Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 15, 2018

Confident of His Ability

“For He (God) remembered His holy promises given to His servant Abraham. He brought out His people with rejoicing, His chosen ones with shouts of joy.” Psalm 105:42 (NIV)

Ever find yourself searching for the one thing you need right now but can’t seem to remember where you put it? If you’re like me, you always put it in a certain place so you can find it only to become totally frustrated when you forget where that place is. We search diligently convinced we know exactly where we put this one thing we need. We become aggravated when our attempts to find send us on an endless scavenger hunt. And when we come up empty handed, we simply give up.

With all the techno advances we have it’s easy to see why my brain eases into forgetfulness. Need to call mom – my cell phone has all my contact numbers. Got a doctor’s appointment, my goggle calendar is synced to my phone and remembers my schedule. Quick trip to the grocery store and my list app reveals what I need. Easy to understand why my mind has a short memory stick when I’m not the one remembering.

Love these sweet words from the Psalmist totally confident of His God’s ability to remember. God doesn’t need Goggle or an app to trigger His memory bank. Etched in His mind are the Holy promises He makes to His people. He never forgets a single word, He never reneges on His promises and He is our forever covenant keeper.

Can’t say I know anyone else who does exactly what He says always. Don’t remember a time when someone fulfilled every promise. But I can see God’s echos of remembrance and faithfulness throughout scripture. Every rainbow shouts, “I remember you and I will not destroy all living creatures again.” Each story unfolding whispers, “I am the keeper of my covenant with my people forever.” Every miracle resonates with God’s goodness and loving kindness proclaiming, “You are my chosen ones; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Beautiful truths we can cling to. Honest words reverberating in our hearts. Trustworthy promises always kept. This is who our God is – our forever covenant keeper – we can believe in Him completely without reservation. A promise keeper who never forgets or backs out making good on His every word from generation to generation.

“Father, we can rest confidently trusting in You to always remember us. We will never be forgotten or forsaken. You are our faithful, true and Holy God whose love endures forever.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 12, 2018

God’s Forever Faithfulness

“Lord, You have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God.” Psalm 90:1-2 (HCSB)

I remember those single mom years – seems like yesterday sometimes. Me and my little boy doing life together. Football practices, movie nights and trips to the lake. Fun times, crazy memories that echo in this momma’s soul. Definitely not all sugar coated – lots of tough years and struggles that challenged us deep. We shared too much chicken noodle soup and stretched every dollar at the grocery checkout line. Never forgot the co-worker who kept me clothed with her hand me downs; shopping for momma never hits the list. And in the midst of all these, God has been and continues to be my sweet place of refuge.

Really shouldn’t surprise me – God’s forever faithfulness. I can see it etched from generation to generation. My granny was a single mom raising my dad and his sister. Never went hungry; they survived it all. Greatest prayer warrior I’ve ever known this tiny little woman who never gave up, never gave in and persisted before the throne. Loved her Jesus much. Cancer took my other granny way before her time. She was a strong, wise business woman who fought her battle hard and long. Despite her pain and suffering, granny loved big and clung to her Jesus even in the hardest of places.

I can trace God’s faithfulness sprinkled throughout our family tree. God’s unchangeable, unshakeable and unmoveable character providing sweet refuge for His children. Tender graces that shaped and molded me formed out of generations of His faithfulness. Snapshots I will never forget. Memories forever framed in my mind. Sustainers that rise to the surface when hard days hit.

So what’s your God story? How has He been faithful to you and those you love? Steal away a few moments this Fall to collect those memories. Reminders that He is always there. Trace His fingertips across your life and savor His refuge from generation to generation. Share those stories with someone on the edge of giving up. Give those stories to those you love and cherish. Our God – the faithful One – from everlasting to everlasting.

“How I love the pages of our journey God – echos of Your faithful love to us.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 11, 2018

Running Far With Jesus

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die.” I Kings 19:4a (NKJV)

Interpreting individualized car tags can be fun and challenging. On the way to work one morning one read ‘I Run Far.’ Ok, inquiring minds want to know how far, where, why? Physical running can be enjoyable and therapeutic; however, for some people ‘running away’ seems to be the only option to flee life’s challenges.

We find this example in I Kings Chapters 18-19. Chapter 18 finds Elijah celebrating God magnificently proving Himself, but then inconsequentially Chapter 19 finds him running ‘far away.’ Why? Because Jezebel, a very wicked queen, had received word that God had tremendously used Elijah. Irritated she threatened his life. Fear and doubt gripped this mighty man of God so ferociously he felt his only option was to run – far away. Not only did he run away, he refused to eat, drink, or rest resulting in depression and inevitably praying to die!

