Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 16, 2019

Landing On Same

   “Awesome is God from His sanctuary; the God of Israel – He is the One who gives power and strength to His people, blessed be God!” Psalm 68:35

Saturdays, in my book, are reserved for homemade blueberry pancakes smothered in whipped cream. A quiet, peaceful start to the weekend and sleeping in until at least 8:30 am. Crazy busy all week loves still and delicious Saturday mornings. But sometimes, you just break free from tradition and do the unthinkable – get up early.

Found myself there this past weekend at a retreat. Stayed up late Friday night talking with my roomie and then Saturday morning came way to early. In my disordered state, I’m up dressed and hurrying to breakfast at 7:30 sharp! My room on the 2nd floor wasn’t far from the elevator, so I got on and hit the button. When the elevator stopped, I got ready to get off and noticed I was in the same place – 2nd floor. Got back in and hit the button again and landed on 2nd floor again. Silly me, I was pushing the wrong button – amazing how half sleep can distort your vision.

While this is funny, silly and yes, stupid; it reminds me of all the times we keep doing the same things and yet hoping to land somewhere else. Our default settings result in basically being stuck and totally unaware of why we are still there. Now that’s not funny!

Keeping it real here – there’s definitely some things I’ve wanted to do differently. One of them is to lose those extra pounds that just seem to appear from nowhere. Problem is I keep hitting the button of excuses and end up snacking at night (my exhaustion time). Needless to say, I’m not losing weight. Found this principle to be true spiritually – I’ve wanted to have a more concentrated prayer time. Problem is I keep hitting the snooze button on my phone and end up settling for prayer time in my car. Stuck by choice – landing where I don’t want to be.

Perhaps you too find yourself on the same landing…..just want to remind you tomorrow is a new day. Never too late to push the right button and land where we intended. Easy – no way. Definitely requires strategic re-thinking and intentional choosing but not impossible. I know we can do it with God’s help.

“Father, We don’t want to stay the same but change is so hard and default is much easier. Help us to embrace transformation, to eagerly anticipate different and aiming for right choices that lead us closer to You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 13, 2019

Clothed In His Beauty

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness …” Isaiah 61:10a (NIV)

Perfect, flawless a world created in supreme excellence – one we can only read about and desperately try to imagine. The Garden of Eden offered the world’s first couple wedded bliss free from conflict and disagreements. No illnesses derailed their plans. No storm clouds dampened their ventures through paradise. Lions, tigers, sheep and deer roamed freely. Ripe, delicious fruits void of imperfections filled their plates. Lush, green meadows caressed their feet.

A perfect world created by a perfect God interrupted by a seed of doubt entertained in the mind – a dangling temptation contrary to God’s wisdom. How could someone surrounded with beauty be lured into a destructive web of deceit?

It’s a question we ask ourselves every time we buy into Satan’s lies. If our world appears less than perfect perhaps we’ve been lured into a destructive web of deceit too. Maybe we’ve allowed doubt to cloud our thinking or we’ve accepted a dangling temptation that is now suffocating us.

While we do not live in a perfect world, we can abide in the presence of our flawless and supremely excellent God. He offers us a paradise washed in the blood of the Lamb, clothed in the beauty of His righteousness and set free to navigate life filled with the fruit of His Spirit. It’s a world that looks beyond the imperfections, resists the temptations and rests in the beauty of God’s holiness. It’s a wonderful world for those who choose to put their faith and trust in Him.

“Father, we are Your chosen ones, created in Your image and designed to abide close to Your heart – our perfect world.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 12, 2019

My Hope – His Mercy

“When the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud that it made the ground shake!” 1 Samuel 4:5 (NLT)

When my mother was a little girl she was given a Lane cedar chest. A hope chest where she stored her childhood memorabilia. When my daughter was born, I painted it white to match her nursery décor and used it as a toy chest. Twenty-five years later, that beloved chest has a new paint design in John Deere colors and my daughter uses it as a toy chest for her son. To say the least, that cedar chest is a cherished family heirloom.

