Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 22, 2018

Whispers …. Praying To The Father

“… constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12b (ESV)

Standing near the back of the room, I heard the whispers of Jesus girls praying to the Father. It was the sweetest, most precious moment. The soft hush, the held hands, the arms locked and circled together. Heads bowed. Hands raised. Mouths praising, worshipping, speaking, asking – absolutely priceless. After the craziness of a work day, a refreshing aroma from those sitting at the feet of Jesus together – seeing hope ignited.

Love the way prayer can happen anywhere at any time. Love the ease of open hearts calling out to the One who can change us from the inside out. Love the open invitation to come just as we are tired, lonely, wounded, hopeless and rejected. Love the whispers that cry out in faith, trusting without sight and releasing heavy burdens.

Don’t know why we seem to make prayer so complicated when Jesus simply says, Come. No special formula or perfect words just hearts eager to hear, listen and share. Simple conversations. Jesus girls telling Him about all our trials, joys, excitement and fears. Releasing yesterdays and grabbing hope for tomorrows. Asking for the second, third and fourth time….waiting in expectation. Venting what He already knows and has seen yet confident He’s listening again and again.

Can’t imagine the joy expressed when God hears our whispers. When He sees us coming together praying for each other. The hum of voices in total sync, perfect harmony lifting one another up must bring much pleasure to our God. Wonder, if like me, He stands back in awe and breathlessly takes in the beauty of His girls locking arms in prayer?

“Father, thank You for giving me just a glimpse of how precious prayer is in Your sight. May we never neglect the invitation to talk with You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 21, 2018

Royal Remembrance

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” 2 Samuel 9:7 (NIV)

Position, power, fame, royalty – all arenas of notoriety. Ever wonder what happens when a person is removed from one or all? Mephibosheth was. Jonathan and David were very good friends – so much so that Jonathan paved the way for David to become king by sacrificing his life. As a result, Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth was instantly stripped of his royal position, power, and fame. For years he lived as a commoner – crippled through an accident trying to flee threats on his life.

Years later King David requested Mephibosheth to come before him. Frightened for his life, Mephibosheth never anticipated King David would restore to a cripple like him everything he had lost, plus reposition him at his royal table. Why did David do this? Because many years before he had made a commitment with Jonathan never forgetting his monumental sacrifice. Any great leader never forgets what and whom it took to provide opportunities for advancement. Leaders why not be like David by responding with kindness and keeping your word. Others will view a better supervisor, co-worker, mother, friend, and most of all a better person. Our actions will speak louder than words.

Dear Father, please help me to lead with kindness and consideration remembering those who paved a way for me to serve in leadership.

For His Glory

Patsy Sanders
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 20, 2018

This Little Light Of Mine….

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:9a-10 (ESV)

Ever noticed how a flickering flame – a bright light in the midst of dark can be extinguished quickly? Doesn’t take much for this girl’s light to fade. One wrong raised against us and we’re ready to prove us right. One conversation gone bad and we wound more with our words than we ever imagined. Malicious no way – but did we really say that with an intent to build up? Stops us in our tracks when we realize our finger pointing and careless intentional tearing others down moves us into still darkness.

Takes energy and effort to zero in and purposefully spend away our words. Too easy to join in on the posts that slam, gossip and yes, exploit perceived truth. Guaranteed way to never shine if we’re preferring self gratifying rather than other lifting. Not God’s idea of this little light of mine.

If you’re like me, I remember singing to the top of my lungs how I wanted my light to shine. Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Church and yes, right in front of our parents we declared our light to shine and wouldn’t dare hide it under a bush oh no! But somewhere after childhood, the drifting of our passion to shine bright often finds itself barely flickering.

Love these words of Isaiah 58 inviting us to be a beacon of hope rising up in the darkness. Wonder what our world would look like if we truly spent our energy, words and passions on helping those in need? If pride slipped out the door and arrogance was driven away no credit given to us – wouldn’t that be amazing? I can see the smile already gracing God’s face. Instead of tearing down, we’d be builder uppers. We’d be less focused on us and more generous to others. That sweet friend is how our light rises up even in the pit of someone’s darkness for all the world to see.

