Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 16, 2023

In The Moment

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”   (Isaiah 26:3, ESV)

God in His infinite wisdom designed me with this innate ability for details.  I’m a planner.  I love for things to be organized.  I want to eliminate surprises as much as possible.  One of my spiritual gifts is hospitality. To make a person feel comfortable requires taking the time to think through the situation and plan appropriately.

Over the years that desire for organization has crossed a line at times and ended up being more about control.  By trying to avoid the anxiety of something unexpected happening, I did my best to plan everything. But instead of calming my anxiety it only made it worse.

Until I went through a season in which I learned a valuable lesson about living in the moment.  Taking one day at a time. One moment at a time. Surrendering my need to control the uncontrollable.  Learning how to keep my mind focused on Jesus all the time.

While I said I trusted Jesus my actions did not reflect my faith.  I was making excuses for letting my anxiety control me.  I was ignoring biblical wisdom and leaning on my understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).  Adamant that I had to do it this way.

Over the years, I’ve missed out on numerous opportunities because I was in my head too much – listening to fear.  Either replaying something unpleasant that had happened or jumping ahead stressing over the “what ifs” of a situation. Leaving me paralyzed with fear.

While there’s nothing wrong with being organized; we can’t stop whatever God has allowed to happen to us – or will allow to happen to us in the future. We are NOT in control.

Making a conscious effort to stop that anxiety ridden train of thought and focus on the truth of Jesus didn’t eliminate all my problems.  It did, however, bring about a peaceful state of mind that allowed me to start living in the moment.  It brought about a freedom to experience a feeling of security like I had never known. Allowing me to embrace things way out of my comfort zone. Leading to things I thought impossible – like mountains moving beneath my feet– one moment at a time. (Isaiah 40:4)

Out of our comfort zone is usually where God calls us to make the most impact for the Kingdom.

There is no promise in the Bible that we won’t experience illness.  Or that people we love won’t die.  There’s no promise that bad things will never happen to us while we’re on this earth.  The promise is that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  No matter what the moment holds – if Jesus is with us – we can endure it!

Father, help us to release our need for control. To trust you more so we can live in the moment and not the fear of uncertainty.”


For His Glory

Laura Holmes (
TRBC Women’s Life


Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 15, 2023

Making It Through Successfully

“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.    I will advise you and watch over you. Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.”     Psalm 32:8,10  NLT

How in the world can a girl get through this life successfully when there are thousands of unknowns ahead of us? Obviously, our human minds can’t know the best path to take. And if this were a problem for only young women, I would have it made, but I still face the same dilemma in the later years of my life. Am I doing what God wants me to do? Where does He want me to go? How can I use my time and strength to the best advantage?

We’ve all been told that God only shows us one step at a time. Sometimes it’s hard to trust Him for the next step, not knowing where it all will lead, but look at verse 8. He promises to not only guide you for the best pathway for your life (a custom-designed plan just for you by an all-knowing, crazy-in-love-with-you God) but to watch over you as you go. This speaks of continuing guidance and protection as we walk the path He shows us. It’s an ongoing watchfulness. No matter what decisions you face, no matter your uncertainty about your ultimate destination in life, God is watching over you as you read this. He will still be watching over you tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.

Most of us have had many people watching over us and guiding us from our youth, starting with parents and teachers. Then there were guidance counselors, career counselors, aptitude tests to tell us what kinds of jobs would suit us, and psychological tests to determine what slot our personality fits in. But there has never been a guide like the Lord, who knows our hearts and can see into the future.

He will guide you along the best pathway for your life. He said so in verse 8. He will lead you away from entrapment in sin. When He takes you on a detour you think is a mistake, it’s quite likely a side trip to enrich you and strengthen your character. Maybe He’s positioning you to meet people who will have a major impact on your life, or you on theirs.

And when you feel you have failed, God still has a plan. This is the God who loves you unfailingly, who shows His unfathomable hesed each day, who will never leave you or forsake you. He truly has your best interest at heart. Truly.

“Father, often the path You show us is scary or uncomfortable, and we are tempted to choose another way that seems easier. But we pray for strength and courage to obey Your voice and thank You that You are always there, guiding and watching over us.”