I believe there was a “hope chest” mentioned for the first time in Exodus. The Ark of the Covenant. The ark served as a symbol of the presence of God and as the throne of God. Inside the ark was manna, Aaron’s staff and the Ten Commandments. These three articles were preserved in the ark throughout Israel’s history reminding them of God’s provision, sovereignty and holiness. Everywhere they carried the ark, the Israelites were victorious; yet when they turned away from His presence, they were helplessly defeated.

The ark of the covenant was the base of God’s mercy seat. The mercy seat was a covering to remind us of our need for a Savior. Aaron was the first high priest that offered blood sacrifices of bulls and goats. But Jesus our last High Priest shed His blood upon the mercy seat to cleanse us once and for all. A Savior full of mercy and grace. God sits upon His mercy seat and shows us forgiveness after forgiveness time and time again.

“Father, You are full of loving kindness and your mercy covers all our iniquities. Thank You for the shed blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all our sins.”

For His Glory

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

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 11, 2019

Caught Up In A Web of Deceit

“Then the Lord said to him (Jacob), Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.” Genesis 31:3 (HCSB)

Twenty years seems like a really long time to be away from home. Jacob’s deception had sent him on the run from his brother, Esau. (Genesis 27). His father-in-law, Laban’s deception had kept him bound to working for him. (Genesis 29). False never serves us well. Perhaps Jacob’s eyes were finally opened to the deceptive web his life had borne.

Despite his unjust treatment by Laban, Jacob worked hard for 20 years. Despite changing his wages, Jacob worked hard for 20 years. But now his desire was to leave, go home and take care of his family. After several attempts to move on, God paves the way saying, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”

Don’t know about you but sometimes in the heat of the battle, we wonder if God sees. When injustices reign high and we know we’re giving our all discouragement settles in. False surrounds us and we’re doing all we can do to hold on to truth despite the circumstances. We look all around us and attempt to run, but God allows us to stay in the midst of it all until He says, “Go.”

Welcomed words, I’m sure for Jacob. To hear God’s release and know that He had seen it all. To realize freedom was just steps away and the chains had been loosed. To not wonder if God would continue to bless him once he left; the sweetness of God’s reassuring presence for the journey home echoing in his ears.

A stolen blessing had sent Jacob fleeing for his life and tore apart his family. A blessing given would follow Jacob back home and restore his relationship with Esau. Beyond his imagination – more than he could have ever conceived. What deception sought to destroy, God rebuilt and used for His ultimate glory.

Sweet friend, don’t think for a moment that God doesn’t see or isn’t fully aware of all that’s touching our lives. His memory is never short. He knows our heart – the ache, pain and misery birthed in the pit of deception. Hold on tight, do the right thing even if it’s hard and you will find He is the great rewarder of those who place their trust and faith in Him alone.

“Father we’ve ridden both sides of this journey deceived and deceiver. Missing out because false lead us in the wrong direction. Help us to stay close to You so truth will cover everything we do.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 10, 2019

Being Salt

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13 (NIV)

“Please pass the salt!” This is a very commonly used phrase, as salt is something that people enjoy adding to their food for flavor. As a matter of fact, some people are so addicted to the taste of salt, that they will add it to their food even before ever tasting the food. If a dish does not have just the right amount of salt in it, it will taste bland and somewhat “boring.”

I have met Christians who are just like food that needed a little kick, a little added hint of flavor to make them interesting and engaging… like food that needed salt! I have also met Christians who are so in tune with the Word of God, so in sync with the Holy Spirit, and have so much energy and charisma about them. They have a strong desire to share their faith with other people and no matter what they are doing, who they are with, or where they find themselves, they are always witnessing to others. Those are the people who are truly following the words of Jesus during His Sermon on the Mount, when He sat down with the people and taught them how they should live being salt and light.

Jesus used the analogy of salt to let people know how important salt can be to life. According to research, there are several benefits to the consumption of salt. It promotes insulin sensitivity and good digestion, improves metabolism, supports thyroid function, reduces stress hormones, helps with overall hormone balance and is a natural antihistamine. Sounds like life to me!