“Father, Your love brightens the darkest of nights – help us to be givers of Your kindness, patience, mercy and grace so that all will see Your love shining through us.

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 19, 2018

Breaking Away Stiffness

“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 Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 18, 2018

When Pause Invites Glory

“Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 29:20 (ESV)

Tweet, post, chat – we have every opportunity for a quick response and we generally have no problem complying. Every notification sends us flying to a keyboard or phone as if the world can’t wait to hear what we have to say. Unfortunately, we often don’t pause or think before we release our latest response. Easy to say what appears to be appropriate in the moment until we rethink it later.

Reminded of this recently when a conversation void of face left me frustrated, confused and hurt. My go to quick response was totally self-focused and unkind. Rummaging through those written letters as if they held the power to end all – I chewed on each syllable for quite a while. How could they say that? Why didn’t they get my point? How dare they choose to ignore me…….and the list could go on for hours.

Just as I was ready to respond with an attitude, God’s Spirit halted my steps. It was brief but ever so relevant – “pause” hovered over me. Wait encompassed me. Linger before even thinking of sending out my reply resounded in my ears. God’s message was crystal clear – an invitation to reflect before I experienced the regrets later.

While pausing is not our default response – it always serves us well. A temporary delay to resist the urge to read between the lines and come up with our on conclusion prevents wounding someone else. Quick doesn’t always work best and despite popular belief, no one is sitting desperately waiting to hear what we have to say next. Silence is best if we haven’t bathed our words in prayer.

Love God’s sweet kindness in halting my steps. Thankful, I heeded His Spirit guiding me away from an endless dialogue of “me” centered words. Wish that were the case every time, but I know I’ve missed the mark more than I care to remember. Blessed by His divine intervention and protection when careless chatter would have not served me well. Note to self: Pause – reflect – respond. Best way to glorify God with all we say.

“Father, our thoughts and words are so powerful they birth life or death to those who read or hear them. Teach us to respond controlled by Your Spirit and not our own.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 15, 2018

Yielded To His Wisdom

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (HCSB)

How often do we dismiss the persistent feeling we have that something isn’t quite right? We slide back and forth between something is wrong to it’s probably nothing to worry about. Like a pendulum swinging carelessly wherever our thoughts land for the day. Eventually we rationalize our concerns or dive in deeper to uncover whatever doesn’t feel or look right.

Takes courage to face the truth especially if that truth unveils a dreaded conclusion. No one wants to admit they’re struggling just to get up and face another day. No one wants to share the devastating loss of a job, home or finances. No one shouts through a crowd, their marriage is falling apart. No one longs to disclose their child is behind bars. No one dances for joy when the doctor reveals a cancer diagnosis.

Tough truths that confirm our nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. Moments where we might be tempted to wonder if we’d paid closer attention to the warning signs would the results be the same.
When normal no longer looks or feels normal early detection is crucial. In the medical field it broadens our options and increases our chances of survival. In the emotional realm it positions us to seek help before depression and anxiety overwhelms. And when it comes to matters of the heart and soul, early detection minimizes the aftermath of sinful actions. By confessing disobedience quickly, the barriers to God’s wisdom and blessings are removed.

God has created each of us with a sense of discernment that when yielded to Him leads us in the right direction. His Holy Spirit lives within us guiding us to truth. Positioning us to heed the warning signs and proactively responding to what doesn’t seem quite right. Wisdom is ours for the taking – we just simply need to bring our concerns to Him and He will show us the way to respond.

“Father, Your wisdom is without judgment and offered freely to those who come seeking Your will.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 14, 2018

The Power of A Praying Woman

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

Do you believe in miracles? Have you witnessed one? Want to? Can you recall the last prayer God answered?

An active prayer life is essential to function as a child of God!! E. M Bounds says it best. ‘Prayer must be set on fire by an unquenchable desire. This prayer must be accompanied by such a sense of need that it cannot be denied, and by a fixed determination that will NOT let go and that will never fail until it secures the BEST and last blessing God has in store for us!’