For His Glory


Cherie Williams (
TRBC Women’s Life


Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 14, 2023

No Complaints

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, so that you will be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15

We are in the midst of Lent—40 days of preparation for the Easter celebration. Growing up Catholic, we were always told to give up something we like during that time. And I did—but for me, it was just a box to check off, and I didn’t really use it to deepen my relationship with God. (Plus, I would do very flesh-fulfilling “sacrifices”—like giving up beer but then carrying around a bottle of vodka to parties…and proclaiming proudly, “Yeah, I can’t drink beer because I gave it up for Lent.” Cue the self-righteous swag.)

Anyway, once I truly surrendered my life to the Lord, the meaning of Lent definitely shifted for me. I’ve become much more intentional over the years about focused prayer, preparation, and praise about the Resurrection of Jesus and the impact of that historical eternity-changing event. Especially its eternity-changing impact on me.

This year—which is also my “year of Joy”—I decided to fast an intangible thing: complaining and grumbling. In Philippians (one of my favorite epistles…well, they all become my favorite as I’m reading them), Paul commands believers to “do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14). The Greek word he first uses (translated “complaining” or “grumbling”) means murmuring discontent, which could be the complaining we do in our own minds regarding a situation or that quiet (or not so quiet) group-gripe among friends or co-workers—generally about another person. The word for “arguing” here means to hesitate, doubt, or outright rebel against what is true or what ought to be done. Each is a slightly different take on our general word “complain.”

Now, I’m not a big complainer, but I can get frustrated by other people—especially when they don’t do what I think they should…you know, the right thing. (I won’t expand on my “moral perfectionist” tendencies right now, but you probably get it. And I know I can be equally frustrating to others in this regard. But I digress.) Anyway, I don’t say anything to them, but when the interaction is done, I might have a few things to say in my own head…or I run to my husband with those grumbling thoughts. Or, when a coworker or friend has a complaint against a person we both interact with, I would tend to join them—to “empathize”, which ended up sounding a bit group-gripey.

So, what does my “fast from complaining” look like? First, I try to stay away from all news, which has the power to set me off on all kinds of not-so-quiet tirades. But the more potent application for me is to weave Paul’s command into my everyday moments. When a situation arises that could cause internal grumbling, I look for—and profess—the positive and the blessing in it. Or, if I’m talking with someone who is going off on another person’s words or actions, I do not join in, but try to redirect the “griper” to something affirmative about that person or the scenario about which they’re griping. I try to turn discouragement into encouragement.

This has been pretty amazing. As I mentioned, I didn’t think I was much of a complainer, but being intentional about not even grumbling to myself has made a bigger difference than I anticipated. The result? A new level of joy throughout the day! (There are so many levels of truth in this, how what we think impacts our feelings and actions—but that’s another blog.) And I hope that by not engaging in group gripe that I’m bringing a little joy into other people’s day as well—shining light into the darkness. The coolest thing is that my husband (a self-admitted complainer) is also doing the Philippians 2:14-15 fast. As you can imagine, our home atmosphere has shifted. Again, we didn’t complain or argue with each other (at least, not very often), it was more a conspiratorial co-grumbling about other people and situations. Being free of this, we are deeply embracing another part of Paul’s letter to the Philippians—chapter 4, verses 4-9. Check it out, as these verses make another great prep-for-Easter approach!

What about you? Why not halt the grumbling and arguing—and choose joy? It was for the joy set before Jesus that He endured the cross for us (Hebrews 12:2)…so, let’s fix our eyes on Him with joy for what He accomplished on our behalf that Easter morning.

“Lord, Your death and resurrection made a way for us to be reconciled to God—to go from darkness to light, blindness to sight, death to life. May that Truth permeate our days, overtaking any complaints with the joy of our salvation.”


For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life






Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 13, 2023

Why Empty Never Serves Us Well

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.”  2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

When you’re planning to make your fave dessert no one wants to find an empty flour container.  Even worse is when you’re craving eggs for breakfast and upon opening the fridge you find an empty egg carton.   Disappointment quickly follows then frustration. Nothing satisfies when what we really want is gone.