How many times does God use us beyond our human ability and without warning we find ourselves like Elijah – fearfully doubting God. The truth is we can’t run from ourselves. Though Elijah’s faith was challenged, God met his physical needs and is ultimately found encouraging Elijah in a still small voice.

What are you running from today? A broken marriage, fear of the unknown, failure, etc.? Listen to God’s voice. Running away is not an option – ‘running far’ with Jesus is. He is your personal cheerleader!

“Dear Jesus, please teach my heart to run to You not away from You.”

For His Glory

Patsy Sanders
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 10, 2018

The Other View

“But love your enemies….” Luke 6:35a (ESV)

Ever met someone who challenged you but not in a good way? We’ve probably all experienced moments when doing life with someone who doesn’t see things the way we do pushes our buttons. We try to sugar coat it at first. We even attempt to dismiss the irritation for a while. But the differences seem to build rather than melt. Simply put they get under our skin.

Been there a few times myself when opposites definitely didn’t attract. Also endured seasons of pretense and unexpected motives. Learned the hard way that not everyone can be trusted. Harbored some not good feelings for way too long – didn’t serve me well.

Wonder if the one who wasn’t like me felt the same way I did? Could they also be challenged because I’m so different than they expected? Causes me to dig deep and ponder that thought. Perhaps their buttons were pushed and irritation overtook their actions.

We don’t often flip the coin and view the “other’s perspective” when we zero in on our world. Much easier to feed our feelings of hurt and woundedness than uncover what’s lying under the surface. More common to respond, react and cherish bitter.

Reminded today of Jesus’ words – love your enemies. Quite the opposite of what we tend to do. Definitely not our default. Not only did He instruct us to love them, but we are to pray for them and do good for those who hate us. Wow not quite sure I could ever do that – in fact, I know I can’t – not in my human frailty. So glad I don’t have to depend on self to move me from hate, dislike and bitterness to love, kindness and mercy. His supernatural power working within me can achieve far more than I could ever accomplish. And the choice sweet friend is simply obedience to Jesus’ words. Embracing the better way to do life than cherish our hurts and preferences.

Got any enemies hovering around your circle today? Wonder what would happen if we let go of the drama and chose instead to pray for them. And while we’re praying for them, let’s pray for ourselves that we will see them through God’s eyes. Let’s avoid quick reactions and pause, reflect, pray and seek God’s guidance. Let’s ask Him to strengthen us so we can truly love the way He loves. Keeping it real here – we won’t be perfect but let’s not settle for excuses. Instead let’s purpose now to glorify Him even in challenging relationships.

“Father, You have created each of us. Our differences offer us an opportunity for You to sharpen us, purify us and refine us to be more and more like You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 9, 2018

A Glass Half-Full

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” Romans 5:3 (NLT)

Red eye flights are the worst. We boarded the plane at 10:00 p.m. and headed for the back of the plane. We filed into the last row, next to the only restrooms servicing the 150 other people flying economy. As we reached cruising altitude, we depressed the button to recline the seat. (I’m not sure recline is the right word. When I picture a reclining chair, I see a La-Z-Boy chair that lays nearly flat, not a seat that leans back an extra inch or two.)

Could it be a malfunctioning button? A flight attendant noticed our distress as he passed by and said, “Sorry, those seats don’t recline because of the wall behind you.” Oh well, how much would an extra inch or two help anyway? Then the passengers in the row in front of us decided to get comfortable. Now, not only were our seats unable to recline, the seats in front of us felt like they had dropped in our laps.

We tried to doze on the nearly 5-hour trip, but failed miserably. When we finally arrived home, aching for our beds, my son said, “At least no one could kick the back of our seats on that flight.” Always a glass half-full kind of kid.

Red eye flights are not THE worst, I know. I can think of a dozen “problems and trials” we may face that are so much more difficult to bear. Rejoice? Is Paul (the author of Romans) an optimist like my son? How can he tell us we can rejoice in the face of difficulties?

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:3-5 NLT)

In context, we understand that our hope lies not in our circumstances, but in the salvation God provides. He fills us up with His love to endure all things.

“Lord, we know it’s not a question of if we have problems and trials, but when. Thank You for the hope we find in You alone, no matter what today holds.”