In everything I do, I try to keep in mind that if I do it as unto the Lord, I will strive to always do better. I don’t want to be compared to tasteless salt; the salt that is only good to be thrown away because it has quit serving its purpose. I hope that next time we are at the dinner table and we hear someone asking for the salt, instead of being offended that they want to add more salt to their food, we will be reminded that we have the opportunity to be like salt ourselves, adding flavor to the lives of others.

“Dear Jesus, Thank You for creating us to bring taste to a world that needs You.”

For His Glory

Luska Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 9, 2019

When Shallow Defines Us

 

“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” I Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)

We scroll through our Facebook feed and see lots of familiar faces – friends we call them. We share Tweets and comment on Instagrams of those we follow. Lots of people composing our tribe, but how well do they really know us? How well do we really know them? Good question – one we probably don’t even consider since we’re perfectly fine with our shallow status.

Lacking in depth of knowledge, thought or feeling that’s how Webster defines shallow. A surface knowing of those who check in and out of our feeds catching a glimpse of the highlights of our perfect and sometimes very personal moments.

Sad reality – our okayness with shallow isn’t just regulated to posts or tweets. Could it be our shallowness with others leaks over into our relationship with God? So easy to regulate God to certain areas of our lives. When busy consumes us so simple to grab grace and push God aside until another day. Skimming over His words rather than diving deep seems to be acceptable. Choosing to spend our time on other pursuits instead of passionately pursuing our Creator appears optional. Relying on the rehearsed description of God’s character as defined by others seems like enough.

Real problem here – God is a personal God. He knows each of His children intimately. Every hair on our head, God has numbered (Psalm 139). Not a single detail about us goes unnoticed. He has witnessed every single day of our life and longs for us to pursue Him the way He pursues us. Shallow isn’t part of God’s DNA; He has the inside scoop on everything related to us. If One could know all, doesn’t it make since that all should seek to know One.

Bottom line shallow just doesn’t cut it in our relationship with God. Scripture warns us of the danger of false teachers masquerading as truth (2 Peter 2). Our greatest protection is anchored in a deep knowledge of God’s word. Casual feelings and careless emotions tend to leave us unstable, but an abiding love for God stabilizes our actions. As we develop an ongoing understanding of who God is and the way He relates to His people, we gain clarity in living the life which glories Him. Fruit in abundance will be the direct result of those who don’t settle for shallow.

“Sweet Jesus, ignite within us a deep, burning passion to know You, love You and obey You – best relationship ever.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 6, 2019

When God Moves

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV)

Abraham embarked on the journey of a lifetime when He left the familiar and moved with God. Ruth experienced a love she could have never imagined when grief moved her toward God. Moses witnessed the magnitude of God’s power when he finally chose to move in sync with God’s footsteps.

Esther demonstrated extreme courage as she moved in the strength of Her God. Job thrived in the midst of utter despair as he moved closer to the heartbeat of God. Captivated by the Holiness of his Lord, Isaiah moved and responded to His calling. Young, intimidated and full of questions, Jeremiah moved beyond excuses and trusted in the Sovereign One.

Mary exchanged her heart’s desire for the rhythms of her Father’s grace moving within her body. John moved towards decrease so that the true Son of God would be magnified. Peter instinctively lifted one foot out of the boat as he moved atop the waves to meet His Lord. Jesus surrendered His will, embraced the cross and defeated death moving us closer to the fullness of God’s presence.

Has God been moving in your life? It’s the journey of a lifetime – a love unimaginable! Moving in sync with God guarantees a vision of His glory and the magnitude of His power. Courageous strength follows those who move to the beat of His heart’s desire. Captivated by His faithfulness and love, we can respond to His call. Glorifying God by stepping out into the deep, we will find the fullness and joy of His presence. Moving with God lifts us higher than we ever dreamed!

“Father, transplant our feet from the land of familiar to the uncharted path of pure obedience as we move with You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 5, 2019

When I Don’t Want To Be Me

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

“I wish I could be just about anyone other than me.” When a friend told me this, it broke my heart.

Her despair was understandable. She had been emotionally abused or neglected her entire life–by her father, mother, stepfather, boyfriends, friends, siblings. She was broken and tired.