Intense prayers, regardless of circumstances, has allowed me to to witness God perform miracles resulting in a stronger faith today than yesterday. Recognition that God always answers prayers in His timing and way. And, for the record there have been yes and no answers. Growing in faith has given me a desire to continue my spiritual journey with Jesus so all my yesterdays echo the same message. If we can by faith internalize the awesome God we serve, sincerely acknowledge the power of the One and Only – a personal God who loves so much deeper and unconditionally than our humanity can embrace would we live differently? Sure. How? Prayer – the key that opens the heart of God.

God listens and cares. Pray with fervency – a passionate intensity BELIEVING God for what He can do. Don’t give up – persist – prevail – seek Him with all your heart. After all impossibilities are His specialties!

“Dear Father, please let us pray fervently believing you can do the impossible.”

For His Glory

Patsy Sanders
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 13, 2018

God’s Love Serves Us Well

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I go from Your presence? Psalm 139:7 (NIV)

Easy to slip into conversations – scroll through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – we’ve got a front row seat to a host of “friends.” Amazing how captivated we can become with their posts and chats. And if they say something we don’t like, we simply block them. That’s right – ending a conversation never seemed so easy. A click of the mouse and they are blocked from our presence; defriended and yes, disconnected.

Social media may offer us a quick in and out no explanation required, but we can never flee the presence of our God. Psalm 139 echos the intimate pursuit of our souls. The One who knows us best, even better than we admit to ourselves, has no limits to His seeking. Wherever we go, when we go and how we go is full disclosure to Him. There’s no hiding from our omnipresent God.

Can’t even begin to comprehend the familiarity of God with our footsteps. Despite our lingering desire to avoid, escape and excuse away His presence, God stays. When we soar to our greatest joys, He’s dancing in our midst. When we fall to our lowest pit, He’s there. When we cower in shame and guilt, He’s draws near willing to hold us close.

Friends may stay and friends may go, but we are never alone. God is our ever present help. He’s not impressed with our words or caught off guard by our actions. No surprises evolve before His eyes. We are fully authentic, organic and deeply loved by the Creator of the Universe. The One who formed us, gave us life and knows the number of our days desires one on one time with us.
Love God’s sweet seeking, staying, pursuing and knowing of His children. His love serves us well – best place ever to be – safe, secure in His presence.

“Father, can’t even imagine the depth of your thoughts for us. We are always on Your mind; never forgotten – always loved.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 12, 2018

Fruitful – Yielding More

“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 Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 11, 2018

When Messy Places Spill Over

I’m a proverbial spiller. You got it. Ten children could be sitting around my table, and I’d be the one to spill my tea. Take me out to dinner and somehow slippy fingers lose their grip and wet drizzles off the edge of the table creating quite the mess. Waitress comes running to our rescue and everyone has a little bit of wet to clean up. Seems like messy always spills over and touch others.

Wonder what else in our lives spills over? Despite the fact we are convinced our actions and reactions don’t impact anyone but us, we are wrong. Everything we do, everything we say and the very things we don’t’ do absolutely affect others. No one leaves messy places without being impacted.

While my loose grip likes to follow me, I definitely don’t want what doesn’t serve me well to spill over. Takes intentionality and spiritual maturity to recognize choices that potentially can drizzle messy all around us. Pausing before reacting and responding definitely leaves less room for sticky situations. Evaluating our motives will minimize the proverbial spill we’d rather avoid. And simply reigning in our lack of self control for the Spirit’s control secures our footing.

Despite our best efforts, we can find ourselves the recipient of someone else’s mess. Easy to flip the scales and cast judgment. Doesn’t take much effort to determine messy is more than we want to help clean up. Mercy, grace, kindness and love vacate quickly in the face of a rescue we don’t intend to make. Divine wisdom seekers look to God for discernment rather than running for cover. Avoidance is preferred but then we’ve all been there when we really needed someone – just one – to step up to the plate and help us pick up the pieces.

Love our Sovereign God who knows our tendency to create messy and our lack of desire to rescue other’s messy. Blessed that He uses both to convict us, humble us, mature us, strengthen us and teach us what it means to welcome intervention and birth do-overs. Don’t know about you, but I’m not sure where I’d be if He hadn’t come running to my messy.

“Father, You are our rescuer – the One who comes when no one else will. You are our Wisdom guiding us in helping others. You are our Mercy Giver when our souls are desperately bare at Your feet. Everything we need is found in You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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