Recovering from our hunger pains or passion for dessert will pass, but our attempts to navigate life on empty never serves us well.  We’ve all been there when rest was evasive and exhaustion was our close companion. Like an empty pitcher attempting to fill everyone’s glasses, we resort to relying on self and excuse what we really need.

Sound familiar?  It’s ever so easy to coast dependent on self because life’s too busy to recharge our souls.  Spiritual self-care gradually slides to the back burner for the sake of doing it all ourselves and figuring it out. Simply put – we’ve got this.  Not quite the way God planned for us to be filled.

Just like our physical bodies can’t exist without oxygen, our spiritual bodies can’t exist without God. Empty leaves little for us to truly give to self and others.  Best solution is to never land in the place of empty.  To consistently nurture our souls and lean into God’s wisdom positions us to navigate life with the overflow of His filling.  God isn’t looking for perfection; He’s looking for pursuit. If we seek Him, we will find Him.

Keeping it real here – what’s standing in the gap of our God filling?  What’s consuming our focus, time and energy?  Perhaps it’s time to evaluate how empty is working for us.  Remember healthy evaluation is not condemnation but information and awareness.  Asking God to remove our blinders and dependence on self opens us up to see what He already knows.

The most important relationship we will ever have is the one we have with our God.  When we read and study His word, our minds are enlightened to His truth and wisdom.  When we pull ourselves away from the chaos and noise to pray, we will experience the beauty of an intimate conversation like we’ve never  known before.  Starting our day with worship ignites our souls to the glory and wonder of the One who inspires, encourages and uplifts our focus from this world.  Memorizing and meditating on His words equips us for the battles we will face and brings to mind exactly what we need to say or do to encourage others.  Maintaining a short account of sin positions us for clarity, growth and influence.  Godly friendships and accountability is priceless.  If we genuinely want to flourish and nurture our souls, then we will welcome community.

Sweet friends, spiritual self-care isn’t optional; it’s essential. Prioritizing our relationship with God will completely fill us, and the overflow will impact the lives of those we love. Every deposit we make, every connection we maintain to Him will never result in empty.

“Father, You have birthed a deep desire within us to seek You, know You and walk in Your truth.  Nothing else ever truly satisfies like You.”  Thank You for overflowing us with Your goodness.”


For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 10, 2023

A Radical Change

“They only were hearing it said, “He (Paul) who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” Galatians 1:23 (ESV)

“You look amazing,” isn’t that what we would love to hear? Especially after the past few years of limited gym use and a lot of sitting at home. Our covid transformation leaves a lot to be desired. Those extra pounds came on quickly – absolute proof binge watching our fave show didn’t serve us well. Nor did all the baking and snacking. Definitely time for a radical change.

Revealing a new us is easier said than done. Changing our routines, setting boundaries, embracing new behaviors and enduring restrictions are hard. We’ve all been there when the momentum dies down and the plateau settles in – transformation seemingly slipping through our fingers. Perhaps the culprit lies in relying on self instead of God’s power to revolutionize us from the inside out.

Nothing more beautiful than the transformation of a soul. The book of Acts details the conversion of Paul (Saul) who violently persecuted the church. A Hebrew from the tribe of Benjamin, trained in the law and living righteously according to the law. Paul passionately pursued the destruction of those who believed in Jesus. Without even a trace of remorse, he watched as Stephen was martyred. On the day of his conversion (Acts 9), Paul was headed to Damascus ready to bind any believers and bring them back to Jerusalem.

A direct, personal encounter with Jesus radically changed Paul’s heart. The transformation totally restructured Paul’s agenda. The one who once was persecuting was now preaching the faith he tried to destroy. The change was evident to all.

Wonder if people notice the radical difference in us as believers. Is there a definitive change in us since we accepted Christ or do we act, respond and live the same?

The Greek word for transform is metamorphoo’ which simply means changing into another form. The moment we accepted Jesus, the process of being changed began. As we surrender our will and embrace the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the old us begins to disappear. When we read, study and obey God’s word transformation happens on a daily basis. It’s an ongoing process and will continue until the day we meet our Savior face to face. Our metamorphoo’ will be noticed not for our glory but for His.

