome a difficulty. Anger might consume us if harbor resentment. Fear could be our best friend if we zero in on the negatives and overlook the positives.

Sound familiar? As women we experience a wide range of emotions in just one given day. So it’s easy to see how our roller coaster ride can impact our worship. Praising God on Sunday hands lifted high and allowing chaos on Monday to diminish who He is shaking fists at the sky. Wavering in a sea of doubt tossed about – a double minded person half believing, half doubting. The words we so easily sang with fellow believers now distant in our silence of one. The quietness of our hearts torn between the One we praise and the way we feel.

The magnitude of our worship should never match our emotions, but rather reflect the magnificence of our God. Even in the midst of swirling feelings, God is still faithful, loving, kind and true. He is never changing, always steady, forever stable and our everlasting peace. And when our day attempts to steal away our praise, let’s worship Him with hands lifted high, knees bowed low and hearts captivated with our awesome God.

“Father, elevate our praise away from how we feel to who You truly are – our awesome God!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 8, 2015

I Should’ve Listened to Dad

CB devo apr8“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Proverbs 19:20 (ESV)

Barely a teenager, I was in that funny stage when a girl wants to become more “girlie,” yet cannot leave behind her tomboyish ways. Our family was visiting friends on their farm and having a blast until a downpour of rain made my parents decide to return to the city. All was good and our vehicle was packed, when my dad realized the tires on our vehicle were spinning in the mud. The car was stationary on a slightly muddy hill.

Dad honked the horn for the guys to come help push the vehicle. I had the bright idea to get out and push it with them. Daddy said something as I was getting out of the car, but I only half-heard it, because of my determination to be “one of the guys.” I think he said, “You should stay in the car; you don’t want to push the car in ‘that’ mud…” Well, I did, and as the “mud” began covering our clothes, arms, legs and hair, I realized that it wasn’t simply mud. Because of the farm animals, there was a good percentage of cow manure mixed in with the mud. Let’s just say we didn’t look or smell very good! My pride felt somewhat like the manure covering my body. The trip back home gave my family a reason to chuckle and memories were made about a young girl who should’ve listened to her Dad.

Wonder how many things we miss when we don’t listen to God? Sometimes He warns us about something that is coming around the corner, but we don’t care to listen to what He is saying. The end-result can be messy and, in some cases, hard to forget if we disregard His wisdom. The best solution is simply to pause and listen – trusting in our Wisdom Giver.

“Dear Lord, may we always listen to Your voice as You always want what is best for us.”

For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 7, 2015

Grace Needed

cb devo apr7“For from his (Jesus) fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 (ESV)

She looked really cute in her pink jogging suit, matching shoes and winning smile. Didn’t matter that her walk was slow or her hair was sprinkled with white and gray. Captivated, I watched this scene play out as my feet easily ran on the treadmill. My speed hindered only by my lack of doing my best; her’s most likely the remnant of a stroke. Her twisted smile and limp arm – evidence of what once was easy – now extremely difficult. When she saw her trainer coming, this sweet little lady headed in his direction. “I’m gonna do the best I can,” she said, as her fragile body struggled for every step. The trainer met her halfway, reached out an arm and said, “You’re doing just fine.”

It’s easy to navigate life unwounded or undaunted. Hard to extend grace when our road is easy and our burden is light. Memories fade and are easily forgotten when nothing hinders us from doing our best. Consumed with our shining record, our accolades of doing it right – it’s easy to judge, summarize and label when fragile limps in worn and torn in the aftermath of their sin.

Can’t help but wonder what God thinks when He sees “Grace Needed” trying hard to just get up. I know He watches “Grace Needed” – she’s never left His presence. I know He meets “Grace Needed” halfway with arms stretched wide when she’s doing the best she can. I know He cheers “Grace Needed” on and says, “You’re doing just fine – I’m here by your side.” How do I know? Because we’ve all needed grace.

“Father, Your love never gives up, never fails and reaches deep and wide to rescue – grace extended – washed in the blood of the Lamb.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 6, 2015

Victorious Morning

cb devo apr6“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians15:55 (KJV)

Imagine 2000 years ago, thousands of enthusiastic people standing along the side of a road in Jerusalem with palm branches in every hand watching and waiting with anticipation. Then they see Him…Jesus whom all the excitement is about! Mobs of people lining the street waving palm branches as Jesus passes by on a donkey. There is a thunderous roar in unison, “Hosanna, Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hail the King of Israel” (John 12:13).

Amazing how in one week’s time jubilation can turn sorrowful. The week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday is the ultimate example. Jesus went from experiencing adoration, waving palm branches, shouts of praises and hallelujahs to the total opposite of betrayal, false judgment, screams of crucify, humiliation, torture and mocking. Then a crown of thrones wedged in His brow as He carried an old rugged cross up Golgotha to be nailed to it…despised and rejected. Hope for the world seemed lost.

Darkness fell across the land. Jesus cried out to His Father and took His last breath. The temple veil tore in half, the earth shook, rocks split and tombs opened. Sadly, Jesus had died and then was buried in a borrowed tomb. Had Satan accomplished his evil deed?

Absolutely not! Jesus arose from death and the grave three days later by His own power. The tomb is empty and Jesus is alive…hallelujah ! He nailed my sins, your sins and the sins of the whole world to the cross defeating sin, darkness and breaking every chain that binds. Death has no victory because the grave could not hold OUR King.

Easter…Jesus’ finished work on the cross was His finest hour because death lost its sting and His love won.

“Today, Jesus, You are seated at the right hand of the Father preparing a home for all Your children and we will one day sing Your praises evermore.”

For His Glory

Kim Lacey Schock
TRBC Mountain Blend

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