She had been plodding along the road to healing and wholeness but the pathway was full of pits, wrong turns, and steep inclines. The more she understood and dealt with her past hurts, the more she felt defeated. Maybe there was no light at the end of the tunnel. She certainly couldn’t see it.

I have been there–where the struggle to remember past hurts, forgive those who’ve hurt me or ask forgiveness from those I’ve hurt, and then surrender to God so that He can heal the hurts is overwhelming. Isaiah 61:1-3 has come to my rescue during times of despair.

We are not used up rags after life beats us up. Our brokenness becomes a way for us to glorify God … if we’ll let it.

Being broken is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but if it means I get to be a display of God’s splendor, bring it on! So if you’re not sure you even like who you are … if you wish you could be anyone but you, stand up tall in all your brokenness and be a display of God’s splendor.

“Lord, I come to You in my brokenness asking You to free me from the past, to heal me in my mourning and despair. Plant me as a display for Your splendor.”

For His Glory

Tammy Randlett (http://staletoast.com)
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 4, 2019

Charting My Own Course

“They make their hearts like a rock so as not to obey the law or the words that the Lord of Hosts had sent by His Spirit through the earlier prophets. Therefore, great anger came from the Lord of Hosts.” Zechariah 7:10 (HCSB)

Nothing uglier than a defiant spirit. One bent on doing life its own way. Determined to chart its course the way known only to them. Postured for “my way” is the best way. Unwilling to be changed, deterred or re-routed. No ones’ opinion or view has merit.

Wish those words described others, but I can remember clearly when they were mine. You see, as a young teen, I thought I had all the answers. And my parents, well they were holding back, restraining me from best. Too old fashioned, overbearing and set in their ways to know what was cool.

Interesting how quickly a soft heart can grow cold and hard. Set in stone – carved out to prove it’s right. Decision after decision, compromise after compromise building a mighty fortress barricading truth from edging in. Ignoring the obvious staring us straight in the face.

One huge issue with defiant – it comes with an overwhelming set of consequences. Resisting God’s truth will always land us on the short end of the stick. We will reap whatever we sow, even if we thought our crop was ours to plant. As a young teen, I learned some pivotal lessons. Some of those reckonings were doable, yet uncomfortable. Some of the repercussions were difficult, costly and excruciatingly painful to bear. And some unfortunately left scars deep within that hard, calloused heart.

Best solution – resist the proud road! Yes, pride convinces us we have all the answers. Pride opens wide the door to block God’s best and it masquerades as, “I know exactly what to do.” Said those lines too many times. Digested those words and spit them out too in the stark reality of “ I didn’t know what to do.” Cultivate a soft heart, a tender heart bent towards God’s commands. Resist the tendency to exclude godly wisdom and discernment. Admit our lack of and rely totally on God. Heed His warnings and desperately cling to His ways. Now that’s truly the best way to do life.

“Father, You loving and patient guide us – help us to resist the urge to demand our own way.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 3, 2019

If I Only Had The Nerve

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

Many of us are familiar with the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. He had issues with being courageous. He let fear stop him from being victorious. Many of us also find ourselves being intimidated by fear, which we see in scripture, is not given by God.

What leap of faith does God want us to take today? Is it starting a ministry, leading a Bible study group, perhaps giving the gospel to a friend, family member, or co-worker? Fears and worries increase when we become focused on the things of this world. We are reminded in Psalm 27:1 that, “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”
What big idea are we holding on to? We need to pray about it and seek God. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

Let’s take that leap of faith into the territory that has been tugging on our hearts for some time. God will equip us to do the work He’s called us do, without fear, and with that dunamis gk – dynamite, explosive power that only He gives. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Phil.2:13 NLT). The best part about it, if it’s God will, it’s going to be great. But we’ll never find out, until we lose the fear and doubt and get the nerve. Even the cowardly lion stated when he received his courage that, he was afraid of “nothing and nobody.” Remember, WE have the VICTORY!

“Father, help us to remember that You are our light and our salvation and because of that we have nothing to fear. Please help us focus on the promises of Your word so that we can live in victory and bring glory and honor to Your name.

For His Glory

Cynthia J. McCoy (strengthandhonorministries.org)
TRBC Women’s Life

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