Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 3, 2017

For God’s Glory

“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.” Psalms 85:9 (NKJV)

The sun’s rays – body relaxed and accepting, welcoming the beams that distribute vitamins to my skin and serotonin to my brain.  Eventually, I have a sheen to my skin previously unseen.  In fact, wait too long, and searing pain meets crimson.  I may absorb warmth, energy, health and color from the sun but I remain clear as to the source of these changes:  the sun.  I contributed nothing to the sun’s power but have the advantage of being its recipient of goodness.

As followers of Jesus Christ, through the process of sanctification, our very selves are being transformed.  We must remain aware as to the source of these changes:  God.  Our once hardened hearts become gentle and compassion flows from our lives.  Our thoughts are challenged as God’s perfect love repeatedly reveals that His ways are markedly different than those of the world.  Comparison, envy and anger replaced with love, patience and joy.  Before long, our entire being takes on a different hue.  The radiance of Christ in us is inescapable.

Having been with the Lord on Mount Sinai, Moses veiled his radiant face and in response dedicated Israel to God.  The glory of the Lord filled the temple as Solomon praised the Lord for the fulfillment of His promises to His people.  Paul implored followers to give all glory to God, to do all things to the glory of God, the Father of glory.

The Holy Spirit resides in us to glorify Jesus. Do we take His glory and hold onto it as though it were our own?  May we always cherish the changes that You work in us, Lord. These changes show that we have been adopted into the family of God.  You are pleased to call us Your daughter.  It is Your pleasure to use our gifts, abilities and character to draw all people to salvation through Jesus.  But, may we never try to take Your glory.

“Father, may we not forget that it’s Your Glory.  May we abide in Your love so that we radiate Your beauty to a world that without Jesus Christ is without hope and a future.”

For His Glory,

Kathryn Hayman
TRBC Women’s Life

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Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 2, 2017

When Choices Meet Consequences

“But Cain answered the Lord., “My punishment is too great to bear!” Genesis 4:13 (HCSB)

Ever found yourself overwhelmed by the weight of natural consequences?  Don’t worry you’re not alone.  It’s the trademark of sin – experiencing pleasure in one moment – reaping ugly in the next. Caught up in Satan’s lies, we believe that our choice, our preference, our joy is far more important than obeying God’s truth.

Don’t know about you but I would much rather choose my own consequences.  We’re usually very good at excusing away our sin, stretching our sob stories and pivoting all the attention back to poor “us.”  That’s exactly where we find Cain in Genesis chapter 4.  Little brother, Abel, offers God his best offering; Cain (big brother) offers God whatever.  Anger, fury, jealousy – you name it Cain’s obsessed  with little brother’s blessing from God in contrast to his warnings from God.   If only Abel were out of the picture, then perhaps things would be different so Cain kills Abel.

Wonder if we’ve said similar words?  If I could just manipulate these circumstances, move myself up to a favorable spot, push others aside then I would be the one chosen – the one blessed. It happens ever so simply when we get our eyes off God and onto self.  End result, our sin like Cain’s stares us square in the face.   The conversation that echos from scripture  reveals Cain’s heart is far from God.  Sorrow isn’t etched on his lips.  Remorse and regret don’t follow. Just a complaint – the price tag is too great for me (Cain) to bear!

True repentance never zeros in on sin’s consequences but rather recognizes sin’s offense.  The Psalmist David said it best, “Against You oh God have I sinned and done evil in Your sight.”  Admitting his sin and facing the truth was not Cain’s agenda.  Victim status rose to the surface when God revealed the consequences for his actions.  Enabling Cain to stay the same, excusing away his sin and listening to his sob story was not God’s agenda.  Mercy, love and grace were Cain’s for the taking, yet he chose to flee the Lord’s presence.

Sound familiar?  When the path we’ve taken results in devastation do we confess and turn towards God or do we pamper our choices and seek relief?  God is our redeemer, restorer, rebuilder and grace giver but He will never settle for less than best when it comes to His children.  God  knows that true repentance leads to transformation and that sweet friend draws us closer to His presence.

