Monday, January 6, 2020

Coffee Break Update

Dear All,
I wanted to take a minute to update you as to why I have not been sending out the Coffee Break devotional. As you will remember, the last one was a request for prayer. In some way I did something to my back-- not sure what or how. But as a result I have been in excruciating pain. I wound up having to go to the Emergency Room. I was sent to get an MRI which showed that I had a bulging disc which was pressing on the nerve root. I have been laying on the couch, unable to sit, stand, walk or crawl... even with pain medicine.
Because of the holidays I was unable to see a specialist and have something done.  I am scheduled for surgery in the morning (Tuesday). The surgeon tells me that my recovery time will be about 6 weeks.  I am letting you know that I will not be sending out the devotional until my recovery is behind me.  Thank you all so much for your understanding, patience and prayers.

I know that the Lord is my Healer. I would have preferred He had taken care of this problem miraculously... I know He can and I know He already has at the cross. I believed Him to do so. My will was not to have to go through surgery.  But He spoke to my heart and let me know that my will and His will are not always the same. I don't belong to myself, I belong to Him. He bought me with His own blood. My life and my body is His to do with it whatever He chooses.  He is a Sovereign God whose ways are not my ways and thoughts are not my thoughts. "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)

He has taught me much during this time. It is in my weakness that His strength is perfected.  In my weaknesses He gets the glory. He keeps reminding me that when I am tried I shall come forth as pure gold. I trust Him no matter what-- whether He answers in the way that I desire or in another way; whether He takes me in a direction I would desire not to go and out of my comfort zone or unto a familiar path. If there is one thing that I know about my Lord, it's that He is faithful. If I go through the fire, through the flood, through the storm, through the valley, through surgery, through the dark of night, He will faithfully stay by my side.

I truly believe He has ordered my step in this direction and I have seen Him miraculously open some doors that were shut. Do I understand it all?  No!  But I don't have to understand it all in order to trust Him.
I will be back sending out the devotional as soon as I am able.  Thank you in advance for your prayers!
Love and blessings, Lorraine   

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

"Priorities"

"They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them." Matthew 25:3

There has been much teaching as to why the five foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps. I want us to consider another reason this morning- that reason being that they had misplaced priorities. These virgins did not make sure that they had plenty of oil with them before they fell asleep.

Many today are so preoccupied with other things- careers, entertainment, relationships, pleasure, cares of this life, etc.- that they are neglecting the things that are most important. They have misplaced priorities. Our first priority as Christians comes from Matthew 6:33- "But seek ye first the kingdom of God."

I see two reasons why our priorities can be misplaced- 1) we either don't think it is that important or 2) we think we have enough to get by. Both reasons will get you into trouble. Both reasons can put you in the same position the five foolish virgins were in.

You have to make spiritual matters a priority. You have to make your relationship with the Lord Jesus a priority- your first priority. You have to change your priorities if they are misplaced. You have to change them if your priorities are centered around "earthly, worldly" things in order to be ready when He comes. We don't know when the bridegroom might come. We don't know if it will be today, tomorrow, months or years from now, if He might tarry, if He might come at midnight. But if being ready is our number one priority, it won't matter when He comes, we won't be caught off guard and out of oil.

Have a great day. Where are your priorities?

For further reading:
Matthew 25:1-13
Matthew 6:33
Exodus 20:3
Matthew 13:32-33

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

"Bring It Forth"

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

"She brought forth". Mary brought forth the Son of God that was placed inside her womb by the Holy Spirit. God never intended for her to carry the baby inside of her for the rest of her life. God's intention was for her to bring it into the world. When God places something inside of us, He never intends for us to keep it "locked up" inside of us either. He intends for us to "bring it forth".

When God places His salvation in our lives, we are to share it with others. He never intended for us to "keep it to ourselves". We are to witness to others about the glorious goodness of God in transforming our lives and giving us forgiveness and eternal life. When He places His Holy Spirit within us, we are to "bring it forth" by releasing the Spirit to do His work through us. When He places His joy within us, we aren't to keep it to ourselves, we are to share that joy with others so that they can taste and see how truly wonderful He is. It's this way with any blessing that God sends our way. It's this way with any gift He bestows upon us. He intends for us to "bring it forth" to reach the world for His glory.

The baby that was placed in Mary's womb wasn't for her only-- He was for the world.  He was carried by her but given for others. These wonderful gifts that God has given us are "carried" by us, but for the purpose of reaching others and touching their lives for Christ. Are you keeping the grace that God has bestowed upon you to yourself or are you sharing it with others? Is it "locked up" inside of you so that no one can be touched by it? If so, it's time for you to "bring it forth".

Have a great day. God intends for you to bring forth the gifts that He has given you and share them with others.

For further reading:
Luke 2:17
Isaiah 43:10
Matthew 10:8
Luke 4:18

Monday, December 9, 2019

"Taxing"

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." Luke 2:1

Have you ever wondered if Mary and Joseph complained about this taxing? Do you think they made comments to each other like: why did it have to come at this time, why do we have to travel so far, why couldn't it have come at another time, why couldn't it have happened after the baby was born? I wondered because this is what we usually do. When things come up in our lives that seem like bad timing or put extra pressure on us, we tend to start complaining about it.

The things we complain about are often the very things that God is using to accomplish His plan in/through us. Even a natural course of events is sometimes God's way of getting us in position- spiritually and physically- for what He is about to do. This was the case in Mary and Joseph's life. This taxing was the avenue that would get them to Bethlehem, to the stable, to the manger where the Savior of the world would be born. His birth could not have occurred anywhere else. God had already said through the prophets where it would be- God doesn't deviate from His word.

This decree caused them to get in the right position for the miracle birth. Sometimes it takes these "decrees" to move us into position, because we don't always listen and do what He says. So when we are tempted to complain over events- even natural ones- that seem to "tax" us by adding more burdens on us, by getting us out of our comfort zone, by causing us to have to make a move, by inconveniencing us, by messing up our schedules, by changing our plans, by apparently bad timing, perhaps we need to remember this story about the birth of our Savior.

Have a great day. God can use natural events, and events imposed by man, as an avenue to get us into position so that He can accomplish His plan and purpose.

For further reading:
Romans 8:28
1 Corinthians 1:27
Genesis 12:10
Ruth 1:1

Friday, December 6, 2019

"The Lord Is Good"

"For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 100:5

We aren't good. We don't always act good. We don't always do what is good. But you can't say that about the Lord. He is good and He is good all the time. Jesus Himself said that God is the ONLY one who is good. When Moses requested to see God's glory, the Lord's response to him was, "I will make my goodness pass before you." (Exodus 33:19)

As I woke up this morning a song was on my heart- it came from this verse above. I believe the Lord is using the song to remind me that no matter what may happen, no matter what I may encounter, no matter how I am treated, no matter what I face, He is good and I can trust and rest in His goodness to me even in the midst of bad things that come my way.

I believe that this devotional this morning is a reminder to you of the same thing. Bad things happen to us in this life. Bad things happen to even the righteous. We aren't exempt from bad things. But always remember, those "bad" things that come our way aren't from God- He's a good God and He can turn the bad into good.

Have a great day. The Lord is good... period!

For further reading:
Romans 8:28
Psalm 27:13
Psalm 33:5
Mark 10:18
Psalm 73:1