And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).

I love words. So God uses them to get my attention, especially when I play word games with my friends as I sip my morning coffee.

Today the letters were T-L-A-I-R …hmmm. I could spell trail or trial. The only difference in the two letters is the position of the vowels, A and I.

That got my mind whirring.

When things are in a mess, I want the quickest way out. I don’t care for trials. Do you?

But we can turn our trial into God’s trail out by simply reversing the A and the I. How? We must ask if we think of us first (I) or God Almighty (A)?

If we put I before A, we will most likely wallow in the trial. Our focus will be inward, in the wrong place.  We lose perspective. Woe and pity can cloud our vision. Perhaps anger or unfairness cloaks our understanding. Doubt may creep in like a bug through a crack in the not-quite-level door jamb.

But when we turn to God for direction, eventually a trail will appear. A path to His lesson for us, which then leads to His mercy, His peace, and His grace. Recall the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness? They stayed in the trial until they learned to lean on God and His ways. Then He led them out into the place He promised.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” (John 14:6).

The next time we are lost in a fog of grief, a tangle of uncertainty, or a web of doubt, let us remember to reverse the letters. It might give us a different perspective on things.

Julie Cosgrove, besides being the author or fourteen traditionally published faith-based novels and novellas, is a devotional writer and editor for CRU’s digital ministry as well as for three other publications. Her own blog, Where Did You Find God Today? Has readers in over 50 countries. Check out her latest mystery series, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries, and the rest of her books at www.juliebcosgrove.com.

 

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Mary L. Hamilton, volunteers her time to help others through the Christian Authors Network as the Christian Contest Coordinator.

Mary L. Hamilton, volunteers her time to help others through the Christian Authors Network as the Christian Contest Coordinator.

We appreciate our volunteers who give of themselves to help others like Mary L. Hamilton. Volunteers like Mary touch lives with a few minutes of their time and have important contributions for the Christian Authors Network and our readers. If you haven’t read Mary’s work, let us tell you a little about this special and generous person and why she’s in our volunteer spotlight today.

Mary L. Hamilton’s writing credits include non-fiction articles, a play, as well as novels for middle readers and young adults. Her years growing up at a youth camp inspired her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for middle grade and young adult readers. She’s moved into writing mystery/suspense novels aimed at the adult market, recently publishing Pendant. A graduate of Long Ridge Writer’s Group, Mary belongs to the Christian Authors Network (CAN), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Texas Association of Authors (TAA), and two local writers groups.
As a CAN member, she coordinates the quarterly Christian Contest with the Munce group, and says it has given her an appreciation for the variety of Christian books and gives her a chance to look over the new releases to find some great books. Being a CAN member has also allowed her to get acquainted with other Christian writers and their books. We hope you, the reader, will check out her books, too. Mary is deserving of praise—and a good read!

Pendant by M.L. Hamilton

 

Rustic Knolls Series by Mary L. Hamilton includes Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, and See No Evil.

Thank you, Mary, for helping other CAN members’ books receive more exposure through the Munce Group.
(The Munce Group is a marketing group focused on serving the needs of independent retailers who serve readers.)
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Often times when we are on the cell phone or having a conversation in a public place, we become oblivious to others within listening range.  At a restaurant, I was helping a fellow author friend plot her novel. She had reached a stagmire in the plot, basically dug a whole for her protagonist that she couldn’t climb out of.  It involved a murder.

As we brainstormed the crime, I  glanced over her shoulder to the next booth where an elderly woman appeared wide-eyed and nervous. She quickly glanced way when our gazes locked.  Sensing her angst, I slipped out of the booth, handed her my bookmark, and whispered, “It’s okay. We are authors.”

Her shoulders relaxed as a smile crept onto her lips. I winked and went back to my table confident our conversation no longer gave her indigestion.

Julie B Cosgrove

Author of the award winning Bunco Biddies Mysteries 

 

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If hacking hasn’t happened to you, it will.

Hackers are on the rampage. Facebook posts, emails, tweets are compromised. “Share” posts contain hidden lewd images. Links illegally access your profile. Banks, hospitals, even government entities are not immune. It seems there is no firewall strong enough.

Our souls are not immune to being hacked. Call him what you will…the devil, the evil one, Satan, the father of lies. Trust me, as soon as you begin to do God’s will, this hacker will show up. Big time!

Satan knows the places where our “firewall” is the weakest. He wiggles in with a negative suggestion and clouds our positive viewpoint. God didn’t mean for you to take this on. Everyone does it. That verse doesn’t pertain to today. God will never forgive you.

Soon, like a virus, it begins to affect our thoughts and actions, even our prayers or desire to pray. Step by step, we become more and more vulnerable to his fiery wiles.

Where is your spiritual firewall the most vulnerable? How can you make sure your soul is unhack-able?

Paul shared the algorithm two millennia ago. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). Prayer is the best defense against becoming compromised. Scripture is the best method to detect hacked messages.

A joy-filled attitude that knows without a doubt God is faithful and true and loves you is the best way to have uninterrupted power.

Julie Cosgrove

Julie Cosgrove is an editor and writer for Cru Canada’s internet ministry, Power to Change. Her income, like any missionary’s, is dependent upon prayer and financial partners. She is also a professional speaker and a multiple award-winning author of ten novels with four more under contract.

 

 

 

 

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We all have experienced that sinking feeling when a typo slips through our scrutiny and that of editors and proofreaders. The editors of this magazine probably gets that, don’t you think?

Guess she is NOT a vegan.

 

COMMAS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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