“Father too many times, we want to skip out of consequences rather than endure teachable moments that serve us well.  Help us to embrace Your loving correction.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 29, 2017

When Getting Out of The Boat Is The Next Best Move

“Jesus called out to them, “Come follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” Matthew 4:19 (NLT)

My husband loves to take pictures of sunrises and sunsets so that is a time when we share special moments. This photo captures one of those sweet times.

In Myrtle Beach, there is a church on the waterway with a cross out by the water. It’s one of our favorite places to capture the sunset. The night this photo was taken was just after the Charlottesville chaos, so I slipped away to spend some time in prayer for the families and our nation. While praying, I noticed just past the cross was a man fishing.  Immediately my thoughts went back to when Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Then a little further up the shore, He saw James and John in the boat with their Father and called to them.  Immediately they left their boat and father to follow Jesus.

Are we willing to get out of our boat and be uncomfortable to follow Jesus and reach those he sent us to reach? We live in a world of hurting people who need Jesus. There is chaos all around us. We are so comfortable in our small groups with our friends, but Jesus calls us to leave our comfort and follow Him. Let’s get uncomfortable and get out of our comfortable boats.
 

“Father, thank You for the reminder that we were not made to be comfortable; we were created to fish for people. Show us where You want us to go.”

 

For His Glory,

Debbie Struble
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 28, 2017

Expectant Hope

“If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” Leviticus 26:3- 4

 

Sapphire sky, soft breeze blowing, flower beds occupied by brilliant colors and even the birds are vocal in their pleasure for such a glorious day.  The gurgling of tea meeting ice would be perfect right now.  Except that I can think of only one thing: winter.  Yep, winter.  I am originally from Canada.  It may be the most spectacular summer day but I am aware that winter is around the corner.  I have such a dislike for winter that several years ago, my husband and I moved to Georgia.  Georgia experiences one day of winter each year; perfect for me.  Of course the year we moved, an ice-storm shut the city down for a week.  Our Canadian friends were quick to mock.

Many reflect on the changing of the seasons.  Even the air knows it’s spring, as we plant seedlings in anticipation of growth.  Hoping to find time to relax, in our busyness, we wonder what happened to summer and how can it be that the children must return to school already.  In autumn, our yard foliage is mature with leaves falling to the ground.  It seems like the earth is preparing for a long sleep.  And, in fact, it is.  Winter approaches.  The land is quiet, blanketed in white.

We can do nothing to alter the God-designed cycle of nature.  For this cycle too can be seen in our lives.  My children, emerging young men, keep me challenged and engaged.  Parenting is hard work but with it comes immense joy that is indicative of this season of summer.  As many can attest, shortly, a silenced home will point towards an autumn of remembrances.  Winter resides in my days as well.  Giving up what I once loved reminds me of the harsh realities of frigid temperatures when work is done and the land rests.  But may it rest in wait of the next spring.

May we remember that we are given many springs should we seek.  Times when we can explore God’s new gifts.  And yes, spring is evident for the young but can be embraced in our later years as well.

“Father, may You remind me that my seasons can be neither rushed nor held onto beyond their prescribed time.  May I trust that You have ordered each perfectly according to Your plan and purposes.”

For His Glory,

Kathryn Hayman
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 27, 2017

Where Do We Place Our Faith

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1 (NLT)
 

I grew up figure skating. I loved the feeling of cold air on my face as I whirled around the rink. The blade slicing through the ice during a deep edge was my favorite sound. Experimenting with new positions in a spin was how I chose to spend the majority of my time. My coach preferred that I practice my jumps, so I did my best to stay out of her line of sight while I continued practicing spins.

Launching myself off an edge or toepick into the air was scary. Anything could happen, including falling hard. Whenever it was time to learn a new jump, my coach would explain what she wanted me to do then fully expected me to execute the jump. Right at the moment of takeoff, my fear would sabotage the jump, preventing me from getting the height needed to complete the rotations. No matter how much she yelled, flailed her arms, or stomped her feet, I could not make myself jump high enough.

Finally, my coach would bring out the jump harness. Working on a pulley, she would pull the rope at the point of takeoff, assisting me in getting the height I needed. I trusted my coach to lift me at just the right moment. Eventually, my confidence grew as my body learned the muscle memory required to perform the jump without her assistance.

Our key verse speaks of much more than faith in another person to assist us in a difficult jump or to help us accomplish a goal.