For His Glory

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

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 8, 2018

When Intentional Serves Us Well

“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6

I’m not camping material. I’ve went, done that and yes, resolved its just not me. But there is one tiny little detail I fell in love with – the campfire. Sitting around a blazing fire feeling the warmth, captivated by the embers and orangy blaze now that’s doable. Felt so amazing as long as I stayed close to the fire, not so good if the flames died down. Blessed there was plenty of firewood to stoke the flames.

Just like a cozy campfire needs to be stoked, God desires for us to fan the flame of our gift. Love this sweet reminder from Paul to young Timothy. Inspirational words to be stretched and invest in the gift God has freely given to each of His children.

How do we not let the flame die? One word – intentionality.

Being intentional with our gift means we won’t let the passion fade. We will guard our commitments and establish priorities. We will carve in time to learn, practice and discern how to use our gift. We will seek God’s direction and embrace moments when we are stretched out of our comfort zone. We won’t lose our desire to serve, and most of all we will not settle for anything less than offering God our very best.

My Dad taught Sunday School until his health declined in his late 70s. Never once did he think about not showing up for that group of first graders on Sunday morning. Faithfully, he welcomed, hugged and encouraged those little ones. My grandmother was a passionate prayer warrior. Skipping out on prayer wasn’t on her agenda. As long as she had breath in her lungs, she was talking to Jesus out loud. My friend Jane battled cancer for several years – singing in the choir was no longer an option so she worshipped from her hospital bed. Each trip to the hospital offered her an opportunity to brag on her God who was sustaining her daily.

So how are we using our gift? Are we waiting until a more convenient time to do what God has already equipped us to accomplish? Perhaps we are entertaining thoughts of stepping down because God doesn’t really need us anymore. One thing is for certain, God has plenty of room for all of us to use our gift. Yes, there are seasons when life requires we take a break or transition to serving in another way. But like my friend Jane, God sometimes opens up another audience for that gift to bless and it maybe in the most unexpected place. Now that’s a blazing fire.

“Father, help us to honor You with the gift You have freely gift. Create within us a deep desire to never let the flame die out.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 5, 2018

When Impossible Bears Down

“But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more.” Psalm 71:14 (ESV)

We were looking for the huge thing. The miracle that would end an untimely, unwanted event. Yet nestled right in the middle of all that we wanted and prayed hard for, God was intersecting in the minute details of every moment. Still, silent acts that nudged us to remember that miracles are birthed in small steps just as they are birthed in leaps. And we would have missed them, if “thanks” hadn’t lodged its way right into our conversation.

Another disappointment, a setback and Satan would have us peer into the darkness and wonder if God were even there. Wasn’t He listening when we cried out in the night? Didn’t He see the tears streaming down our tired faces? Could it be this miracle wouldn’t happen? Amazing how quickly Satan rehearses and replays those tapes to invite doubt, disappointment and even anger to rise to the surface. In little spurts, he attempts to drown out the sweetness of God’s truth: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Thankful today for small steps. For edges of gray melting out of darkness reminding us God’s light still shines. For divine interventions God was orchestrating before we even knew what lay ahead. For scribbled down lists of His faithfulness and goodness that would have gone unnoticed or easily forgotten. For unrehearsed conversations that turned our eyes back to the One who is worthy of our praise.

So if you’re looking for the huge thing, the miraculous, the extraordinary don’t get lost in the results. Get lost instead in the love of Jesus and the sweet abiding of His presence. Drink deep of His encouragement and glimpse His touch sprinkled over all our days. Pay close attention to the seemingly insignificant details and watch as He unfolds an amazing story. Gather up praise, thankfulness and gratitude – keep them close and never forget that miracles still happen.

“Father, help us to believe, trust and hold on to the truth of who You really are – the God of all possibilities!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 4, 2018

When The Long Journey Never Seems To End

“Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 (NLT)

You have been tried and tested! You feel like the metal between the anvil and the blacksmith’s hammer. Plunged into the red, hot coals formed by the hammering process and then thrust into a cold bucket of water. Over and over again being shaped and sculpted by the Blacksmith. God has allowed you to travel a long distance through the fiery foundry. Time has been an enemy and a friend. The journey is meant to make us pliable, so in the Lord’s hands, He can mold us into the person He needs us to be. Solid, stable and firm never to return to who or what we once were.