We will never look more amazing than when we reflect the heart of our God. A soul transformed will draw others in revealing the source of the new us – a personal relationship with our God. We should be the talk of the town…. “the one who was_____________________ is now preaching the faith they once tried to destroy.”

“Father, You are the Redeemer of our stories – help us to surrender to Your Spirit and embrace Your amazing metamorphoo in us.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 9, 2023

On Mission With Jesus

“This is my request. I will ask one of them for a drink. If she says, “Yes, certainly, and I will water your camels, too!” –  Let her be the one you have appointed as Isaac’s wife…” Genesis 24:14 (NLT)

What an important mission! Abraham’s servant was given the authority of selecting just the right woman to be Isaac’s wife. Imagine choosing the spouse for your children. Even though it’s customary in some cultures around the world, I personally would never want the responsibility of such a major assignment.  Envision the marriage going awry and the blame is directed toward you…what a liability!  Instead, I’ll keep praying for the Lord to bring the right person for my last child to marry; and that is exactly what Abraham’s servant did…he prayed.

The servant was aware the future of a whole nation populated with Abraham’s descendants was at stake. He prayed asking the Lord for success, kindness and accomplishment. Then he devised a plan to stand near the spring where the young women of the village came to draw water. His request of the Lord was not only would the right woman give him a drink but offer to water his camels too. Then he would know which lady the Lord had chosen to be Isaac’s wife.

Have you ever wondered why the servant put a clause in his request about watering both him and his camels?

By Abraham’s servant’s request, he wasn’t looking for just any girl. He was looking for a kind, giving, caring and compassionate woman. A lady who puts others before herself. Most of the girls would have offered the servant a drink, but which girl would realize the camels need to drink too?  Because Rebekah put others’ needs before herself the servant knew she would make a wonderful helpmate for Isaac.

“Father, like Rebekah, we pray to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others; always being compassionate and understanding with a heart that mimics Your loving kindness.”

For His Glory

Kim Lacey Schock (
TRBC Women’s Life


Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 8, 2023

Being Fruitful In Suffering

“The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Genesis 41:52, ESV)

The Bible reading plan I’m following this year recently led me to Genesis and the story of Joseph. Joseph had endured years of heartache. The unimaginable had happened. He was betrayed by his own family. Abandoned. Alone. He was falsely accused, imprisoned and left for dead.

Despite what was going on in Joseph’s life, he stayed connected to God. He didn’t let the circumstances change that.  Sometimes when life is hard it seems all we can do is just survive it – by any means. But God wants us to do more than survive – he wants us to thrive. He wants us to bear fruit in all seasons.

Later in life, Joseph had two sons.  The oldest he named Manasseh. Manasseh means, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” (Gen.  41:51) The youngest was named – Ephraim “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Gen. 41:52)

Being a “Manasseh” a survivor and getting over a painful past or personal trauma is a wonderful accomplishment. It brings glory to the person.

But the message of Ephraim, “being fruitful in suffering” is that it brings glory to GOD—WHO ALONE can give the grace-filled capacity to face the unimaginable and be fruitful in the unimaginable. An even greater glory is to never forget and to let the suffering become the platform for the display of God’s glory. Producing fruit through pain and heartache is a miraculous occurrence.

It is clear from studying the life of Joseph that God gave him Manasseh.  God gave him the ability to forget the pain, to move past it.  Otherwise, he would have been a bitter, closed off person.

We never read where Joseph gave up and became bitter. God didn’t keep Joseph from enduring a lot of hard things “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor.”  God honored Joseph and opened a lot of doors for Joseph to bless others.

Joseph went from being sold as a slave to the second most powerful person in Egypt. None of us want to go through hard times and suffer great loss. But one thing I’ve learned in my own life- if I keep my eyes on Jesus and allow Him to use me – even when I’m in a situation I don’t want to be in – – He will bring good from it. He will take my emptiness and fill it to overflowing.

“Father, Life is not going as planned.  I am so grateful that You are not caught off guard.  I choose to cast my cares on You.  I can rejoice in my sufferings because I know You will use it for Your glory.