We have been declared righteous by placing our faith in God alone who has the power to save us. This “peace with God” is not merely a temporary feeling, a sense of happiness dependent on favorable circumstances. Our righteous standing before God creates a permanent sense of harmony, a lasting peace of mind.
We have all sinned. Our sin separates us from God, but faith in Christ as our Savior frees us from the penalty of sin (Romans 3:23-24 NLT). Because of what Jesus has done for us, we now have reconciliation with God.

Who can you share this Good News of faith in Christ with today?

“Lord, thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus, paying the penalty for our sins, so that we can be made right in Your sight by faith. Give us boldness to share the Good News with others.”

For His Glory

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

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 26, 2017

Called To Go

“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15 (NIV)

I was watching bees pollinating flowers some time ago, and was fascinated at how they diligently moved from flower to flower, gently kissing them while they transferred the pollen amidst them. The pollination process enables the transfer of the pollen, which is fundamental to the process of fertilization of plants, and bees definitely can help with that.

As I sat there, watching the bees, I started to think of how our diligence in being wise with our words, being patient and kind with our actions, and being bold with our communication skills and God-given talents, can grow and enlarge the kingdom of God.  All of these speaking salvation and eternal life in the name of Jesus.

The Bible is filled with stories about the many trips that Jesus and His disciples took in order to teach people about the kingdom of God. In those days, they travelled by foot or donkey.  They didn’t have the amenities we have, such as air conditioned vehicles, filtered bottled water, clean bathrooms and other things we often take for granted. Yet, like the bees with the pollen, they did not stop proclaiming the good news.

 

When was the last time we got out of our comfort zone to talk to someone about the need to accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior? How far were we willing to travel to make sure that other souls would not perish without the opportunity to know the healing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

We are called to go – whether into our own neighborhoods, our cities, or to other nations – to proclaim the news about Christ. Just like the bees, moving about, sharing from what is sweet to us, sharing it with those who so desperately need it. Do not waste time, sweet friend. If the Lord has called you, answer that call and go!

 
“Dear Lord Jesus: You always equip those You call. Our prayer is that we do not waste what You give to us. Thank You for believing in us, Lord.”

 
For His Glory

Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 25, 2017

When Leaving Familiar Behind Serves Us Well

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” Deuteronomy 7:9 (ESV)

Familiar passages of scripture can convince us that we know the story…we don’t need to read it right?  Wrong.  Our Bible Study this Fall is “Seamless” which weaves the beauty of God’s redemptive story from Genesis to Revelation.  So this weekend, I was planning to excuse some Genesis reading because I knew the story.  But God drew me to His words, and I was captivated by all He showed me.  Things I would have missed if I had settled for familiar.  Things I would have skimmed over if I hadn’t slowed down.

I didn’t have to go far before God caught my eye.  Genesis 1 details the beginning of creation.  The transforming of nothing into amazing something.  The hovering of His Spirit  over that nothing, void and empty. God speaking and it becoming our world full of beauty and wonder.  As I read through those words I had read far too many times, I settled on this phrase “And it was so.”  In other words, God spoke and it happened.
Don’t know about you but I need to be reminded of His power to speak over my life. This Jesus girl desperately needs to be reminded that God’s Spirit hovers over empty.  He transforms all our nothings into absolutely amazing. I need to remember that He is the Faithful and True One.  I need to cling to the promise that what He says does happen.  We can count on God to deliver. We can know without a shadow of a doubt that He created us.  We can reflect on His finishing words:

“And it was so.  God saw all that He had made and it was very good.”  Genesis 1:30b-31

Sweet place to rest our minds this week – we can trust God to be more than enough for all that we need. All He has to do is speak and it will be so.  Nothing is too hard or impossible for our mighty God (Luke 1:37).  But if He chooses to speak in a way that disappoints our plans, we can always trust that He makes it all very good for His glory.

“Father, we are truly in awe of your power and majesty.  Love the sweet reminders that Your Word is fresh and new every day – leaving familiar behind.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 22, 2017

Are You Stuck In The Fog?

“Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good.” Proverbs 4:25 (NCV)

 

Walking into my office daily, I have the privilege of a beautiful mountain view living in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One day it was so foggy, that one couldn’t see much in front of them. I was reminded of how sometimes God allows that fog in our path. Yet we struggle with letting the fog of life keep us from focusing on Him and what He has just beyond it. What are we letting the fog of life keep us from focusing on? Are we focused on the roadblock? Will we be able to move forward or stay stuck in the moment?

 

That mountain range isn’t far away and it is just breathtaking. It will be there with or without the fog in front of it. Some days we get to enjoy its beauty. Some days we need to know it is there and that is enough. God will always be there. He’s never going to let us get out of his sight. No fog will block His protection of us. Keep your focus on what is right and keep moving forward even in the gunk of the fog. The beauty on the other side is far greater.

 

“Father, thank you for the fog to challenge us. May we always keep our eyes focused on you.”

 

For His Glory

Debbie Struble
TRBC Women’s Life

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 21, 2017

Open Up Your Ark

“Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.” Genesis 7:23 (NIV)

The news is all over the media: Hurricane Harvey has caused considerable damage to the city of Houston, TX, and adjacent areas, all the way to the Louisiana border. The hurricane hit the area with such fury, that it torn down buildings, homes, electric poles, and other types of structures. It  also completely submerged vehicles and filled streets with water to the point of reaching the roofline of houses, which made certain portions of the city very dangerous and life-threatening.

No one anticipated such a devastation when word came out that Hurricane Harvey was making its way into the area. As a matter of fact, some people chose to stay in their homes and wait it out. Many of those people have not made it out alive, because the area where they lived became unsurmountable for rescue workers to offer their services.

Any time we are faced with a calamity of this magnitude, we tend to get closer to God and put our affairs in order, because we do not want to chance losing everything that we have, including the opportunity to spend eternity with God in heaven.

Though Hurricane Harvey had much more force than the infamous Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city of New Orleans, LA, back in 2005, it is not the Great Flood and it is not going to wipe out the entire earth with its fury. However, as we look at all the damage and destruction it has caused to the city of Houston, TX, we can – and should – take a few minutes and thank God for all that He provides for us, day in and day out, and for His protection that is always over us.  Perhaps we can place ourselves in Noah’s place, by being people who open our arks, a.k.a. homes and hearts to people who have lost everything they had and have nowhere else to go. In times like these, we can practice hospitality and really show our neighbor the love of God, which, in many cases, is what they need, even more so than things that can easily be lost in the blink of an eye.

“Father, use us as conduits of Your love on this earth, so we can bless those around us. You are the Giver of all things. May we never be greedy with those things.”

 

For His Glory

 
Luska Suzano
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 20, 2017

A Savory Flavor

You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13 (NLT)

 

Our mission was simple: serve through painting houses in a Central American village. Armed with beautiful pastels, a paint brush, and a smile, we launched our mission. Some rolled color on dirty stucco while others brushed corners and edges with precise detail. Unfortunately, we noticed a problem when it was time to change colors—not enough water in the outdoor sinks to wash the rollers and brushes. Workers tried in vain to clean the painting supplies sufficiently under a trickle of water.

 

Our local leader decided on a plan of action: we could wash the supplies in the creek and get back to our mission. Several minutes later a gentleman approached us, not with a grateful smile for the beautiful painting we were doing, but with a look of concern etching his face. Without a translator, it was difficult to communicate. Through a series of gestures, we finally understood. The creek was the primary source of water for drinking and cooking in the village. Now it was polluted with paint. Umm…oops.

 

We apologized profusely and helped clean up the creek. The villagers forgave our ignorance and thanked us for our help in beautifying their neighborhood.

 

Our poor solution to cleaning our brushes and rollers caused the creek to be unable to serve its purpose. Our key verse explains that when salt loses its flavor, it is also unable to serve its purpose. Jesus states the purpose of believers: to be the salt of the earth.

 

“How do we as believers serve our purpose of being the salt of the earth? As the salt of the earth, we are to be a godly example of faith in Christ. Following Christ in grace and purity draws those around us to be cleansed by accepting Christ’s sacrifice and salvation. “…But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11 NLT)

 

Who can we reach out to this week with the savory flavor of our faith?

 

Thank You, Lord, for cleansing us and setting us apart for Your purpose. Open up doors for us to extend the savory flavor of Your grace and mercy to others this week.

 

For His Glory

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

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