The culprit of time lingers. The hands of the clock seem to be stationary. Dawn turns to dusk, morning to night as the years pile up and accumulate. Waiting, believing and trusting with each passing day the fire, heat and sculpting wasn’t for nothing. You are well aware each loving pang of the Blacksmith’s hammer has purpose. The Craftsman knows the exact minute when His sculpture is ready for display. Once the soot, slag and the black oxide has been polished off, a beautiful masterpiece rises from the flames. A work of extraordinary artistry and workmanship for His glory and His namesake.

When the crucible has been scraped clean and nothing has been left behind; and the casts reveal the likeness of Christ. It is then we realize the steps were well worth the journey. Waiting patiently for the Lord to lay His hammer down because the process is complete. At the appointed time, we are sure God will not allow our pain and suffering to be null and void, but to minister to a lost and dying world. A world yearning to hear of God’s hope and unconditional love. Precious souls are what your pilgrimage has been all about. Count it all joy when the Lord trust you with such a long, arduous mission.

“Thank you Father for when the refining process is complete, Your goodness allows us to reap the aftereffects of our journey here in the land of the living. Our testimonies of Your faithfulness of bringing us through the fire will be an encouragement and example for the ones whose journeys will come after ours. Ensuring them the journey isn’t for nothing.”

For His Glory

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

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 3, 2018

When Weak Invites Strong

“Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b-10 (NIV)

Don’t know about you but there are lots of moments in my day when I feel utterly powerless. Life gets crazy, chaotic and overwhelming. We get out of bed ready to conquer our day and within moments it all swirls out of control. Our superwoman cape slips off and the reality of our vulnerable weaknesses hits us square in the face. Emotional eating doesn’t fix it. Crying doesn’t solve it. Outrage only makes it worse. And wallowing in self-pity pretty much stinks. Just keeping it real here – pride would easily slip in if we thought we had it all covered all the time.

So what’s a girl to do when authentic self unveils our weaknesses? We could just keep pressing thru relying on self but eventually burn out will win and exhaustion will seep in. Perhaps we might consider hiding behind our weak spots allowing them to sideline us and cower in intimidation. Shrinking back rather than stretching forward.

Not quite the solution for brave, courageous women of God. Absolutely love these words from the Apostle Paul reminding us that weakness isn’t to be ignored or dreaded. Delight and joy should rise within us when we allow God to transform our weaknesses into strength. He is our true power source, and we can depend on Him to empower us to do what only He can do.

We all have weaknesses and like Paul, those rough spots are what keep us humbly dependent on our mighty, gracious God. We can resist the independence urge and allow His strength to enable us to do more than we dared imagine. So glad, God sets us up to need Him more and more each day – the perfect place for His glory to shine through us. For when we are weak then we are strong in Him alone.

“Father, too often we run from our weaknesses or attempt to outplay our own strength. Teach us the value of viewing our lack from your perspective and reap the benefits of Your strength.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 2, 2018

He Hears When We Call

“When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:47 (NIV)

When Jesus walked the earth, He was followed by large crowds of people seeking healing and deliverance. They were intrigued by the Rabi who spoke with them about the kingdom of His Father and was always ready to do good to people He did not even know. Some people who needed His healing touch, however, did not have the means to move around following Him, and it was God’s providence that would bring them in contact with Jesus. And that was the case with a man called Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus was sitting alongside the road outside Jericho, when he heard Jesus was in the surroundings. Unable to pick up his things and run to the Lord, Bartimaeus did what he could. He shouted, in the hopes that Jesus would hear his cry. And hear, Jesus did. So Jesus told His disciples to bring Bartimaeus to Him. Standing before the Lord, Bartimaeus told Him exactly what he wished for, which was to gain his sight. And that, he did.

A few days ago, my three-year-old grandson, Nio, stubbed his big toe against the corner of a wall while running in the hallway. His dad had already placed a Band-Aid on the toe, but Nio was still inconsolable. A few minutes later, the front door opened and I walked in the house, coming home from work. Before I even had time to set my purse down and kick my heels off, Nio came to me, as he usually does when he gets a “boo-boo,” and waited for me to kiss his toe; and an infinitesimal kind of miracle took place. Shortly after, he was already playing again.

Whether our miracle is something that requires the supernatural intervention of Jesus, or just a kiss by a loving grandparent, we still need to bring our need forward. If you have a need today, trust that your Heavenly Father is listening to your call and He will heal your heart.

“We need You, Father. Hear our cry for help.”

For His Glory

Luska Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

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