For His Glory

Laura Holmes (
TRBC Women’s Life



Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 7, 2023

How Dare You?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

The Bible says a lot about forgiveness. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus and the Epistle writers command believers to forgive. But often, we believe that “forgiving” equates with “condoning”—and that forgiveness negates the associated pain of the wrong. But that’s not the case.

The thing is forgiveness is a choice—not a feeling. And true forgiveness, although it is a gift to the other person, frees our own soul from the destructive burden of bitterness and anger.

About a decade ago, a virtual bomb was dropped in my life—a revelation of truth that devastated my very soul. I was more hurt and angrier than I thought possible. And no one would have faulted me for wrapping a firm grip around bitterness, never to let go.

Instead, within a matter of hours—in the midst of the shock, horror, pain, and disbelief—I did something unexpected. I chose to forgive.

Please know this was not of my own power—it was not humanly possible. It was the Holy Spirit, living in me, that gave me the supernatural ability to make that decision. In the middle of my pain, He convicted my spirit with five simple words that still burn within today: “How dare you not forgive?”

See, my life is daily filled with sin. I am a sinner. But Jesus stretched out His arms on that cross to pay the penalty I owe. Yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s sins are all forgiven and thrown into the sea of forgetfulness. We who accept the precious gift of salvation are made white as snow even though our sins are as scarlet. (Isaiah 1:18)

When you consider people in your life who have wronged you, you may think, “But that person’s sin is way worse than mine—they hurt me!” But in God’s economy, every sin is an imperfection that stains the perfect righteousness required by a perfect God. And every sin hurts Him too.

We are forgiven. Because of what Jesus accomplished—His pain and suffering on our behalf, His amazing mercy and grace—how can we not extend that same grace, mercy, and forgiveness to another?

Because we are forgiven through Christ, let’s choose to be forgiving through Christ.

“Lord, thank You for forgiving me and making me righteous in God’s eyes. Because of Your grace, empower me to choose forgiveness daily.”


For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 6, 2023

When We Overlook The Obvious

“Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.” Proverbs 8:33 (ESV)

Hate to admit it, but I just spent days trying to figure out why I had no audio for anything on my computer. I tried every solution possible. I increased the sound 100% yet could only hear a tiny whisper. Ready to give up, I looked over to where my Bible was on my desk and found the culprit for my sound loss…my headphones were still plugged in. Total frustration wiped out by my own laughter – how could I have overlooked the obvious?

Quite the funny story? Yes. But not so funny if we find our lack of hearing obstructed not by a device but our choice to let selective hearing reign. Bet we’ve all been there when deliberate blockage of what we needed to hear felt better than the sound of truth. Ouch! Yes, moments occur when we choose to ignore, dismiss and turn from the voice we need to heed.

Wonder what God’s been speaking into our hearts lately? Has the truth of His words stirred us toward obedience or have we denied what we didn’t want to do?

Easy to judge others’ obstructions when the finger pointed out should be pointed in. Failing to admit, we attempt to blame anyone and anything for poor choices when we’ve overlooked the obvious – silencing the voice of God removes His blessings.

Yes, we’re all about the benefits and awesomeness of hearing what aligns with our agenda. Obedience isn’t a challenge when it moves us in sync with our plans. But when what we hear seems hard, difficult and contradictory to our perceived “best,” we simply extinguish the sound.

Sweet friend if we truly want His direction, guidance and protection, we must pray for ears that hear, eyes that see and a heart that is willing to be molded towards His ultimate true best. How does our sovereign God speak? Through the unfolding of His word, through godly counsel, through life experiences – God will use whatever it takes to realign our hearing so He can open us up to the divine orchestration of His will.

Whose voice are you listening to? Is it serving you well or placing you in a posture destined for failure, regrets and consequences? Draw near to the One who is already calling your name.

“Father, it so easy to drown out Your voice – to simply unplug from the narrow way when wide seems much better. Help us to cease blocking and tune into Your truth.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life



Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 3, 2023

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 that 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 isn’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 overwhelm us. 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 given each of His children the gift of the Holy Spirit which leads and guides us to truth. Positioning us to heed the warning signs and proactively respond to what doesn’t seem quite right. Wisdom is ours for the taking – we just simply need to seek 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


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